Beginner's Guide: Local SEO Strategies For Your Ecommerce Business

Deepak Juneja


What’s the Deal with Local SEO?

Why Should Your eCommerce Business Use Local SEO?

Local SEO Strategies to Get Your eCommerce Business Booming

1. Set Up and Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

2. List Your eCommerce Business in Other Online Directories

3. Target Local Keywords

4. Post Content Related to Your Area

5. Build Local Links

6. Leverage the Power of Online Reviews
Image byMyriam Jessier On Unsplash

So, you’re an eCommerce owner who’s having a tough time getting more people to your online store. Considering that hundreds of other local business owners are vying for the same audience you’re vying for, it might not be that surprising.

This is where local SEO comes to the rescue.

Over the past few years, local SEO has become a necessity for eCommerce businesses that aim to promote their brand online, grow their reach, and boost their sales.

Having a strong online presence is crucial these days. Not having one almost means you don’t exist. Think about it, how will people ever find out about your business if you’re nowhere to be found on search engines?

A solid local SEO plan is what you’ll need to make your website visible to everyone, especially those who are within your area. It’s one of the quickest ways to reach out to your prospects and turn them into buying customers - and there’s no need for you to shell out a big chunk of money at all.

That’s definitely something you wouldn’t wanna miss out on.

In this post, we’ll be discussing what local SEO is, how your eCommerce business can benefit from it, and of course, the most effective local SEO tactics to grow your brand online.

Ready to begin? Let’s do it!

What’s the Deal with Local SEO?

If you already know what SEO is, or at least, you have an idea of how it works, then you’ll notice that local SEO is pretty much just like it. The only difference is, local SEO only focuses on targeting searchers who are within your location. It’s all about producing the best results for a user query.

For example, when you’re at home and you type the keyword “dentist” on Google, you’ll get a list of dental clinics near you. However, say you’re on a vacation in Texas and got one of your teeth chipped from an activity.

You search the exact keyword, but this time, the results you see are completely different. All you see are dental offices within the city of Dallas. That, right there, is local SEO at work.

Why Should Your eCommerce Business Use Local SEO?

With local SEO, you can connect with people nearby who are looking for the products you offer. Applying the right strategies can take your eCommerce website to the front page of search results. And, once you’re out there, that’s when you know, you’ve made it.

If you’re wondering why many small businesses are now relying on local SEO besides the fact that it boosts their chances of getting discovered, here are five other reasons to satisfy your curiosity:

l More Relevant Traffic

A study conducted by Google found that 70% of local searches led to an in-person visit within five miles of the user. It also revealed that “near me” and “where to buy” mobile queries have increased by more than 200% in the past three years.

By targeting local consumers, your eCommerce website gets visits from people who may actually be interested to buy from you.

For instance, if you’ve posted a blog that tackles the different ways to use a specific product but you fail to use local targets, then you’ll be landing hits in all parts of the world. Sure, it may sound great to have this broad reach, but what’s the point if a prospect comes from a place where your products or services are unavailable?

l Increased Sales

With increased traffic comes increased sales.

Showing up as a top dog in your field of expertise will further increase your odds of being the landing spot for the purchase of local customers who are more than ready to buy.

And, guess what? 18% of local searches result in a purchase within 24 hours!

l Build Trust and Authority

People often deem high-ranking sites as 100% trustworthy and reliable. That’s simply because Google says so.

Any website that’s fully optimized for search engines will always get on the good side of Google and other search engines. The more SEO-friendly your eCommerce site is, the higher your chances are of getting a better ranking.

By coveting the top spot, you’ll encourage your audience to trust your business and portray you as a thought leader for your niche. These reasons are good enough to turn them into loyal customers in the long run.

l Establish a Community

As with general SEO, building high-quality backlinks plays a major role in local SEO. It’s another proven strategy to improve your ranking and credibility as an expert in your industry.

What’s more, building backlinks opens the door for mutual working relationships. You can refer these businesses to your customers and they’ll most likely do the same. Everybody wins.

