Year 2020 has been a roller-coaster and quite challenging for almost every aspect of our lives. With the ongoing prevailing health crisis triggered by the pandemic, we have witnessed a significant shift in the consumer’s behavior from traditional ways of purchasing commodities and services to an increased online shopping. With this shift, comes the importance of the local exposure on the internet for business, hotels, online delivery services businesses and other Small and Medium Level Enterprise (SEMs).
Local exposure, mostly for small services related businesses, has become the cornerstone for reaching out to online consumers and expanding their business footprints. Search engine optimization and digital marketing professionals from Houston Technologies refer to local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy that helps improve the visibility of a business to local audiences and eventually ramp up the organic web traffic to an e-commerce store.
It requires a holistic targeted marketing approach that we will be laying out step by step and how to go about it in this blog. So roll up your sleeves and be with us as we take you one step further and make you fully understand these effective local SEO Strategies.
Why is Local SEO Significant?
Local search makes small businesses powerful. Studies reveal that more than 46% of all Google queries are made about retrieving local information, which symbolizes the importance of local SEO. Whether it is about looking for a barbershop in town, or best cuisines near you, people just revert to Google Search Bar and type in their queries to find nearby services providers.
No doubt, if your online business is not fully optimized for local intent of the customers, your business will not likely have customers coming up. In this guidebook, you will come across few proven local SEO strategies that could be very detrimental for the growth and visibility of your ecommerce businesses on the search engine network.
Strategy No 1| Invest Carefully into Local Search Intent
Local intent in SEO jargons refers to the types of phrases or keywords people come to type in while searching for a product, a service or information they presumably want to consume. When it comes to local intent, online consumers use a variety of terms that best describe their intentions. The intent of a visitor may be to make a purchase online or seeking some information about any brand, reading news or checking how the weather looks like today.
Typically, consumer’s intents are categorized based on certain suffixes and prefixes that determine a visitor’s intention of search. Typically, people who come in to the search bar are coming with a variety of intents, such as
- Informational Intent
Lots of visitors on the internet come with informational intent, searching for some information they like to know and read about. It could be information about educating children, weather forecasts or reading news. Visitors with informational intent usually have specific quarries that often begin with words “what, why, and where”.
- Navigational Search Intent
Navigational query refers to the internet search of a visitor with the intent to find a specific webpage or a website. For instance, the search “Facebook” or “Apple” is navigational intent as the visitor’s intent here to access Facebook or Apple directly by the brand names, rather than typing the URLs. People landing on a site with a navigational query are also referred to as the direct web traffic.
- Commercial Search Intent
People with commercial intentions are often the ones who are likely to buy in the near future and come to the web to do their research. For instance, what refrigerator would be best? Which SEO extension/plugin is the most preferred? Also referred to as commercial investigating intents in which people need time to gather up information before making a purchase decision.
- Transactional Search Intent
Transactional intent is a search query that indicates the intention of a visitor to make a transaction, like purchasing a product or service. Keywords that signal a transactional intent often begin with words like, “cheap, affordable, discounts, and online shopping”. Businesses of ecommerce nature are heavily investing into transactional intents and developing a content marketing strategy that incorporate these money keywords for better search engine optimization. Many eCommerce businesses today install plugins like Wish List where people show their interests for products and add them up to the Wish List for later purchase.
Strategy No 2| List Your Business on Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business (GMB) has been quite the buzzword around the digital marketers and search optimization professionals. And it should be that way, because no business owner can deny the effectiveness of having Google My Business listing done for their online business. Whether you have a small coffee shop around the corner, or running a giant ecommerce business, listing on Google My Business helps people find your physical store and drive in.
Listing on the GMB is one part of the process. You have to push it up to make it appear in the top 3 results of GMB listings. No 1 would be a box of cherries as Click Through Rate (CTR) study reveals that more than 60% of visitors hit the first result. There may be your other competitors, competing to place their businesses in either position of the top 3 visible listings. The next strategy will enable you to learn how to beat your competitors and push up your business.
Strategy No 3| Create Local Listings, Directory Submissions and Business Citations
In the overall link building in SEO, creating local listings and business citations is an all-time relevant method. It helps pass on signals to the search engine and brings it under the GMB radar.
While creating local citations and business profiles, it is important to be consistent with Name, Address and Phone (NAP). Your business name must be as it is written in the GMB listings, as well as the address and phone number where it is required in directories submissions.
Strategy No 5| Collect Authentic Reviews on GMB Profile
As always, reviews play an enormous role in the reputation management for every ecommerce business. The more good reviews you can get, more and more people see your business as reliable and credible. Similarly, it’s a major factor for pushing your business up to the top of the GMB listings. Search engines take it as a major ranking factor when your business gets a good amount of authentic reviews from your customers.
5. Strategy No 6| Make Your Brand’s Voice Heard with Localized Content
As part of the content marketing strategy, regular publication about your products and services has an enormous impact on making your business visible to your target audience. With a robust marketing method, your website gains authority and at the same time propagates brand awareness. Write down guest posts for authority sites to acquire credible backlinks. As your ecommerce website gets healthy with more and more contextual links pointing to your site, the better it becomes visible on the search engine result page.
While doing content marketing, make sure to publish your content on websites that have some relevance to your business. As Google prefers and encourages a great user-experience delivery, make sure your article has to be where it belongs. For instance, a visitor looking for a nearby SEO Services Company will not likely go to a Fashion or Lifestyle blog. Thus, relevancy coupled with creating an engaging content that speaks to the consumer’s minds has a long lasting impact on marketing your business in the ever growing digital landscape of businesses.
How do I optimize my e-commerce website for conversion?
Optimizing an e-commerce website for conversion is critical for the success of an online business. There are several tactics that can be employed to ensure that your website is optimized for conversions. First, ensure that your website design is user-friendly and responsive. A user-friendly design will make it easy for visitors to navigate through your site and find the products they are looking for. A responsive design will ensure that your website is optimized for all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Thirdly, provide clear and concise product descriptions, high-quality images, and customer reviews. These elements will provide visitors with the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions.
Lastly, make the checkout process as easy and seamless as possible. A complicated checkout process can lead to cart abandonment and low conversion rates. Ensure that the checkout process is easy to navigate and includes multiple payment options to cater to the needs of all customers.
With the growing online consumerism, improving visibility for local audiences is not a deniable option in order to increase sales, conversions and leads. Thus it’s imperative that there is a well-thought out digital marketing strategy or a set of strategies that result in better marketing on the search engine network.
It all begins with finding the local intent through a robust keywords research and incorporating the money keywords into on and off page content. Additionally, it requires capitalizing on many other resources available, such as listing on Google My Business, creating local business profiles, engaging in forums and consistently propagating word about your business on the web.
Muhammad Irshad is a digital marketer and content developer by profession. He represents FME Extensions – a leading IT conglomerate and Web Development Company in Dubai, UAE. Mr. Irshad is an avid reader and passionate writer, contributing guest posts and blog posts about web development and design, branding, digital marketing and search engine optimization.