Local SEO combines the online and offline world, turning Google searches into instore visits. This can be done on a budget, boosting business with little investment. Here’s everything you need to know about local SEO for retailers.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO stands for local search engine optimisation. It is the process of making your store or brand more visible in search engine results. Having a local SEO strategy is a cost-effective method of increasing footfall, revenue and much more.
How important is local SEO for retailers?
Local SEO plays a vital role in capturing the attention of those nearby and tempting them to come instore. With more people than ever before using the internet to research shops and products, optimising your website to rank in local SEO is becoming increasingly important.
Here are just some of the stats that highlight the importance of local search:
- 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information
- More than 55% use voice search to find local businesses
- 76% of people that search for a local business on a smartphone visit it within a day
- 97% of search engine users search to find local businesses
- 78% of location-based local searches result in an offline purchase
- 97% of consumers check a company’s local presence before visiting them
- “Near me” and “close by” searches have increased by more than 900% in a period of two years
What does a local SEO strategy include?
- An optimised website
Your website should be mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly and captivating, keeping users on the page for as long as possible.
- Keyword research
Keywords should be used strategically, so carry out your own research for commonly searched phrases and include these. This can be done using keyword research tools, Google autocomplete and by looking at the keywords competitors rank for.
As an example, for a shoe shop, this could include:
- “Shops in Hammersmith”
- “Shoe shop in Hammersmith”
- “Shoe fitting near me”
- “Affordable shoes”
- “Local shops”
- “School shoes”
- “Clothes shops”
- “Buy running shoes”
- Google My Business, Apple Maps and Bing Places
Creating listings on Google My Business, Apple Maps and Bing Places are quick wins, bringing enormous local SEO benefits. Make sure you claim and optimise these, entering all details correctly and verifying your listings.
- NAP (name, address, phone)
Include your business’ name, address and phone number (including area code) and make sure these are consistent across all channels. These can easily fit into your website’s ‘find us’ page, or even in the footer. Not only will these assist with SEO, but they will also help any users to locate your shop.
- High-quality links
To improve your website’s authority, backlinks are incredibly useful, particularly if they are from reputable, well-designed websites. This can be done in a variety of ways, from guest blogging to interviews, collaborations and partnerships.
What are the benefits of local SEO in retail?
- Larger reach
Local SEO increases the number of people that find your website, growing your reach exponentially. You no longer need to rely on knowledgeable locals and passers-by, as you can do your own outreach and attract a wider range of potential customers.
- Increased footfall
By utilising local SEO, more people will find your store, view your website and become aware of what you do. Having this information means people are more likely to visit instore, with 76% of businesses found on local searches seeing the person visit the store within 24 hours.
- Great first impressions
A well-designed website that clearly explains a retailer’s USP and location builds trust with viewers, leaving a lasting impression.
- Reach customers on various platforms
Making the most of local SEO means that consumers with a wide range of preferences will find your website. This includes those that use various search engines, as well as those that use different keywords.
- Overtake competitors
Many retailers do not make the most of local SEO. While some may fail to utilise local SEO, this creates an opportunity for those that do to reap the benefits. With the rise of online searches and voice searches, retailers that manage to design an effective local SEO strategy can easily overtake competitors.
- Grow a loyal following
By capturing the attention of those in the local area, you can also establish a loyal community of followers on social media. This is another way to engage your audience and encourage interaction.
- Present information clearly
If you are able to rank highly on local searches on the likes of Google, reviews, imagery, products and business information can also be shown. This can create engagement and excitement around your brand, having a positive impact on business.
What does local SEO cost?
Local SEO for retailers can be a cost-effective method of growing your business. Taking time to learn about SEO and optimise your website in line with guidance can create an enormous return on investment. If you do local SEO yourself, it can be time-consuming to understand and implement, however it may be more successful than the likes of newspaper, radio or direct mail campaigns, meaning you can allocate resources accordingly.
There are of course many companies that specialise in local SEO for retailers, offering guidance or even taking care of it entirely. This option guarantees results, saving retailers time and allowing them to focus on their business as they climb the SEO results.