Here’s a question about local SEO that I recently received.
The question was about what is the best pages to use from your website as the Website link in Google My Business, when you have multiple locations.
This operates under the presumption that you have two or more locations, and each location has it’s own Google My Business listing, with separate addresses and reviews.
This is what it looks like when you select a website URL in Google My Business.
Here’s the original question.
“If a business has several locations setup in Google My Business, should each location link to a website’s homepage or location page for that city? I watched a video from MOZ on how the local algorithm works. They experimented with this by linking GMB location pages to the homepage rather than the location page and saw a positive impact in the search results. Wondering why this might be and if it’s worth trying.”
The Definitive Answer
If your location pages are strong landing pages, and have a lot of information about what you do (like a home page does) then it’s probably worth linking to those as your Google My Business URL. If you have a basic location page (map, hours, address, phone) and not much else, I would link to the home page instead.
The Google ranking algorithm selects all possible pages that might fit a query that are in collection of indexed pages.
So if the city and service are both mentioned on the location page and the home page, both those pages are considered for fitting that query, and can be ranked.
How to Choose Which to Use as the Website URL for a Google My Business Location?
A big clue is which page is already ranking higher for that local query.
In most cases, if a city landing page and the home page from one site are both considered, the home page is usually the one Google chooses to rank highest. That’s usually the case if the location page for that city is less robust than the home page.
A lot will depend on the content of the two pages. Does the title tag and H1 on both the home page and location page include
"[service] + [city]"? What does the content look like on each page? Usually the home page has more information.
Another big factor is how many external sites are linking to each page. The home page usually has more inbound links than an inner page on a website, so the home page is usually ranked higher by default.
Google can also choose to rank both the home page and a location in the top 20 organic results if there is low competition for that keyword phrase.
Over time, Google will usually adjust to favor one or the other (home page or city landing page) in the Search Engine Results Pages.