As the owner of a retail store, you know that you need as much traffic as possible. Customers are the reason you are in business. However, they need to know you exist. Sure advertising in the media is one way. But, building an informative website is another. Most people are searching for places using their phones. They use their phones for directions and are always looking for things near them. If you have a store near them, you will not only want to come up in the search engines but you’ll want to come up in the maps for your physical location.
Have you ever thought about expanding your reach by putting your inventory into the internet? Now is a great time to take your retail store location online. You not only can reach those that are in your area but around the world. It is a great option for many stores and gives them another stream of income. This will allow you to not only tell your clients about you and what you stand for but also shop.
The SEO for eCommerce and local SEO are very similar and yet a bit different. It will be easier to rank your site locally then once you’ve secured some rankings, move onto national SEO. Take your business from being a small store local to your area to something everyone could enjoy.
Get listed in Google Maps!
Getting your store set up with a Google My Business listing will help you show up in the local map searches. People look at places in Google maps as they have authority in their area. However, it really is simply from having great SEO for the map’s region.
When you are looking to do local SEO for retail stores, you need to first fill out your website with proper On Page. This is SEO things that are done on your site such as:
- Proper content
- Proper structure
- Image optimization
- Schema and other technical things such as sitemap.
- Internal and external linking
Once this is complete, you should have a great website to start working with the off-page SEO. For a local company, many SEOs start with the foundation links. These are citations, bookmarking sites, social profiles, and web 2.0s. They are all filled out properly. The social profiles are filled out with your logo and filled in with a nice paragraph. Starting there will give you the links to your social profiles. By sharing these links on your 2.0s and other things that you set up, a web will start to form around your brand and what it stands for.
Develop Citations & Create Social Profiles
Manually submit your website to the top online directories. These online directories are called “citations”. Citations should include links to your social profiles too. It is also important that they contain your Name, Address, and Phone number exactly the same each and every time. That is very important. If your retail store is on the first street. Then you cannot call it 1st street. This confuses the search engines and can cause issues with them relating that sites directory to your website.
When building out your web 2.0 links for your e-commerce SEO or local SEO for retail stores, you need to fill them out completely. Pick a theme, put in the proper name, structure it properly. Most people don’t take this extra step. However, do what most people don’t do, to be better than them. These little extras will really pay off over time.
Your web 2.0 blogs should be used to build up your brand’s authority. They should be kept up whether it is through you working on them or through syndication. They should be manually checked on from time to time and adjusted as needed.
Add Location Pages
Local SEO for retail stores and e-commerce have very similar steps. Local shops will most likely rank easier than retail shops that are not close to the searcher. If your On-page is done correctly, it will also have location pages. These are different for most SEOs but the point of them is to state the locations that you are interested in ranking. Some SEOs like to have the location + keyword while others like to speak of the locations and what can be found around that particular town and then link out to the authority site for that city. Either way, an external link out to something that is important to that particular city helps build trust with the search engines.
SEO for retail stores is not a fast experience. As you work on the various steps you should stop between each stage and give the search engines time to catch up. Things done on-page will only take a few days, for the most part. However, anything that you do off-page typically takes a bit longer. Track your rankings and be sure that you are seeing positive upswings over a board period of time.
Don’t follow your rankings too closely
It is not recommended that you track your rankings daily. Google rankings fluctuate as it tries to figure out where to put you is a real thing and can be hard to watch. You should check in about once a month or once every 2 weeks. This should give you a good gauge if things are working or not.
Because SEO is not a fast-paced thing, it is something that is an investment and will take time. However, while you are waiting for the SEO to actually kick in and start making strides, you can run paid advertising. You can put your products into Google shopping, at the moment, for free, which is another great form of advertising.
Many shops have taken advantage of plugins that will take your inventory and spread it across other shopping platforms. Be sure you take advantage of that as well as social media marketing, which is much faster results than SEO. Pinterest for example is a really good platform that you should be posting on regularly.
Social Media Marketing
Pinterest is an e-commerce owner’s best friend. It is a wonderful way to advertise for free. This can help with your SEO as well. As you pin, it will give you a backlink back to your site. However, if you join group boards and pin often is also a great way of advertising, even if your SEO is doing well or not.
Local SEO Is A Must
Local SEO for retail stores is a wonderful way of letting those around you know that your store is close by and offers all of the products your ideal customer is looking for. It also allows you to spread out and become an e-commerce store at the same time. This is a great way to take advantage of being online. After all, people are turning to online shopping more and more. People don’t always take to the local stores due to being busy and simply having better things to do. Don’t lose those sales because you are not online.
When going online, you need to take into account how you want to present yourself. Your branding online and off should be consistent. If you have an older logo, perhaps you need to think about upgrading. Gone on the days that you open up a shop and start selling. Now, you need to have a good flowing website that captures the attention of users. Websites should have plenty of content that tells the search engines what your web store carries and is about. If you have weekly specials or want to communicate with your visitors, you need to gather their emails in some fashion. Many people offer this as a pop-up or in check out.
Check out our post on Google’s New Local 3-pack.
Lots of decisions to make when moving online
These little things may seem like nothing. But, there are many micro-decisions to make when designing a website. All of these things you need to take into consideration as well as what platform you want to use. There are many shopping cart platforms out there that are simple for most business owners to set up on their own. However, there are costs involved with that. Or you could go with a Woocommerce shopping cart system on a WordPress site, of which, might be a little more complicated to set up, but there are no monthly fees once you own it. Not only that, but they also cannot shut you down for some unknown reason.
WordPress gives you the freedom to sell whatever you’d like at whatever cost. Some of the other platforms have censoring and monitoring that will shut down things that they don’t agree with. This isn’t a problem if you are running something pretty traditional. However, it can be a problem if you are selling something completely legal but in the gray area of what people agree or disagree with. Things such as CBD oils or something of that nature can cause issues with platforms. You don’t own the platform that your website is built on when you go with something other than WordPress. However, many choose those shopping cart systems as they are easy to set up and run. They are also okay with e-commerce SEO.
Working on your local retailer’s SEO and running the e-commerce SEO at the same time is beneficial to both! Your local shop was your first love, however, changes to the business landscape have been coming for years and perhaps it is time to expand your horizons and take a look at moving to online and local retail as an option.
Need some help dipping your toes into the swirling, whirling world of Local SEO for the first time? We can help! Contact 1st on the List today by calling 1-888-262-6687 or email us at [email protected].