You may be thinking, Local SEO doesn’t apply to me. I am a national online business shipping all around the UK, USA and the rest of the world. But, you would be mistaken. What really adds salt to the wound is that you could be missing out on making some decent cash.
Local SEO helps all eCommerce businesses increase their sales, that’s the bottom line. Appearing for “Near me” searches and having a local presence will benefit your company massively.
By the end of this blog, you will understand the true power of Local SEO for your business and leave with actionable tactics to go and implement straight away.
But first, let’s really nail the meaning of Local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO stands for Local Search Engine Optimisation. It is the practice of optimising your website to appear for local searches on Google.
It will help your business stand out in the Local/Map Pack to help customers find you easier.
As you can see above, as a shopper I can see which physical stores are near me that stock outdoor clothing, their reviews, opening times, location and contact information without clicking anywhere.
But, it only shows the top three on Google until you click more places. So optimising your website will increase your chances of appearing in the top 3 spots.
It makes everything easy for the customer. And you know it, humans want everything easier and quicker than ever before (thank you technology!). We are a bit of a lazy bunch.
So, it is extremely powerful for eCommerce businesses who have physical stores. However, it is still important for sole online businesses to optimise for local keywords.
As you can see below, these online websites appear on page one of Google when I type in outdoor clothing near me. Neither businesses have a store in my direct local area.
The closest GoOutdoors to me is 16 miles away. I certainly would not be walking there. But, after viewing the products online and seeing the perfect tent, I (the customer) would see the value in taking the short journey to their store.
Cotswold Outdoor is just short of 50 miles away from my current location, but I had never heard their business before that search. Therefore, their appearance on Google has increased their brand awareness and tickled my curiosity bone to investigate if their products are what I am looking for.
What are the benefits of Local SEO?
Local SEO helps businesses reach customers when they are near them or searching for a specific location. It serves both businesses with physical stores and ones who service specific areas, e.g. a fashion business who delivers around Lincoln.
Four reasons to implement Local SEO on your website
1. Accelerate your Organic Traffic
With the surge of voice-enabling technology (phone, watch, Alexa), the rise in near me searches is too high to ignore.
Source: Google Trends, 2022
Therefore, with an increase in searches on Google, it is a no brainer that optimising for these keywords will improve your organic traffic.
Everyone knows that an increase in visibility for the right keywords = increase in high-quality traffic = increase in sales. That is the beauty of Search Engine Optimisation. It takes time and patience, but it’s worth it when you start seeing results.
Localised keywords have less competition than national keywords. Therefore, you are more likely to rank higher up on Search Engines, further accelerating your organic traffic.
2. Boost sales
As mentioned above, your website’s organic traffic will skyrocket due to appearing for relevant localised keywords.
But, you have to make sure that the keywords are hyper relevant to your business. If you are seeing an increase in traffic with no impact on conversions/sales, your website could be appearing for the wrong search terms.
Since COVID-19, people have made that extra effort to shop locally and support the cities and towns where they live to keep good people in jobs. If your physical location is popping up when they want to find a car dealership or buy some freshly made fudge, you are on to a winner.
3. Increase footfall in your stores (if you have any!) – aka omnichannel experience
You may have heard everyone and their aunts banging on about the word omnichannel over the past few years. It is a fancy business word for creating meaningful, relevant and enjoyable experiences online and offline for your customers.
Let’s set the scene.
Someone visits your website, you then remarket to them with relevant Social Ads of the products they clicked on, but it’s a week before payday, so they don’t purchase.
They are out shopping, looking for some outdoor furniture for the Summer (we can dream). They search for outdoor furniture near me and you pop up. They remember the Ad they saw previously, so they input your location on Maps and head on over.
In the store, your retail staff are trained and top tier. They find the item the customer wants, signing them up to your loyalty scheme with their email address. You have a happy customer and a sale, win win.
Someone visits your website from a specific search term, “clothing in Lincoln”, but doesn’t buy. A day later, you then remarket to them with relevant Social Ads of the products they clicked on, but it’s a week before payday, so they don’t purchase.
A week later they see an Insta Reel of your products when looking through Lincoln localised content and they click through the link to the page that hosts the product. You also show them relevant products, increasing their AOV. You offer a quick and easy checkout process, get them to sign up to your loyalty scheme and bob’s your uncle, another sale!
4. Build brand awareness
Getting your website to appear for local searches will increase your brand awareness as new customers will find you this way.
Four Local SEO Tips to Action Immediately
1. Google My Business Listing
Do you create and manage your Google My Business listing? Even if you have no physical store, it is worth doing.
If you have physical stores, we recommend having a Google My Business listing for every single one of your locations.
As you can see above, FatFace’s GMB listing is heavily optimised for local searches. It has reviews, updated opening hours, questions and answers, their address and what they are about.
One of the best things about a Google My Business listing is the opening hours. Nobody wants a wasted trip. So, make sure they stay updated for a good customer experience.
No click needed to find out all the information you need to go into their store.
If you don’t have any physical stores, put your HQ as your address.
Your customers can see your reviews which improves your social proof. They can also easily grab contact information if needed, instead of spending time crawling the internet to find a contact number.
2. Google Reviews
As mentioned above, your Google reviews are SO powerful for your business. If you are rated 1* with 1 review on Google, human psychology automatically goes, it’s a scam. And, in all honesty in the world of online fraudsters, we have to think that way.
So, incentivise your customers to leave you a review. Give them a discount. A free item. Or just ask them nicely.
Did I mention that reviews impact your visibility on Google? I should have probably done that.
3. Local PR
Even if you ship all around the world, getting mentioned in local publications can impact your sales. It will allow you to build relationships and be known in that geological area. Is there a story you can tell?
Is your HQ in a location for a specific reason? Tell us why!
4. Localised Content
Once you have decided which keywords you want your website to appear for, create a content strategy.
We recommend splitting your content into pillars and clusters.
Pillar = topic
Cluster = subtopic
So, in this instance your Pillar could be, “Local demographic area”, for example, Cornwall.
Your clusters could then be: Beaches in Cornwall, Things to do in Cornwall, History of Cornwall etc.
You will then increase the likelihood of appearing for local searches. Engaging your customers in a non-salesy way is a great tactic for building long standing relationships, taking a customer from a one time buyer to a complete advocate!
If you are struggling to find time to implement a proven SEO strategy, book a chat with our superstar team today.