Retail stores aren’t immune from the need to embrace digital marketing and search engine optimization. After all, at some point, people are going to search for a store or type of business online and if a store isn’t listed, it’s not going to be included in the results. Brick-and-mortar stores have a unique place in the world of marketing today because the traditional retail outlet is now accessible online and around the world. It’s changed things in several ways, but it’s also created more opportunities for retail brands to grow and thrive.
When building your local SEO strategy, you need to keep a few different things in mind. That includes the fact that there IS a strategy, and isn’t just a matter of tossing out some random keywords and hoping to get results. Retail stores can do a lot to get their local rankings up. Let’s start by talking about the value of keywords.
Some people think they can toss their city or region on another keyword and call it a day. While that is one way to get some local keywords, it’s still critical for companies to perform keyword research as they would with any SEO campaign. You’ll want to consider utilizing the phrase “near me,” too, which has seen a growth of 150% in two years. Some of the keywords that you find could be challenging to incorporate into content, but you can find plenty of help on best practices and rules for keyword usage that will assist you in the process.
Location-based keywords should be used based on their relevance, prominence, and distance because that’s exactly how your store will be ranked by local search engines. Getting a good listing requires taking the time to build a reputable online presence, not just list your address in as many places as possible. Keyword research is just the beginning.
You also need to come up with a content strategy that is manageable and results-driven. You should consider adding a blog to your store’s website, submitting guest posts to relevant industry blogs, creating content for social media, generating long-form and short-form articles, and more. Your content needs to be valuable and focused on informing, not selling. Today’s customers want relationships with companies that they can rely on for all sorts of things, including information first and foremost. They know you’re ultimately trying to sell them something. You don’t need to state the obvious these days.
There’s a lot that goes into creating the best local SEO strategy. Your needs are going to be different than those of other organizations, too, so consider that when creating your strategy. Here are a few quick tips to refresh your mind and ensure that you can keep your SEO on the right track.
This is not an exhaustive list of the tips for success with your local optimization efforts. However, they do cover some of the most important aspects and will get you started on the right track.
One of the biggest things you can do to improve your local SEO is to fill out your Google Business Profile completely and fully. Use keywords and local terms in the sections if you can and make sure that you get listed in other directories, too. A retail store might benefit from listing on a site like YP (YellowPages) or even just in the community’s local business directory that’s available online.
This is an area where quality matters more than quantity. Regardless of how many directory listings you get, they need to add value and be with reputable sources. After all, a handful of premium directory listings will look far more favorable than even two or three dozen random listings in directories of various quality levels. Some of the biggest signals that are used to rank your retail store include:
Although customers have taken control of the digital marketplace and made it something that very few people may have seen coming, they also still appreciate their local community and its businesses. Customers want to shop and buy locally, and they want to be able to find the best retail stores to do that with by searching online. Local shopping was a priority for up to 46% of Americans before the pandemic. After, 57% said they were giving their business to local companies.
This trend is only expected to continue. People want to get involved and get connected with local businesses. They want to support the people they know and who are part of their community. Embracing this will give you the chance to enhance all of your local optimization efforts and ensure that you’re getting maximum visibility with the best possible brand authority.
Once you have this local strategy set up and ready, you’ll also want to have the tools and systems in place to field all those new leads you’re going to find. That starts with a 24/7 answering service like the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. Of course, we do more than just answer phones. We can also assist with lead intake and appointment scheduling, as well as setting up your outreach campaigns in the first place.