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Local SEO for Ecommerce: 5 SEO Tips for Your Online Store’s Success

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Have you recently set up your e-commerce store? Great – now you just need customers. With local SEO you can get your site in front of the right people. We’ll explore five simple tips for kickstarting your strategy. 

What is local SEO? 

Before we jump into our tips, let’s start with the basics. Local search engine optimisation or SEO, is when you improve your site so it reaches the top of the local search results page (SERP). 

Think of SEO in the same way as choosing a spot for a brick-and-mortar store. You wouldn’t choose a location down a dark alley with no parking spaces. Instead, you’d choose a prime spot in town that is likely to attract the most people. Creating your SEO strategy is the same principle, except you’ll have many other businesses vying for the same spot. 

5 Local SEO tips for your online store’s success

SEO is essential for local businesses, but where should you begin? Go through each of these tips one by one and watch your store climb the SERP. 

  1. Create and optimise your Google My Business page 

Every local SEO strategy should begin with Google My Business. This is Google’s directory of businesses. It contains information relating to opening hours, location, contact details, and more. When you search for a business online, their My Business entry will be one of the first things to appear.

Not only does this provide helpful information for searchers, but is also an important factor in SEO. Moreover, it’s completely free, so you’re shooting yourself in the foot by not using it. 

But what if you already have a My Business page? You might not be taking full advantage of it. Once your account is set up, follow the steps below. 

  • Encourage reviews – Getting great reviews on your My Business page is a great trust signal for potential customers. Always encourage happy customers to leave a review.
  • Add contact information – Make sure you provide a wide range of methods for people to contact you. If you’ve already filled out your contact information, make sure that it is accurate and up-to-date. 
  • Be descriptive – People will visit your My Business page to learn more about you. Write an interesting description. Don’t worry about keywords, they don’t matter here. 
  • Opening hours – If you also run a brick-and-mortar store, include its opening hours. 
  • Add photos and video – Provide a variety of high-resolution images displaying products from your store. Video can be a handy way of providing extra context to searchers. You can also use this space to advertise special offers.

Check-in with your My Business Page regularly and add new information when needed. The more accurate your My Business Page, the more it will help your SERP position. 

  1. Visit other directories 

Google isn’t the only directory you need to think about. Having your store appear on as many directories as possible will boost your SERP position.

Only pick directories related to the industry most relevant to your business. We’ve given some ideas below. 

  • Healthcare – Angi (previously known as Angi’s List) 
  • Technology – TechDirectory 
  • Weddings – WeddingWire 
  • Home improvement – HomeAdvisor 

There are also some general directories aimed at helping local businesses. These include names like Yelp, Superpages, and Local.

Aside from helping your SEO, these directories can also improve your brand recognition. The more often people encounter you, the more they will remember your brand. 

Of course, as with My Business, every directory that you join will need to be updated regularly. As you join more and more directories, this can become a big task. Lots of businesses use management software to make this more manageable. Popular examples include SE ranking, Moz Local, Semrush and my personal favourite – BrightLocal. 

  1. Pick your keywords carefully 

As mentioned, keywords are a central part of any local SEO strategy. But if you’re new to SEO, there’s a good chance you’ll be targeting the wrong keywords. Businesses usually pick generic and popular keywords. But this won’t help you to attract local traffic

For example, the keyword ‘best handmade watches’ isn’t particularly useful for a store looking for local traffic. Instead, you might opt for ‘best handmade watches near Lancaster’. Location is the most important part of local SEO. Always include the name of your town or city in keywords. 

The trick is knowing which keywords are likely to generate the most traffic. For that, you’ll need a keyword planner. These are handy tools that provide you with lists of keywords based on a pre-entered phrase. Google’s Keyword Planner tool is a good place to start.

If you want to splash out a little more, you can get more advanced keyword tools that give deep insights into the perfect keywords for your customers. Strong options include Semrush and KWFinder. 

Once identified, it’s time to begin incorporating your chosen keywords into content on your website. Blogs and other forms of long-form content can be a handy way of spreading keywords. Just try to avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ where you add as many keywords as possible – Google penalises websites that do this. 

  1. Gather reviews 

Positive reviews are an essential part of e-commerce. As many as 93% of customers will look at reviews before buying a product. 

