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5 Benefits of Local SEO For Store Owners

Benefits of Local SEO

At this point, we all know how important it is to rank on the first page of Google, preferably at the top. This is true whether you are a big national brand or a small mom and pop operation.

For store owners that want to bring in more foot traffic while generating more eCommerce sales as well, is a location-based SEO campaign the solution? Below, we will highlight some of the most important benefits of local SEO and how smart marketing plays a key role in today’s complex retail environment.

What is Local SEO?

First, to understand the importance of running a search engine optimization campaign in your local market, it’s worth delving into the specifics of just what makes SEO “local” to begin with.

Here are some of the main aspects of a localized SEO campaign:

  • Focus on targeting specific cities, states, or regions. Website content reflects this.
  • Different goals, such as driving traffic to a physical location or ranking well in the local “map pack” are often important.
  • Local competition rather than national. Competition also tends to be brick and mortar rather than solely eCommerce.
  • An additional focus on Google My Business in order to strengthen brand awareness.
  • Target keywords need to be selected based on local volumes and value as opposed to national searches.

Reaching local customers through Google can be incredibly powerful, especially for smaller local businesses. These days, most shoppers do at least a little research on Google before shopping for, well, anything. If your online store is ranked higher than your competitors, that same authority can translate seamlessly into the brick and mortar world.

Even if your ultimate goal is to expand your eCommerce presence and focus less on your brick and mortar location, you still have to factor in local competition. If you happen to claim the top spots in Google for relevant keywords, your ability to attract potential customers is going to burgeon naturally.

A local SEO strategy will leverage keywords that people in your area are searching for, and couple them with location-based key phrases, in order to produce content that will signal to Google that you are an authority in your local market. When users search for local businesses or products in your area that you sell, your website will be the one to pop up.

Local SEO Business Owner
As a small business owner, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find you online. Local SEO solves this issue.

What Are The Benefits of Local SEO?

Increased traffic and sales are the key benefits of any SEO campaign. However, there are an array of other benefits that come with proper SEO, especially for local businesses.

  • Local SEO strengthens your brand. Shoppers want to feel confident about where they are shopping, and if you rank in the top spots in Google, this is a huge digital vote of confidence.
  • More targeted traffic. Unless you ship nationwide, you would prefer to get eCommerce sales from shoppers in your area. A local SEO campaign will help to refine the traffic visiting your website through local qualifiers. Google will understand not to serve your website up in certain markets that don’t make sense.
  • In-store traffic. As mentioned above, a strong online presence often results in better brand awareness overall, and this will net you more in-store visitors. This is important if you sell products that shoppers prefer to purchase in person rather than online, such as high-quality pieces of jewelry. By investing in local SEO, you will increase the likelihood that someone will make the critical transition from an online window-shopper to an offline buyer.
  • With a custom digital marketing strategy that focuses on your local market, you will be able to better stabilize and scale your business. It can be difficult to grow when no one knows who you are. It’s important to have a steady stream of traffic visiting your website and buying from you in case your brick and mortar location has to close for any reason, such as new pandemic restrictions. In such a volatile market as we have today, a local presence becomes a much-needed hedge.
  • Consumer trust and the human connection. You can have a great social media presence, but nothing says trust like a shiny spot sitting atop the map pack or an attractive rich snippet that highlights one of your products or services. Such trust signals are incredibly lucrative, as this is what today’s shoppers are looking for perhaps more than anything else.

As a business owner interested in generating more sales and a stronger brand presence, the benefits of local SEO are hard to ignore. While the list above skims over the general details, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits in order to really get an idea as to the value of such SEO services.

1. Increase Organic Traffic to Your Online Store

Paid advertising is hot right now, and it can work for most industries and budgets, if you know what you are doing. However, such marketing doesn’t always make sense if you are a local or small business.

Organic traffic consists of users that visit your online store naturally, without the aid of ads. This means they are putting in certain Google searches and clicking on links that rank based on relevance and authority.

Why do business owners love this kind of traffic? Because it’s qualified and it converts.

When a user is going through the natural shopping process online and they wind up visiting your digital storefront, there is a good chance that you are going to at least pique their interest. This is the power of online visibility, where shoppers find you instead of the other way around.

There are many ways to attract potential customers online, but nothing comes close to the power of organic traffic. SEO can help you steadily increase your organic presence, which will result in more organic conversions for your business.

2. Improve Local Brand Awareness

Brand recognition can be the make-or-break determinator for an on-the-fence shopper.

What kind of presence does your brand have at the local level? Are you relating to your customers, do you appear consistently on Google maps, and do you have a high reputation in your local area? These factors are the backbone of small businesses, and one area where local SEO can truly make a difference.

3. Increase eCommerce Conversion Rate

A business is not going to make it far without sales. That much is obvious, but you want to think about how you are driving those sales. How much work are you putting into each sale and is the investment worth it?

You will notice that with the help of a carefully managed SEO campaign, you will naturally increase your eCommerce conversions over time. If one of your goals is to bring in more traffic and sales from your digital storefront, local SEO is basically essential.

4. More In-Store Shoppers

If you have a brick-and-mortar location, chances are you are trying to attract more shoppers. It can be tough these days due to a number of factors, not least of which digital giants like Amazon absorbing so much retail money. Many people are comfortable with shopping online, and that’s perfectly OK. However, if you rely on in-store traffic, you have to think about how to compete with these kinds of stores.

Local SEO can be a boon for your business because it means more people noticing you. Whether this means seeing you appear in the search results for terms related to your products in a certain area, or appearing on Google maps and similar apps, this will ultimately draw in more shoppers.

As people in your area search for “designer shoes near me,” a local SEO campaign will actually increase the likelihood that your shoe store will appear at the top of the Google map search results, something I will elaborate more on below. This same scenario applies to all niches, and it can result in more people actually visiting your store, even if their shopping journey started in the digital world.

5. Dominate the Map Pack

Originally known as the “local 3 pack” because Google Maps would only display up to 3 top results in Google Maps for any particular search, the Map Pack remains one of the most sought after pieces of local digital real estate for business owners. If you rank well in Google Maps in your area, you are practically guaranteed to get consistent visitors and phone calls, especially if you have an optimized website and shopping experience to back that ranking up.

Rank in Google Maps
Ranking well on Google Maps will instantly improve shopper trust and make it easy for shoppers to locate your brick-and-mortar locations.

One of the most helpful benefits of local SEO is that it can dramatically improve your chances of ranking in the Google Map search results for your area. As long as you are targeting the right keywords and offer a seamless shopping experience that users can trust, such SEO services will inevitably solidify your map pack presence.

Want to Start a Local SEO Campaign For Your Online Store?

If you ever wanted to know how to rank on Google Map pack, or how to attract more targeted traffic to your online store or your brick and mortar locations, now you have a bit more insight as to the process.

Performing SEO is not as easy as you might think, however. If you are a local business owner trying to boost traffic and sales, the smart move is to invest in an eCommerce SEO agency that knows how to implement local SEO. This way, everything from the technical aspects of SEO to your Google My Business profile will be optimized the right way.

Here at 1Digital®, we implement custom SEO strategies for a wide range of businesses, including smaller stores that need a powerful local campaign to help them get noticed. If you are interested in ranking higher in Google and dominating your local market, give us a call at 888-982-8269 or apply for a free local SEO audit.

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