Ronak Kothari is the founder of RONKOT, a full-service digital marketing agency.
Small eCommerce retailers often struggle to establish their presence in local areas. They either aren’t aware of the importance of the local business presence or don’t have the necessary knowledge or resources to get started.
Even if they do, they’d end up competing with eCommerce biggies like Amazon and Walmart, who rule the eCommerce sphere. Though there’s cutthroat competition, local retail business owners can benefit from the “Buy Local” movement, which is gaining momentum.
A report by Accenture highlights this shift in consumer behavior as 56% of them buy locally, mindfully, and cost-consciously. This presents an opportunity for retailers to adapt to these consumer demands and capture the market.
But achieving such a feat is not going to be a cakewalk without proper planning and expert-level eCommerce SEO knowledge. In this article, we have presented some useful tips to help you build a local SEO presence to capitalize on.
But before we get into that, let’s understand what local SEO for retailers is & how it differs from traditional SEO:
What is Local SEO for Retailers & How it Differs from Traditional SEO?
Traditional SEO is an approach more suitable for retailers who want to build a presence on a global scale. It helps you reach users in every corner of the world, as long as they are searching for your products.
Local SEO, on the other hand, is an approach to targeting and serving local consumers who live in a particular city or country. Local SEO for retailers helps attract the right consumers by using location-specific keywords and phrases that meet the local search intent.
With traditional SEO, eCommerce retailers can connect with their target audience globally while local SEO helps capture the regional territory. Both approaches embody some similar strategies, however, local SEO for retail businesses requires some specialized measures to connect with audiences in local areas.
In many cases, you may even have to take help from local SEO professionals or SEO service providers.
Why does SEO for Retailers Matter?
Building local SEO presence is necessary for brands that don’t have the current capacity to reach users on the global level. Online or brick-and-mortar retailers in the initial stage of growing their business are more concerned with getting as many local conversions as possible.
Moreover, users today prefer to buy local produce or find retailers nearby rather than buying from eCommerce biggies. The Brightlocal Survey can prove the same. It says that 81% of consumers used Google, 53% used Yelp, and 48% used Facebook in 2021 to evaluate and find local business information.
Apart from users finding your local retail business, SEO for eCommerce offers several advantages as listed below:
- High Google ranking for local search terms
- Enhanced visibility in locally served areas
- Increase in number of visits with strong potential to win customers
- Improved awareness of your local business
8 Essential Local SEO Tips for Retailers to Win Customers Over
Now that we have learned what local SEO for retailers is and why it matter so much, let’s get to know some tips that can benefit your business:
1. Optimizing Your Website for Local Search Criteria
Retail or eCommerce website optimization essentially involves on-page optimization. It’s often similar to the traditional SEO but the only difference is that local on-page optimization involves heavy usage of location-specific data.
Here’s how retailers can optimize their website for local on-page optimization:
- The first and foremost criterion is to build a retailer website with the help of an expert web design team.
- Localize your web pages by including local area names
- Include primary keywords in your H1, H2, …, URL, and other places naturally
- Optimize ALT tags of your images with target keywords
- Avoid writing thin content
- Create meta descriptions considering users and your business location
- Insert Google Map at the footer of your website with your business location address
- Use location-specific terms throughout the content body appropriately and naturally
2. Research Keywords for Improved Local Visibility
As seen above, website optimization heavily relies on location-specific keywords. Keyword research is crucial as it helps establish your retail brand’s relevancy with search terms visitors use to find your products or business.
Ideally, you want to use keywords with high search volume and low competition. However, such terms always tend to have high-ranking difficulty, which is why you should find solace in long-tail keywords with low competition and difficulty.
You can even brainstorm keyword ideas that are relevant to your retail business. Follow the below structure when you brainstorm for keyword ideas:
- Brand name + location
- Product name + location
- Category name + location
Here are some location-specific keyword examples:
- Blender shop near Downtown Dallas
- Pet supplies in Montrose, Houston
- House cleaning supplies near North Dallas
- Dining table/Furniture store near me
Tools to get you started with your keyword research journey:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Ahrefs Keyword Generation
- Google Trends
- Answer the Public
3. Utilize Google Tools for Local Search Visibility
Google does all in its power to help small business owners to build some sort of online presence. For the same, it offers a free Google Business Profile Tool to list your business information and services to rank in the local 3-pack. Here’s how the local pack looks:
Here are a few tips to utilize the GBP tool to your advantage:
- Add or claim your retailer GBP listing through Google Maps or Search function from Android or desktop
- Select and set a primary category to rank and appear in the specific search results
- Add correct and accurate Name, Address, and Phone Number
- Mention necessary information like website link, open hours, images, product categories, and others
- Get as many reviews on your GBP as possible & reply to maximum reviews
- Also, handle the negative reviews people have left on your profile
4. Create Share-Worthy Local Content
According to Semrush statistics, 66% of people research before making a purchase decision. Usually, their research starts by reading and engaging with blogs, articles, and video content brands have created.