Keep in mind that a brand’s customers, particularly their most loyal ones, will trust their referrals. It makes it even more convenient for them if the businesses being referred are within their geographical area.

l Less Advertising Costs

Gone are the days where businesses would rely on running paid ads to promote themselves. Thanks to the emergence of SEO (and yes, including local SEO), you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the word out about your eCommerce business.

Optimizing your site for local SEO makes it much easier for you to attract potential customers in your area who are searching for products or services that are similar to what you offer.

A good ranking gives you the opportunity to use Google as a free advertising platform for your online business and get more clicks than a paid ad. If the costs of paid ads have always been among your concerns, it looks like you can finally stop worrying.

Local SEO Strategies to Get Your eCommerce Business Booming

Now that you have a clear understanding of why optimizing your eCommerce website for local search is incredibly beneficial for your business, we’re pretty sure you’re excited to learn the basics.

You should know, however, that some local SEO tactics might already be a bit tricky. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to reach out to an agency that specializes in all things SEO. Investing in one might cost you, but believe us, it will be worth every penny.

Anyways, let’s not keep you waiting. Here are six ways to help your online store make its way to the top of search:

1. Set Up and Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

First things first, create a Google My Business (GMB) account - that is, if you still haven’t yet.

Google My Business is an online tool local businesses use for free to manage their listing on Google. Once you sign up, you’ll get your listing to show up both on Google Search and Google Map when users search for your target keywords or business.

Be sure to fill out all the relevant fields and double-check all the provided details for errors. Everything should be accurate on your listing. Also, don’t forget to add some photos and videos. For photo editing, you can use a photo editor like Fotor, and to edit your videos you can use Movavivideo editor.

After setting up your GMB profile, have it verified. You can do this via Postcard by mail, which usually takes up to five business days.

Verifying your eCommerce business is vital for your listing’s performance and visibility. It proves two things to Google: You represent the business you claim and you can manage it well.

Plus, without getting your business verified, you won’t be able to gain access to page insights/analytical information or business reviews from the back end.

In less than a week, expect to receive a verification code postcard from Google. Use it to verify your listing, and just like that, your eCommerce business is officially live.

But wait, you’re not done yet. You gotta optimize your GMB listing so that it’ll get better chances of appearing in more local searches. It might even show up in the Local Pack, or the three local businesses you’ll see on the first page of search results.

Yes, even eCommerce stores or those without any storefronts are eligible to secure a spot. All it takes is using the right tactics.

Here are four things you can do to optimize your Google My Business listing:

l Keep all information relevant. See to it that your listing is able to communicate what your business does, where it’s located (if you have a physical store), and how users can acquire your products or services. Remember, businesses that provide the most accurate and detailed info are always easier to serve in search.

l Use local posts. Posts not only allow you to engage with your audience, but they can also keep your presence fresh on Google.

l Ask your customers to leave reviews. Create a link they can click to write reviews for your eCommerce business. Positive feedback can make a huge difference, as more and more people are now reading reviews before deciding to choose a brand.

l Respond to customer reviews. Of course, we mean both good and bad reviews. Interacting with your customers demonstrates that you value your customers and their opinions - something people find commendable in a business.

2. List Your eCommerce Business in Other Online Directories

Yelp, Bing Places, Apple Maps, Angie’s List, and MapQuest are just some of the major directories you might want to consider listing your business in.

By claiming your listing on any of these platforms, you achieve two things: Boost your local SEO and bring in new customers.

All details in every directory should be consistent with one another. Steer clear of any discrepancies, such as typos, wrong contact numbers, or misspellings. And, always update your information whenever necessary.

If Google fails to identify which details to use due to a couple of inconsistencies, your eCommerce site might not appear in search results.

3. Target Local Keywords

Local keywords are the very foundation of local SEO. That’s enough reason to prioritize keyword research in your local SEO plan.

Your goal here is to look for the most commonly searched terms for your industry. That way, you’ll be easily discovered by people who are actually looking to buy the products or services your eCommerce business offers.

