Are you optimising your website for local SEO? If the answer to this question is no, then sit tight as you are about to find out why local SEO is so important for your eCommerce business.
Local SEO and national SEO are similar in the sense that you still need to do keyword research and optimise your content, however, with local SEO you are trying to target a more specific audience within your area. Local SEO also allows brick and mortar stores with an online presence to establish their brand within their physical community, which then wins them additional foot traffic.
Let’s take a look at some of the areas you should focus on.
Google My Business
Everyone in the team laughs about how much I talk about Google My Business, but it really is one of the first areas you should focus on with local SEO. When customers search for your brand they are going to be shown your Google My Business listing as well as the search results. You can see in the screenshot below that the listing appears prominent on the page, which means your customers might just get the information they need from here before visiting your website.
Like all things, it is all good and well having the listing, but you need to make sure it is optimised. There are many things you can do on your Google My Business listing to achieve this, let’s take a look.
- Correct name, address and phone number – Make sure it matches what is on your website
- Relevant category – They have present categories or you can add your own
- Profile short name – This is another way that users can find you on Google
- Description about your business – You’re trying to sell to your customer, tell them about your business & products!
- Plenty of high quality images – You can show images of your building, products or team, don’t forget to include your logo!
- Seasonal hours – This is particularly good for Christmas and other bank holidays if you have different opening hours
- Products – You can add specific products with links to your GMB listing
- Question & answers – Add what you think your customers might want to know
- Reviews – These are so important! Encourage customers to leave you a positive review
I didn’t want to mention the C word, but with the current situation with COVID-19, you can also add posts to update your customers with any specific measurements you have had to put in place. For example, if you are having to cut back your hours, or you are only open to pick up orders then you can put this information in the COVID-19 update section.
Voice search has become so popular over time, mainly because we are all too lazy to type it into our phones (I am guilty!). But this is another reason that it is so important to keep your listing up to date as voice search utilises its data from Google My Business.
If your business has more than one location then it is a good idea to have location pages on your website, this way customers can find the specific location that is best suited for them. We recommend that the pages have the following:
- Opening hours
- Name, address and phone number
- Unique descriptions for each location
- Parking availability
- Google maps for each location
However, if you only have one location, then you don’t need to make a specific location page, but you should just create an About Us page that focuses on relevant information about your company as well as local, so mentioning where your store is located and how you can get there.
This is something we talk about a lot at eComOne, keywords!!! Keyword research is one of the first things you need to do within a SEO strategy, whether it’s local or national. Essentially, people are searching for specific terms, so you need to make sure you have those terms on your website. Think about what you would search for if you were trying to find your business and then find related keywords with a reasonable search volume. It’s good to have primary and secondary keywords as this gives you more opportunity to rank.
Once you have decided on what keywords you are going to use, you need to add them to your website. We recommend that you have the keyword in your meta title as this is what will appear on search results and also throughout the content on your pages, specifically in the H1 and the start of the content. Make sure you don’t add the same keyword too many times though as Google can then read this as spam.
Local PR comes a lot further down the strategy but it is still so important. It is all about building brand awareness and creating relationships giving you the perfect opportunity to share positive updates about your business, whether this is a new recruit or a new product.
Backlinks are still one of the biggest influencers of the Google ranking algorithm, which is why we highly recommend gaining presence on high level authority sites which can be easy to do through local PR.
Of course, there is always more you can do with your SEO strategy, but hopefully the above have given you some key takeaways and bits that you can work on. If you would like to know any more about local SEO then please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on LinkedIn.
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