Localized content marketing is a surefire way to be on the radar of your target audience and satisfy their needs. Further, it’s imperative for your eCommerce SEO strategy to generate share-worthy content that gets backlinks.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Create locally-focused content, blogs, and articles that answer common queries of your target audience
- Be informative and include important keywords that help you rank for local searches
- For instance, if you are selling pet supplies, some ideas to get started on are,
- X Food & Nutrition Tips for Your Pet
- X Ways to Groom Your Dog/Cat
- New Pet Buying Checklist and Tips
- Create unique and high-quality content for each of your retail product category pages
- Write blogs to offer advice, tips, and how-to content that is relevant to your retail niche
5. Optimize for Technical SEO & Structured Data
Technical SEO and structured data also play a vital role in improving local SEO for retailers. While structured data helps search engine bots better understand your pages and content, technical SEO ensures nothing is out of place that can hinder your eCommerce SEO rankings.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- Add schema markups to your product pages for Google to display detailed and rich results
- Adding schemas like product price, shipping details, price drop, pros and cons, and others help users to make better decisions
- Perform technical SEO audits to find bottlenecks for your retail eCommerce SEO
- Find any broken links and remove them or replace them
- Remove thin or duplicate content
- Verify and update your sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console
- Resolve crawl errors like 404: page not found
6. Incorporate Local Link Building Strategy
Backlinks are a core part of a local SEO strategy, and it’s not as difficult as it might seem. Acquiring quality and authoritative links starts with creating content that solves users’ problems and compels other businesses to share or link back.
However, getting links from anywhere won’t cut it for your retail business. Local backlinks and citations have to be relevant and from authoritative sources. You need a robust link-building strategy to get links from regional media houses, directories, or authority websites to enhance your local visibility.
Let’s see how you can get more backlinks for your local retail business:
- Generate fresh, high-quality content that sites would find helpful for their users and would consider linking back.
- Reach out to publishers and authoritative bloggers for guest post opportunities and acquire a link in return
- Find sites that mention your brand name and request them to insert a link to your site
- Become a sponsor of an event or show goodwill in your local community that mutually benefits each other
- Get citations from Yelp, Yellowpages, Foursquare, Facebook, and other local business listing directories
7. Improve Mobile & Page Experience
As per Global Statcounter, mobile devices hold close to 60% market share, while the same for desktops is around 38%. This makes mobile device optimization a crucial part of your eCommerce SEO strategy.
Moreover, providing them with out-of-the-world page experience has also gained some merits thanks to Google’s Page Experience update. This update includes several factors that now affect retail SEO rankings.
Here are some tips to help you improve your mobile & page experience:
- Optimize your eCommerce retail website for Core Web Vitals
- Improve the page load speed, content stability, and page responsiveness
- Use mobile-responsive templates and themes for increased mobile-friendliness
- Improve website navigation
- Boost website security with a secure HTTPS connection
- Limit the usage of large screen blocking popups
8. Get More Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Customer reviews and testimonials help search engines to gauge the level of your retail business’s service and quality. Moreover, according to the same Brightlocal Survey mentioned above, 77% of consumers always or regularly read online reviews.
Thus, reviews are one of the vital aspects from both search engines and users’ perspectives to improve local retail SEO.
Here are some tips to get more reviews to boost your local SEO rankings:
- Offer impeccable customer experience that compels users to leave a review
- Improve your product and service offering to charm your customers
- Send a review request to your customers after a successful purchase
- Offer some incentive in return for customers leaving reviews
Need Experts in Local SEO for Retailers?
SEO for eCommerce retailers is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort from your end. Retailers adorned with the tips mentioned above can see steady growth in their eCommerce SEO and organic traffic over a course of the period.
However, doing so alone can sometimes be overwhelming since you would be taking care of your business. Thus, handing the local retail SEO to an expert like Ronkot will be a wise decision. We have a vast team with ironclad proficiency to help your small retail business improve its local presence.
Get in touch with us to consult our team of SEO professionals for all your local retail SEO requirements and get a complimentary hot beverage from us.