Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for all businesses, whether they’re eCommerce or partially online. However, if you own a brick-and-mortar store, local SEO increases visibility in a specific area. By optimizing SEO, you can convert more online searches into in-store visitors.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of improving the quality and quantity of local site traffic you receive from search engines. An SEO agency like Online Marketing Gurus from Melbourne can set your website up with laser-sharp local SEO if you’re inexperienced in SEO optimization.
How is Local SEO Different Than Global SEO?
Global and local SEO have a lot in common. Both processes use the same ranking factors, like on-site, off-site, and technical SEO, to index and crawl your website for the purpose of viability.
However, local SEO is hyperfocused on the location of your brick-and-mortar store. It’s used to optimize your online presence and drive traffic from a geographical area that’s close to your store. On the other hand, global (or national) SEO reaches international and local customers.
With that said, many common SEO tips can apply to global and local SEO, and it’s a good idea to work on both processes if you plan on shipping nationwide or you already ship internationally.
How is Local SEO Different from Paid Search?
Local SEO is organic, whereas paid search is paid. Paid advertisements are ideal for startups when they’re first starting, as they won’t experience a lot of traffic growth from organic searches.
All SEO strategies take several months to work, which is why you should start building your strategy right away. Although paid search works immediately, your cost-per-click will quickly become too expensive. SEO eventually attracts more traffic and costs less than paid ads.
5 Reasons Why Local SEO is Important for Retailers
Local brick-and-mortar retailers are in direct competition with online stores. Diving into the “buy local” movement won’t just help your sales; it’ll help your direct community and city economy.
1. Capitalize on the Buy Local Movement
There’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on trends, especially one as beneficial as the “buy local” movement. The pandemic has seen a rise in the number of people who want to shop locally. Customers understand that you’re likely a small business that needs help from their community.
According to the Retail Council, 57% of buyers are seeking out local businesses to support, and click-and-collect is almost 10% more popular than it was before the pandemic. If you utilize online order, delivery, and pick-up options, you could increase your local sales significantly.
2. Better Results Without a High Cost
Businesses that serve specific regions or operate seasonally can impact their entire audience in an objective way without breaking the bank. For example, if you’re a small boating shop by the lake, your audience will be more restrictive and self-contained than a large eCommerce store.
At the same time, you may not have goods you can even ship for a low price or without the product spoiling. Local SEO can make your budget spending more contained and manageable.
If your company doesn’t necessarily serve one region, local SEO can help you segment your audience. For example, a fashion store can operate any time of the year and can divide its products into fits, gender, or size. This makes it easier to promote your store in other states.
3. Attract More Qualified Leads and Shoppers
One of the hardest parts about marketing is attracting the right buyers. Businesses that have a physical location tend to get a lot of foot traffic from window shoppers, but there’s no guarantee you’ll make a sale. All stores need to bring in more qualified leads to save time and money.
Local SEO only attracts the most relevant shoppers, as it focuses on customers who are more likely to buy your products. With the internet, you can qualify leads before they enter the store.
Small businesses and brick-and-mortar stores tend to have a lower cash flow than online companies, so you have to make every investment count. With local SEO, you can make sure that the people who are actually in your store are willing to spend money on your products.
4. Get More From Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free business listing feature that lets you upload relevant company information. While Google My Business can be used for global SEO, local companies get more use of its features and its benefits, such as enhanced engagement and traffic volume.
If you sign up for GMB and optimize your listing, local customers who search for your business will see your location, images, and attributes accompanied by a map at the top of the page.
Studies show that 88% of local business searches on mobile devices are visited by the searcher within 24 hours, while 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. A Google My Business listing can take full advantage of your highly targeted organic traffic.
5. Make the Most Out of Timely Searches
Although Amazon does have 2-day and same-day shipping, your customers will shop locally if they need something right away. Anytime a customer forgets to buy a gift, ordered too little of a bulk item, or can’t wait to try out the next best gadget, your store will be there to save the day.
But that would only be the case if you have an updated catalog your buyers can use to search for in-stock items. If you do, they can call and put it on hold, use the pick-up option at checkout, or simply drive to your store. Either way, impatience or forgetfulness will get you plenty of sales.
Brick-and-mortar businesses, whether they deliver locally or internationally, still need an online presence to attract more traffic to their store and website. Local SEO can help with that.
But before you start optimizing local SEO, read a quick guide to search engine optimization, as general SEO advice still applies to niche SEO topics. By building a digital marketing strategy, you benefit from a higher ROI and conversion rate fueled by highly targeted local traffic.