How Bahama Buck's (or any multi-location franchise) could Improve its Google Maps Rankings

How Bahama Buck's (or any multi-location franchise) could Improve its Google Maps Rankings

Posted by Stephen Dayton on 03/02/2020
How Bahama Buck's (or any multi-location franchise) could Improve its Google Maps Rankings

While preparing for our upcoming Edmond Chamber tech series presentation about setting up and optimizing your Google My Business profile, we started researching opportunities all local chamber members could relate to.  

We found one major opportunity with a local franchise location: Bahama Buck’s Edmond.  

Now, you may be thinking - what does this have to do with Google My Business? The answer is: just about everything.  

Google My Business profiles populate the Google Maps search results, knowledge panel, and are the backbone to local SEO. Though we are specifically talking about Bahama Buck’s, this advice and opportunity is applicable to any business that wants customers to visit their store(s).  

So, let’s dive in.

About Bahama Buck’s

Bahama Buck's is a privately-held franchise company with dessert franchise locations across the United States, including a store here in Edmond, Oklahoma. They offer premium tropical desserts: Paradise Fruit™, 100% Natural Drinks, Açaí Bowl, SnoBlast, Bahama Sodas, and more.  

Now that your taste buds are excited, let’s talk about how to find the one nearest you. 

Why a Single “Locations” Page Doesn’t Work

Take a quick look at the Bahama Buck's website location page

Screenshot of Bahama Buck's Locations Page

This location page has solid, helpful information on it, including:

  • the ability to filter by location
  • hours of operation for each store
  • links to get directions
  • icons that indicate if the store has a drive-thru, free Wi-Fi, gift cards and more!  

So, what could possibly be wrong with this location page?  

3 Big Reasons Why Location Landing Pages Matter 

The quality of the information found on the Bahama Buck's location page is not the problem. The problem is that a single location page with all of the stores listed in one place makes it difficult for Google to differentiate between one store and another.  

All any franchise business owner wants is more customers, and nothing drives more customers to a local business than Google – more specifically, Google Maps. We'll take a look at the Maps rankings in a bit, but let's explain why having a landing page for each store location is important when you need foot traffic or customers through your doors. 

1) Schema Markup
When you have a landing page for each store, you'll be able to add schema to each page with important schema.org information about your business, which makes it easier for Google to read and understand everything about your business. 

The most important part of that code is your business type and your business name, address, and phone number.

Having that match your Google My Business (GMB) page, in essence, verifies to Google that your official website and GMB are a match.

2) Direct Links
Within your GMB Page, there's an option to link to the main websites home page as well as an appointment URL. 

Back40 Case Study: Location Page Set Up - Google My Business Screenshot

By having a landing page for each store location, you can link directly to the applicable, optimized page (rather than to a page that lists every possible store). 

Everything on the store landing page would match what was added in the optimized GMB page, which creates trust with Google. Just like your Google reviews, everything we recommend is to build trust with Google and your brand. 


3) Ability to Rank
A well-optimized landing page also has a chance to rank in Google along with your Maps listing – giving your store page an extra opportunity to be found online. 

A Local Competitor with Ideal Location Landing Page Set Up

If you compare the Bahama Buck’s locations page to Braum’s location pages, it’s a pretty similar experience for a website visitor. However, both present a far different experience for Google. 

The Braum’s website has a landing page for each location – exactly what the search engine needs to return the local results. 

Below is a screenshot of the landing page for the Braum's store located at 1001 E Danforth Rd. in Edmond, OK. 

Back40 Case Study: Location Page Set Up - Braum's Location Page Screenshot

This landing page has elements embedded in it that help Google to understand this individual Braum's store better. Along with an optimized GMB page, these elements improve rankings for this individual store in Google's organic and Google Maps listings. 

Current Bahama Buck's Edmond, OK Google My Business Rankings 

Below is an example of a typical Google Map result after typing in the keyword phrase "dessert" into Google.

Back40 Case Study: Location Page Set Up - Screenshot of Dessert Local Search

If I clicked on the "More Places'' link under the Map, I found Bahama Buck's in the #4 position. The 3 competitors that outranked them were all more than 2 miles from my location. 

Knowing the most important factor affecting results in Google Maps is the proximity of the user to businesses that best match the search query, I would have expected to see Bahama Buck's make the top three results.

Why? 

  • I used their main keyword phrase (dessert) in my search.
  • I was much closer – just 0.9 miles compared to 2+ miles – to one of their stores than I was to the competitors that showed up above them. 

GeoGrid Performance For Bahama Buck's In Edmond, OK  

Below is a side-by-side look at how the Bahama Buck's Edmond, OK location ranks in Google Maps using a GeoGrid PIN format compared to that of the Braum's Edmond, OK location. 

You can see that the Braum's local search results are performing quite well. 

At least part of the reasoning is the fact they have an optimized location page for this Braum's store.

Back40 Case Study: Location Page Set Up - Screenshot of Local Search Results

Tips for Understanding the GeoGrid

  • The physical store is located in the center (the PIN with the number 2), which means they rank second (in Maps) at that location.
  • Each PIN is one mile apart.
  • As expected, the numbers (Map rankings) are larger as we move further from the physical store.

The goal is to be in the top three for as far a distance as possible to encompass a larger geographical area for their customers to find them in Maps. Rankings are based on many factors, including the number of competitors in the area, distance from the store, keywords used, and so on. 

Notes about this case study: 

  • The actual store searches used in these examples are not a 100% apple to apple comparison as the two companies are not direct competitors, though both are in the restaurant industry. Each store's rankings for specific keywords stand on their own. 
  • In this case study, I used the primary keyword for each business type to make the comparison as fair as possible. 

What You Can Learn from this Review

As you can tell from this location page comparison, there is a significant ranking benefit to creating landing pages for every store in a franchise. Creating the pages is the first step, and most businesses with access to edit their website can implement this change.

With location landing pages in place, the real work gets started. Local SEO optimization requires specific SEO techniques to improve the odds of ranking in Google Maps for your businesses' target keywords.

If you have a business with several locations, let us help improve your rankings. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.