Local SEO Confusion on Business URL

Local SEO Confusion : What URL You Should add in GMB: Homepage or Location Page?

Posted On : April 13th, 2019   By : Dillip Kumar Mohanty   To : Local SEO

Local SEO is a challenging thing for many local marketers. Since last couple of years, Google has brought lots of changes in local SEO spaces but there are still some basic questions we face for which either there is no direct answer or too many contradicting statements.

In this Local SEO Confusion series, we’ll be discussing such things.

Now the first one;

Which URL should be be Used in GMB – homepage or Location Page URL?

When we add a local business in Google My Business, Google suggests to add your website URL in “Website URL” field.

If you’ve separate website for each location, then there is no confusion. But if you’ve a single website and different location pages for each location, then it would be tricky to take decision.

Some prefer to add the domain in all location listings while others add individual location page in each location listing.

So, there is certainly a degree of confusion over here. You’re not alone here. There have been many discussions over this topic since 2013 and interestingly local SEO experts have different opinions on this.

Phil Rozek from Local Visibility System has argued beautifully in his post on the same topic.

As per him,

I suggest you use your homepage as your landing page, whenever possible.
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From what I’ve seen, the “authority” of the homepage seems to pack more punch for rankings.
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What I do know is I’ve seen the homepage URL work time and time again for multi-location clients, and for business I stumble across “in the wild.

Linda Buquet in one post on the same topic in Local Search Forum has a different view.

For a business with stores at three locations, she has suggested,

“Then as far as the link on the G+ L page, I would link the main office to home and then location 2 and 3 to their location pages.”

Her argument is, in her own words,

“If all locations are on home page or in footer on all pages and if all G+ L pages link to home – then Google can sometimes get confused and just drops you out of the pack.”

While answering a similar question in Moz Q&A Forum, Miriam Ellis suggests,

“…or multi-location or multi-partner practices, it’s a best practice to create a landing page for each entity and link each Google+ Local page to its respective landing page….”

You can see all the above discussions are from 2013 & 2014. But wait, it doesn’t end there. The question keeps coming up now & then.

Darren Shaw from Whitespark has done an amazing test with different approach in 2018. To answer the same question, he tested Google crawl activity when the URL in GMB was changed.

In his post, he summed up that,

“I think that if you have one location obviously homepage, three I would probably still go homepage, beyond that you’re probably going to want to make location landing pages and link to those from your Google My Business listing.”

On the comment section of that post, Miriam Ellis has taken the discussion to a different level. While admitting this age old question is still a debate in the industry, she wondered how it would impact users’ behaviour.

“On the main question at hand, the part of this ongoing industry conversation we’ve never solved is this: how is user behavior impacted by the use of the homepage vs. a landing page as the GMB destination URL?”

Getting more confused? Am really sorry. The only reason I quoted all the above is to show how confusing this question is.

My view… well let’s see what Google says on this.

In Google My Business Help section, their Guidelines says,

“Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible, or provide one website that represents your individual business location.”

There is no clear guidance for multi-location businesses on this specific part.

What You Should Do: In absence of any specific answer, I think it is better to follow Google word by word :). If they are saying “website”, then add your homepage in all location listings in GMB.

We’ve tested this several times and have seen that clients have better local ranking with homepage in their all individual location GMB listings compared to location page URLs in GMB.

But I’m talking about probability. Our clients have higher success rate with homepage URL. But it may or may not work for you.

So, I’ll strongly suggest you should test both and see what brings you better results.

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