It’s also worth noting that the relevancy of a search term to the page’s content is a significant ranking factor of Google. By researching which keywords have the highest search volume and search intent, you’re giving yourself the reassurance that you’re using the best terms.

If you’re not sure where to begin, these three tips will get you off to a great start:

l Take advantage of industry-related keywords to make it faster for your prospects to find you online. For example, if you sell sports gear and gym equipment, keywords like “fitness eCommerce” or “online store that sells barbells” can drive more organic traffic to your site.

l Use local-based keywords. Unless you don’t have physical retail, you can just pay attention to the areas your target audience lives in. Adding “near me” after a specific industry is normally how businesses use local-based phrases.

l Include keyword modifiers that people often use when they search for a product or service. Using terms like “fast,” “best,” and “cheapest” can improve your clickthrough rate in no time.

4. Post Content Related to Your Area

Would you believe that Google bots are this close to thinking like humans? Pretty scary and awesome, huh?

But, what does this have to do with local SEO? Well, for starters, you can’t outsmart them anymore!

Bloggers or digital marketers who’d stuff their posts with keywords (for the sake of rankings) to the extent that they’re no longer making sense can’t get away with it anymore. “Humans first, bots second” has become their motto in terms of content creation.

That said, you need to focus on writing high-quality content that your target audience will find useful and valuable. You gotta ask yourself this: What questions or issues do customers typically have that are relevant to my area?

Let’s say you’re selling pet care products. You can write about the top pet grooming centers in your city, or perhaps the best brands you can recommend. Not only will it help boost your local SEO, but it will establish you as an expert in your industry.

This is also the part where your target keywords come in handy

If you have “art classes in Florida” as one of your keywords, for example, a blog post about the most Instagrammable spots in the Sunshine State can generate more leads. In the article, make sure that there’s a headline that reads something like “Draw a Portrait as Beautiful as (an area in Florida)” and talk about your offerings.

5. Build Local Links

Quality backlinks have always played a key role in improving SEO in general, and this remains true for local SEO. Plus, they can tell Google whether your business is legitimate or not.

Unlike in traditional SEO, however, your aim is to look for link opportunities from websites that are authorities in your area, not those generic ones. Here are some tried-and-true tactics that will help you generate local links:

l Offer to guest post for a reputable and well-known local blogger

l Participate actively in forums related to your industry

l Make an effort to get featured in a local newspaper or magazine story

l Host a local charity or community event

l Sponsor a webinar or meet-up

l Reach out to influencers and do them a favor in exchange for a backlink

6. Leverage the Power of Online Reviews

Buying online makes it a bit more difficult for consumers to come up with a purchase decision. That’s because it eliminates the ability to see how the product looks and works, and they don’t have anyone to talk to in person about a certain item.

That’s why online reviews are a huge must when you’re optimizing your eCommerce business website for local search. As a matter of fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews as they’re searching for local businesses.

Here’s another fact: Local search engines are crazy about local reviews. By posting customer reviews, especially those coming from satisfied customers, you’ll see an increase in your local search ranking. It will also boost your brand reputation and build trust among your target audience.

To generate reviews for your eCommerce business, you can send emails or handouts with easy-to-follow instructions for completing a customer review. Better yet, incentivize customers who leave reviews in the form of a promotional code for discounts on a future order. That will surely encourage them to post a review in minutes.

Every search engine actually comes with different rules in terms of online reviews. Whereas Google permits small businesses to solicit digital reviews, Yelp is against it. Always read the rules for your desired search engine before posting.

Are You Ready to Take Your eCommerce Business to the Next Level with Local SEO?

Before we can let you go, we gotta tell you that local SEO is a long-term marketing plan. In other words, it will take you months before you see your website making its way to the top of search engines.

No need to get discouraged, though. As soon as you see the tremendous results it has brought to your eCommerce site, you’ll be glad you didn’t give up. Best of luck to ya!

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