The constant evolution of the search engine landscape can be difficult for multi-unit brands who are juggling the online presence of many locations in addition to their brand. Whether they’re aware or not, each of their locations likely has a Facebook page, Google page, Yelp page, etc. Google and Yelp pages are crowd-sourced meaning anyone on the internet could potentially go change the information on their pages. With mobile search growing and the prompt to search “near me” these local crowd-sourced pages are often prominent in search results making the ability to control what consumers see in organic search results, well, uncontrollable.
A recent survey found that 90% of mobile users’ searches on their phone are for restaurants. 82% of those surveyed want to see an address or driving directions clearly visible in the search results.
When a multi-unit restaurant brand’s website shows up in search results it often takes a few clicks to get to specific location information and driving directions. Often, Google and Yelp local page results show up before the brand’s owned properties, clearly displaying an address or one-click driving directions. The information on these crowd-sourced pages isn’t always accurate.
Organic search results will more frequently show the most relevant results near the searcher, so it’s important that multi-unit brands think of their locations as local businesses.
To illustrate the relevance of local pages, we took 100 multi-unit restaurant brands and conducted searches for them on Chrome desktop, iOS Safari, and the mobile Google app.
Here are some of the organic search results:
Mobile Google App
- Google local pages ranked first 85% of the time
- The brand’s website was the second result 84% of the time
- The brand’s Facebook pages were in the first seven results 72% of the time and local Facebook pages ranked higher than brand Facebook pages
- Yelp pages showed up in the first seven results 68% of the time
- The brand’s website was number one 46% of the time
- Yelp pages were in the first five results 98% of the time, in the top three 82% of the time, and showed up as as the first result 53% of the time
- The restaurant’s local Facebook page showed up in the first seven results 82% of the time and in the top three 17% of the time
Chrome on Desktop
- Google local pages were on the right panel or in the first three results 83% of the time
- Google pages were in the number three spot 38% of the time while YP pages had that spot 11% of the time
- The restaurant’s Facebook page was in the first seven results 71% of the time
- The brand’s website showed up as the first result almost 100% of the time, more often than not though didn’t display a local address or click for driving directions like the Google or Yelp pages right below it did
Maintaining the accuracy of local results can be difficult for any brand, and exponentially so for multi-unit brands. Fortunately, this challenge is solvable. Run a few searches yourself. Let us know what you find and if you’re happy with the results.