Google therefore sees reviews as an important factor in local SERP rankings. The more positive reviews you have, the higher you’ll appear on the SERP, generally. 

Gathering reviews though, isn’t always easy – it’s not something that most customers will do unprompted. You’ll need to encourage shoppers to share their positive experiences online. Why not try some of the following tactics? 

  • Emailing customers several weeks after a purchase, encouraging them to leave a review.
  • Leaving a note with a product containing a QR code that links to a review page. 
  • Drawing attention to the review page on your website. 
  • Personalising review requests to create more of a personal connection with customers.  

Of course, customers will always be more willing to share reviews if there is an incentive. Consider sharing discount codes or special offers with those who leave feedback.

As mentioned earlier, Google reviews on your My Business page are really important and are probably the best place to start with. Like directories, though, there are many review sites out there that will be relevant to your business.

Potential customers looking for your products will go to these sites actively researching your products. You should attempt to get good reviews published here too.

  1. Work with a professional 

Climbing the SERP is tricky. You might think you’ve mastered all the techniques but SEO tactics change over time. Google is constantly altering its algorithm – what works today might not work tomorrow. 

Keeping up with these changes is challenging, especially when also managing your ecommerce store. Seeking outside help can be a fantastic way of augmenting your local SEO strategy. An expert with in-depth knowledge of the latest SEO changes can be an invaluable resource. 

Bulldog is on hand to make your SEO concerns a distant memory. We’ll provide a faultless technical SEO / SEO audit strategy, delivered with a creative edge. We will 

  • Work around you – We’ll put your needs at the heart of our strategy. We’ll always keep your goals and profit margins in mind.
    • Conduct ongoing research – We’re constantly researching to ensure we provide foolproof SEO services.
  • Create a long-term strategy – We’ll implement research-based quick wins whilst working on a broader plan to continuously move the SEO needle. 
  • Review and modify – Our strategies are never static.  We’ll alter your strategy alongside the moving SEO landscape. 

Other SEO tips to consider…

We’ve shared some tips that can enhance your SEO strategy. Before you start putting these into practice, though, you might consider some of the following areas. These are essential factors that should underpin every local SEO strategy. 

Build the perfect user experience 

Google views ecommerce user experience as a top priority in its rankings. Every SEO strategy should be built around a website that provides the best user experience. 

It’s worth taking a moment to evaluate your site and get a better sense of its performance. Try navigating from page to page. If you run into an issue, however small, note it down. Think of the different ways people view your site. Not everyone will use the same browser as you, test your site using a variety of browsers. Similarly, make sure your site is accessible to mobile users.   

To improve user experiences, take some of the following steps: 

  • Use surveys to ask users about issues with your site. 
    • Some pieces of survey software allow you to view recordings to see where people are having trouble accessing your site.
  • Removing large files and images that are likely to slow website performance. 
  • Adding elements such as alt text to images to make your site more accessible. 
  • Remove any intrusive pop-ups or banners from your site. 

Focus on quality content 

Well-written articles on relevant subjects can be a fantastic way to include keywords and get backlinks.  

So, focus on content before worrying too much about a wider SEO strategy. Delivering the right content can take time and research. If you have no experience in content writing, it’s better to hire a copywriter than take on the task yourself. 

If you’re unsure which topics to tackle first, do some in-depth keyword research. This is the foundation of any SEO strategy.

Another useful way of finding topics is looking at your customers. Are there any questions that you’re answering again and again? Use customer support questions to influence your content. This helps alleviate pressure from your customer service team too!

Here again, the process becomes much easier with the right software. Content planning tools can suggest titles and topics. Some even come with AI content writers, but these should be approached very carefully. AI tools still have some way to go and often create inaccurate articles. 

Get optimising 

Local businesses can often overlook the importance of SEO. They think of it as a tactic for bigger names looking to attract massive traffic. Hopefully, you now realise that SEO is useful for local businesses trying to establish themselves. 

In this article, we’ve explored some tactics to get you off the ground. Start by setting up a page on Google My Business and other directories, then begin the process of carefully picking relevant keywords. 

Creating and managing an SEO strategy isn’t easy. You’ll have to deal with unexpected factors like algorithm changes. Remember, Bulldog is on hand to help make the process more manageable. 

Why not get in touch today and let SEO transform your ecommerce business? 

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