Businesses have a lot to gain from a robust search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. While paid ads or social media campaigns would certainly generate buzz around your products and services, it is SEO that generates the highest ROI consistently. Local SEO for eCommerce businesses is an all-time high priority nowadays.
Your market is actively looking. According to BrightEdge, a search engine is where 68% of all online experiences start. Thus, it is only a matter of attaining a position that gets you seen. In SEO terms, this is equivalent to ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs). The right SEO and content marketing strategies will help you achieve just that.
Why consider SEO for your online business? SEO requires minimal time, effort, and cost, unlike other marketing strategies, but delivers remarkable results. Once you unlock both the technical and creative necessities of ranking, SEO will give your business lasting value, more conversions, and opportunities to scale further in the future.
Local SEO For E-commerce
One component of SEO that has huge potential is local SEO. According to HubSpot, 46% of searches on Google are local. Local SEO is a strategy suitable for brick-and-mortar businesses, those with multiple locations, or companies that cater to a particular area.
Local SEO is primarily targeted. It deals with practices to optimize your site so that it ranks higher in local searches, making your business more visible and bringing qualified customers straight to you.
It may seem like e-commerce businesses shouldn’t be concerned with local SEO—after all, the very nature of e-commerce is a far and wide reach beyond the boundaries of geography. But even if your enterprise doesn’t operate with a physical store or doesn’t strictly offer services to nearby locations, you’ll find that your online business can still greatly benefit from local SEO.
Ultimately, local SEO will promote your business to a focused geographic area, bringing your brand more awareness and driving higher sales. Here’s the ultimate guide to a winning local SEO strategy for your e-commerce business.
Strengthen Your Keyword Planning
Keywords are the foundation of an SEO strategy. Users conduct searches with local intent, then find the most relevant results in their area. Thus, geo-targeted keywords would be most effective in drawing local audiences to your site.
Start with a simple formula that includes your product or service and location, e.g., “car rental in Alberta, Canada.” You can also have information like zip codes, town, city, county, states, or country, as well as phrases like “near me.”
Tools like Google Keyword Planner give you further insight. For instance, you can check the particular search volume for the keywords you’ve researched. These keywords can be used to optimize your content organically, but they can also be added to your site and marketing copy.
Optimize Your Name And Value Proposition
Once you’ve done the keyword research, fit your keywords into key places that your prospects might see right away on the SERPs, such as title tags and meta descriptions.
Along with your value proposition, which is a statement that summarizes your business offerings, these are crucial optimization areas that can make or break whether your business appears in a local search. The goal is to frame these areas in a way that gets your prospect to click.
Set Up Your Google Pages
While creating Google pages—My Business and Places—boosts your business’ standing in local SEO, it also (and more importantly) offers potential customers more ways to connect with you.
A Google My Business page is a business profile that you can claim and optimize but must first get verified for. Once verified, include all relevant business information, such as an address, operating hours, description of your services and products, and a link to your site. You can even create posts and engage with reviews. You can also set up a Google Places listing for your business.
Having all these in place helps you show up in more local searches. It also aids some businesses to qualify in Google’s local pack—the top three businesses that come up for any queries with local intent.
Create Localized Content
Your website’s content plays a vital role in search engine algorithms. The intent of content marketing is to attract and retain your preferred clientele. Localized content is a way to reach users by capitalizing on an understanding of their culture. For instance, you might want to consider translating your content to serve more culture-specific experiences. You can also build content around local events or news stories.
Take Advantage Of Directories And Local Citations
Directories provide opportunities for authoritative sites to link back to your website. When you appear on business directories, it builds trust among potential customers.
Citations signal search engines like Google to recognize your business as legitimate. If your NAP (name, address, phone number) details are consistent as Google crawls the internet, it learns that you’re a trustworthy business. Therefore, the more you are cited in other sources—and the more consistently—the better.
Reviews published by local customers will help you dominate local searches simply because it is a signal of trust. After all, 79% of consumers rely on online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
While you would want to aim for happy customers all the time, you’ll likely gain a few bad reviews over time. It’s crucial not to hide these bad reviews but rather address them and mobilize positive ones for a more holistic view of your business. Consider a call-to-action on your website encouraging customers to leave reviews for you on Google and other review sites.
Add A Sitemap
An XML sitemap is handy for large or new websites with few external links, but any website can benefit from it. It lists your most important pages to ensure that Google can crawl them. You can check out this WordPress plug-in or try various other online tools to generate your site’s XML sitemap.
According to Google, 76% of people conducting a local search on a mobile device tend to visit the physical store in less than 24 hours, 28% of which end up in a purchase. Thus, the impact of being optimized for mobile devices cannot be overlooked.
An intuitive and responsive user design on mobile devices leads to positive user experiences. Additionally, Google’s mobile-first indexing, which uses a site’s mobile index for ranking instead of the desktop version, is another consideration for optimizing your site for phones or tablets.
Don’t Lose Sight Of The Basics
Finally, ensure that you’re keeping the traditional SEO tenet of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) at the heart of your strategy. Optimizations are bound to deliver results, but reliable and valuable consumer experiences around your brand are sure to boost your visibility.
Making It Big, Locally
The key to acing local SEO for your e-commerce business lies in providing consistent, trustworthy, and valuable customer experiences—and making sure your website reflects it. Keep these tips handy and optimize your site, and you’ll be dominating local search in no time.
Keely is an Online PR Strategist at Spiralytics, a full-service agency that specializes in marketing. She is a young, energetic professional who enhances her company’s voice and presence through online channels. She can combine creative thinking with performance analytics that drives traffic and awareness across various industry verticals.
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