Selling goods online can be an excellent source of income. However, in order to succeed in the retail industry, you need to stand out from the competition and in turn attract paying customers.
Fortunately, there are several ways to attract potential customers to your store. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most effective. Moreover, if your company covers a specific area, you should implement local SEO. This is an online strategy that can level the playing field when you are competing against well-known brands and companies.
Here is a list of local SEO strategies you can use for your online store.
1. Include a voice search option on your retail site
Voice search has become a popular SEO tool. Many searchers use long-tail keywords, making them suitable for voice searches. In your voice optimisation, you need to determine the user’s intent so you can provide them with the required information.
2. Create relevant site content that will interest your customers
Content has always been a crucial aspect of web design since it is usually the primary reason why people will visit a particular store. It is unlikely that Google will even rank a website with no content.
For this reason, it is imperative that you create and post content that will spark the interest of your audience and in turn enable you to rank highly in the search results. With local SEO, you can use:
- Blogs and articles that feature activities and events
- Videos that focus on activities or charities that you support
- Multiple pages with unique articles for each location you serve
For instance, if your online store serves areas A, B and C, you should create a unique page for each location by including local news and events. In fact, you can make every page location-specific by providing the following information:
- Business name
- Physical address (if applicable)
- Contact details, such as telephone number and email address
- Operating hours
- Clear directions for every location (remember to use Google Maps)
- Feedback and reviews
- Discounts, special offers and other essential information
3. Make your site mobile-friendly
As people are increasingly using their mobile devices to conduct searches, Google prefers to rank mobile-friendly sites. If you want your online retail store to have a competitive edge, it will need to look good on any device. In order to ensure your site is mobile-friendly, it should:
- Load within three seconds
- Not include too many pictures or videos (as this will affect the loading time)
Remember to remove any unnecessary content and ensure the user interface (UI) is intuitive while providing a pleasant user experience (UX).
4. Create a GMB account for your online store
With a Google My Business profile, you can incorporate all the essential details needed to rank highly on the search engine results pages. You can also provide valuable insights to your customers and increase your sales and profit margins.
GMB is useful because it allows you to:
- Provide information that customers need
- Manage your online reviews
- Engage your leads and customers
- Collect and use photos and videos shared by your customers
- Obtain customer insights
You should optimise your GMB further by providing comprehensive and up-to-date information, including:
- Store name
- Contact details
- A website or social media page (such as Facebook)
- Accurate product descriptions
5. Add local keywords to your retail products and site content
According to Springhill Marketing, keyword research will enable you to identify the search terms used by potential customers looking for your products. As a result, you will be able to identify suitable words and phrases that will lead people to your site. When you conduct your keyword research, make sure you take account of the following factors:
- The products you offer
- Your target market and customers
- The optimum time for your customers to make a purchase
- How people search for your products online
- The reasons why users buy your products
Tools such as Google Keyword Planner can help you identify search terms to engage local leads and customers. Once you have found the keywords, you should incorporate them in your site content and URL.
6. List your retail store in reputable online directories
You should take advantage of free advertisements, including online listings. They will provide you with increased visibility. However, make sure you only use reputable sites and include all the relevant information, such as your address, contact details and business description.
7. Create a separate page for every product
Although it may be easier to list all your products on a single page, this approach can hamper your local SEO plans.
Google tends to prefer sites that are perceived as offering expertise in their particular field. By placing your products on separate pages, you can generate more online traffic and increase your sales.
Even with a single product, you can create several pages based on the areas your business covers. For example, if you sell scented candles nationwide, you should create a page for “scented candles for sale in London”, one for “scented candles for sale in Manchester” and so on and so forth.
As an online store owner, you need to utilise digital marketing to boost your sales. When applied correctly, SEO, specifically local SEO, will enable you to generate more online traffic, resulting in increased sales and profits. In addition, you should consider using local SEO strategies involving GMB listings and online directories. This will also help spread awareness of your brand to potential customers.