Owners of online sales sites should – for the most part – use local SEO in order to grow. Depending on your industry, you will manage a strategy on a local and/or national, or even international scale. To outperform the competition and promote your online business locally, you need to make your brand visible in the right place! You will see that local SEO is a targeted marketing strategy that will help your brand reach a more qualified audience.
Use the tips in this article to start thinking about optimising the local SEO of your e-commerce site. Start now and keep the competition away from Google’s top spots!
What is local SEO?
A local SEO strategy primarily focuses on targeting customers depending on their geographic location. Do you sell pizza in Manchester city centre? Target the internet users who live in and around your neighbourhood. Are you a baker in London and do you have an effective local SEO strategy? Your customers will be able to find you quickly in a local search once your website is optimised for that. You should know that 88% of location-based searches made on a smartphone turn into a visit within 24 hours. But who would want to miss this ultimate visibility?! Not me, that’s for sure…
Why work on the local SEO of your e-commerce site?
In the last century, consumers used the Yellow Pages – an almanac or even a telephone directory for the older readers – to find local businesses. The modern consumer has changed their consumption habits, they walk around with their smartphone in their pocket and look for services or products online. They usually type the place they are looking for, which is automatically treated as a local query.
And as internet users can feel overwhelmed by the options on offer, Google helps them out. It will adapt the results depending on the user’s location and interests. It has a single objective: satisfy consumers by providing them with appropriate and relevant answers. With your local SEO strategy, you inevitably attract more customers to your online and physical store. The icing on the cake: you help Google provide quality data (which it appreciates, and you will be rewarded for).
How do you optimise your e-commerce site for local SEO?
To create your Google My Business page go to: https://www.google.com/intl/en_gb/business/
(1) Display the region and the physical address, the city and the postcode of your store on your website. These details will be considered by the search engine robots and used to index your web page (in other words, to put your pages in the right place).
(2) Take the time to complete your Google My Business form. Submitting your site to one or more local annual directories always proves to be a significant help in local search optimisation. These local annual directories can ensure that your site is listed with backlinks for better organic traffic. If sites talk about you, Google will notice this and think that your business seems interesting! The more sites are known, the better the impact will be!It’s easy to sign up and stand out from your counterparts who do not optimise their site with these very useful services, offered by Google. Google likes it when you use tools developed by them.
(3) Submitting your site to one or more local annual directories always proves to be a significant help in local search optimisation. These local annual directories can ensure that your site is listed with backlinks for better organic traffic. If sites talk about you, Google will notice this and think that your business seems interesting! The more sites are known, the better the impact will be! always proves to be a significant help in local search optimisation. These local annual directories can ensure that your site is listed with backlinks for better organic traffic. If sites talk about you, Google will notice this and think that your business seems interesting! The more sites are known, the better the impact will be!
(4) Pay attention to your “on-site” optimisation : you can improve your local SEO by using local keywords on your website. Using the name of the city in your product articles or descriptions is a good way of getting the best placement on SERPs in local queries. Moderate use of the same targeted keywords (e.g. pizzeria Manchester city centre) in other sections of your website will help you to optimise your site. You can use a keyword planner to find other words and expressions which are likely to interest your customers (Google has one but there are others such as Ahref, a benchmark in this area). You should focus on the relevance of terms in relation to what you sell and also consider the search volume of the keywords. Don’t say your products are ‘cheap’ if your price positioning is not, even if that generates many visits to your site. Tell yourself it is better to have 10 qualified internet users, i.e. interested in your products, than 100 who will leave within seconds and never come back.
(5) Pay attention to optimising the mobile version of your store. Would you want to miss out on new opportunities offered by smartphone users?! Ask yourself this question: what is the point in investing in local SEO if a potential customer can’t access your website from their phone? You must provide a responsive, mobile-friendly site or invest in a dedicated mobile version.
Extract from the exclusive RetailMeNot study on e-commerce and m-commerce trends in Europe, 2019.
The smartphone alone represents almost 42% growth in 2019, compared with 7% for tablets. Smartphones are becoming more and more powerful with increasingly wider screens that allow buyers, to not only search for the best products, but also go straight to purchase, thanks in particular to the development of merchant apps which make the mobile buying journey easier.
(7)Consumers are wary of overmarketing . That’s why the majority of buyers turn to the customer reviews to judge the quality of a product or service. In fact, 92% of consumers* read online reviews when searching for local businesses. Search engines love local reviews. Online reviews can help you to build trust, to establish your brand’s image and improve its ranking in related local searches. The last time I left a restaurant the manager saw me to the door and kindly asked me to leave a review on Google, or even better for him, on Trip Advisor. The physical store is still a very effective way to work on your online reputation.
In conclusion, play the strong local SEO game
Once you have created your Google My Business account, add as much local information on your site as needs be and use invaluable tools such as online reviews, you have given your e-commerce site the best chance to attract local visitors, customers and buyers. Improving your local SEO strategy can clearly stimulate the local sales point(s) while bringing growth to your online store. Ensure you are always at the forefront of your local SEO strategy through regular updates and optimisations to achieve the best results over time.