How Your Multi-Location Business Can Avoid Duplicate Content Issues

Duplicate content may not seem like an issue for search engine performance, Google is issuing algorithm updates to optimize local searches, and local businesses are feeling the strain. It’s a well-known fact that Google penalizes websites for duplicate content – but what can you do if your business has multiple locations? Creating content for each individual page may seem like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. See how you can easily create unique content for your multiple-location pages with minimal effort and upkeep.

1) When Duplicate Content is a Problem

In terms of search engine optimization (SEO), we define duplicate content as content that appears on the internet more than once (i.e., in separate URLs). If each of your location pages has the same content, it’s impossible for search engines such as Google to determine which searches are most relevant to the user. Algorithms typically bar multiple pages with the same content, so it makes a decision based on which one it thinks is likely the original. This is problematic for both the company and the search engine: When companies use duplicate content, they experience negative traffic and lower rankings, and search engines can’t provide the most relevant results.

Consider, for example, that your business has three locations in one metropolitan area. If the content on all three location pages is essentially the same, Google will filter out your two auxiliary branches and provide the website for your flagship branch only. With fewer visits to your website, you’re missing out on potential customers. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to fix this.

2) Use a Client Testimonial

Client testimonials add richness to your location pages, and they write themselves. Consider this example: Bob’s Insurance has 146 offices in the Houston market alone. Without client reviews, most of these results would be filtered out through Google’s algorithms. By automating the process by which they filter and post reviews, Bob’s offices create unique content for each office, allowing more to pass through Google’s filter.

3) Offer Written Driving Directions

Most webpages have some sort of landing page offering information about hours, location, and contact information. Instead of just offering a link to Google Maps, why not offer additional written directions? It provides useful information to users and can work in keywords naturally for more local hits.

4) Include Employee Bios

Having employee bios for each page serves a couple of different purposes. First, it adds unique content to your location site while providing an organic outlet for keywords. By focusing on employee skills and expertise, you work keywords in naturally, not awkwardly. Second, it improves employee efficacy. Workers have a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing their biographies are featured prominently on your location website.

5) Don’t Underestimate Photos

There’s a reason a picture’s worth a thousand words. While we know not to include stock photography in website design, many companies err in providing only one picture. A shot of your individual storefront might be nice, but Google likes pictures in multiples. Think beyond the traditional storefront photo – add pictures of employees, store shelves, individual products, even a virtual walk-through.

There are many ways to improve your local search engine rankings, ensuring that you vary the quality of your content is something to should consider. We here at Imagine Monkey specialize in helping business owners draft memorable and coherent copy, aimed at people and search engines. Contact a local web designer at Imagine Monkey and find out how we can speak your language to local search results.

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