August 18th, 2015
Inbound marketing is a very important part of your business, but it can be more difficult if you have multiple locations. Because multi-location businesses are in a bit of a grey area between single-location businesses and franchises, they have challenges from both categories. Often, that means they have to come up with solutions that are unique and different, instead of what would typically be used. Fortunately, there are great ways to handle inbound marketing for a multi-locational business.
New and better options can give you a lot of benefits, and make your multi-site brand management easier and less stressful than you ever expected. With the right software, creating something that works for each location but still presents a unified look and feel really is possible. That can give you a local presence, but also ensure that you have a more global feel that ties all of your business locations together. Piecing together strategies can work, but it's much easier to manage each location individually while also providing a cohesive feel throughout all the locations.
The Power of a Local Website
A centralized website is needed when you have a company with multiple locations. The search engine traffic can be focused there, and it's a great way to help people who are looking for your company discover what it has to offer and if they can get access to your product or service where they live. Of course, you also need local websites, so the specific details of that location can be provided. That way, you get marketing for your entire business, and also for each one of your locations. Visitors can reach your locations through your main site, however each location has its own local property on the internet and can be found when searched locally.
Multi-site brand management software can help accomplish inbound marketing for multi-locational businesses. It helps you make sure your website is optimized for the keywords that matter the most to your overall business, but at the same time it also allows you to be location-specific on individual websites. It's the best of both worlds for your business, and also for the customers and potential customers who are looking for you through search results. Expansion is also easier with this online configuration, because re-optimizing the entire website when you add a new location isn't necessary. You'll only need to plug in the address and everything is done for you.
Local Listing Setups
Making sure your locations get noticed for inbound marketing isn't just about SEO. While that's a big part of your strategy, you also have to pay close attention to online directories. Don't just put your main page into the directory and leave it at that. Each and every locational website needs placement into as many significant local directories as possible. By doing that, you create a business listing for each location your business has. Doing that through Google can get you included in Maps and YouTube, along with Google+. The information from your business can then be shared immediately by anyone who wants to pass it along to others, and that increases your marketing opportunities significantly. With the right multi-site brand management software, you can get your multi-locational business into a wide variety of directories independently, so you pop up much more easily in search results for any and all locations your company offers.
Never underestimate the power of social media and the marketing opportunities it can offer you. Handling social media isn't difficult when you're just getting started and you only have one location, but when you're running a multi-locational business you need a strategy. You have two options for social media. You can have one profile on each of the most popular social media sites and operate that profile for all your locations, or you can have a profile for each one of your locations on each of the social media sites. Both can be good choices, depending on the number of locations you have and the size and popularity of the business.
To really accomplish inbound marketing for a multi-locational business, you need a multi-site brand management software that you can use with social media. With that software, you can come up with a great social media strategy in just a few minutes. It doesn't matter if you're creating only one profile, or you want to provide a profile for each location. It also doesn't matter if you're going to be on one site or a number of them. It's all about the right tools, which can make any strategy easier to utilize and help it work for you and your businesses' many locations. As your company grows and new locations open up, you'll be able to easily incorporate them into what you're already offering, so you can keep moving forward and keep your branding consistent.
Multi-site brand management software is also great for accomplishing inbound marketing for multi-locational businesses on a mobile platform. Society is going increasingly mobile today, and more and more people are using their phones to access the internet. Often, they do that because they are already out and about, and they want to look up a new restaurant or a store they plan to go to. If you don't have location websites available that are optimized for mobile, you're going to get overlooked. Potential customers will be going to your competitors, instead of coming to see you, and that's something you really want to avoid.
Mobile marketing is going to be the future of advertising, so there's no reason to delay moving your business over to it. When you open new locations, it will be easy to get them up and running on a mobile platform, because you already have a foundation setup and ready to deploy for new locations. If you really want to get customers interested, create an app. Customers who can use your app for things like ordering and payment are going to be more likely to visit or buy from your business, because you're making it convenient for them.
Subdomains or Individual URLs
One of the biggest questions for companies that have multiple locations is whether they are going to have one site with subdomains for each location, or whether they are going to offer individual URLs. There are pros and cons to each of those options, but with the right multi-site brand management software, you can accomplish inbound marketing for your multi-locational business no matter which direction you take.
With subdomains, you'll be building your base site on your top level domain and then deploying your locational child sites on subdomains. The name of the subdomain can either be the city of the location or if you have multiple locations in the same city you may want to use the street name, zip code or neighborhood as the subdomain. The obvious benefit of setting your network up this way is the cost of domains, since you are using subdomains, you are only charged for the top level domain.
If you don't want to have subdomains, or don't feel it's the best choice based on maintaining the site or the number of locations your business has, you can choose to use individual URLs. The problem with that is that a particular URL that is needed may not be available, or may be too close to a site that you don't want association with. Being sure of what pattern all of your URLs need to follow and how to make that happen matters. The freedom that is offered is good, but only if that freedom is something you want your company's locations to have. Otherwise, it simply invites problems.
Regardless of the path you choose, with a great multi-site CMS, whether you use subdomains or individual URLs, managing your companies brand and content is done with ease.
Dynamic Tag-Based System
The best philosophy for multi-site brand management software and inbound marketing for multi-locational businesses is the creation of an entire website dedicated to each location. This can either be on a subdomain of the main domain, or through individual URLs. With a dynamic tag-based system that allows you to add locations to the master site, the child location sites can be optimized for the location automatically and publish unique content that is defined in the location settings. The easier you make things for people who are looking for your business in their area, the more likely those people will be to find you and buy from you, both now and in the future.
Because inbound marketing is so vital to the health and growth of your business, you need to make sure you tackle it the right way from the beginning. It can be harder to make course corrections at a later date than it can be to put in the effort in the beginning. The right multi site brand management software can help you take multi-site needs to the next level, and ensure that your company's locations stand out from the competitors while keeping true to the brand you've established for them.