29 Mar Local Pages: The Digital Storefronts Of Your Brick-and-Mortar Locations
The old adage of out that sight, out of mind applies to your customers and locations. Since search engines and digital maps are the primary way that customers find real-world locations, if your store isn’t showing up at the top of local search results, it doesn’t matter how prime your location is or how nice the building looks from the street.
So what’s the key for businesses to show up in local search?
Local pages serve as the digital storefronts of your brick-and-mortar locations. Google, Bing and Yahoo use local pages to populate “near me” search results. If your locations don’t have a corresponding local page, you’re missing out on the most important—and free—advertising on the internet.
What are local pages?
Think of local pages as a mini website for each of your locations. If you have only one location, your official website will likely double as your local page. For small businesses, it’s not uncommon to see a “local page” consisting of multiple pages. For example, a store might have a page for products, mission statement, contact information, or hiring.
Enterprise brands, with hundreds or thousands of locations, don’t have the time to create such in-depth local pages for each location. Instead, a local page for enterprises is precisely that, a single local page. This bare-boned page will have all the relevant location information that customers search for when deciding to visit a location. For non-location-specific information such as a brand’s mission statement, enterprise local pages typically link back to main page of their corporate website.
Why are local pages important?
In addition to your store locator, local pages populate local search results. For search terms that have your name in them, the more locations and local pages that you have, the more likely it is that you will push third-party sites and your competitors from the first page of search results.
Having local pages also helps your rank for product-related search terms. For example, if you’re a shoe store and a customer searches for nearby shoes, your local pages will help populate search results.
But the importance of your local pages extends well beyond showing up in local search. Local pages also serve as the advertising copy of each business location. If you have quality photos, an easy page to navigate, and local content that anchors you in the community, you have a good chance of convincing potential customers to visit your store.
Finally, local pages are important for driving e-commerce. Most people think of local pages as only for driving more people to their physical locations, but local pages can also boost your online sales in the process.
The future of local pages
Local pages are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Recently local pages have begun integrating with ride services such as Uber and Lyft. A simple click of a button on the local page will summon a car and take you to that location. Expect this trend to grow, especially as self-driving cars make it cheaper for businesses to pay for your Uber fare to the location.
Perhaps the biggest development in local pages will be the integration of chatbots to help users find location-specific information. For example, you might ask a local page chatbot about in-store items, ongoing sales, or questions about the store’s amenities. In short, chatbots will allow local pages to provide more location information than a typical local page.