Your local visibility on search engines may play a deciding role in your sales in both real world and digital world. In fact, there’s a statistic that about 78 percent of offline sales come as a direct result of local mobile searches. A similar thing happens for online purchases, as well. Sure, there are some global online platforms that may provide buyers with a more affordable service (even in your narrow niche of products), however, people still prefer to buy from local vendors. This is mostly due to the shorter delivery time, potentially even a same-day delivery option. So, in order to improve your e-commerce business, you need to put a stronger emphasis on your local presence. One way to do so is to improve your local SEO rankings.
Relevance and prominence
The first thing you need to do is figure out a way to get a better relevance for your business. The simplest way to do so is to find the right niche keywords for your business. In this way, your audience can find you by using niche-relevant words and phrases in queries, which, automatically boosts your position in the search engine results. As for the prominence, this is something you’ll have to work very hard to obtain. First of all, you need to get some solid business reputation which can be seen in your ratings and reviews online. This isn’t all, however, seeing as how search engines also reflect on the number of comments and reviews mentioning your brand.
Rethinking your link-building strategy
It’s more than clear that there’s no rank improvement without link-building. That being said, this is not as simple as you might assume it to be. First of all, earning links from high authority websites is incredibly hard, yet, these links have a much greater value. For instance, a link from Wikipedia or a local government organization carries more weight than a link from a blog. Second, the links you get need to be relevant to your industry in order to be seen as organic. Otherwise, the search engine might assume that there’s something resembling black-hat approach to your overall SEO strategy.
One of the best ways to earn locally-relevant organic links is to start a local competition, offer rewards or even scholarships. In this way, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be advertised and promoted by local media, local outlets and even individuals who find themselves touched by your concerns for the plights of the local community.
Optimize your website
Without optimizing your website, there’s no talk of improving your SEO rank, locally or globally. Here, you need to worry about responsiveness in the first place and then proceed to consider on-site features like meta tags. The simplest way to handle this thing is to look for specialized ecommerce marketplace platforms and power your marketplace this way. This is especially useful if you aim to make a multi-vendor store, which is something that you might end up doing anyway. This is also how some careful planning might save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Google My Business listing
Another thing you need to understand is that local registers like Google My Business or Yelp may help put your business on the map, generate traffic and attract some positive attention your way, in general. Aside from this, there are probably some local registers available, as well as some niche specific websites. Getting your business listed here, you might significantly increase your reach and improve your e-commerce local SEO ranking along the way. The problem with this lies in the fact that you’re an e-commerce business, yet, there’s nothing wrong with picking a location for your headquarters that’s near to your most profitable market.
Think about the near-me phenomenon
The next thing you need to understand is that, in 2018, some of the most popular Google searches have a near-me phrase included in the query. For instance, people don’t just type in restaurants when looking for a place to eat but restaurant near-me. This can be quite tricky due to the fact that you’re an e-commerce business and therefore not as location bound as most other businesses. Still, if you were to use several keywords with names of areas where you deliver to or at least optimize your website for near-me searches, you could make a world of a difference.
Standard means of expanding your presence
While working on your local SEO may seem like a top priority, you need to keep in mind the fact that expanding your presence, in general, also helps you achieve this goal, in a way. For instance, going for the affiliate marketing, expanding your inventory and participating in trade shows are just some of the ways to get there. Speaking of which, by participating in locally hosted trade shows, you can easily attract the attention of the local media. Aside from this, they’re also the simplest way for you to spot your main local competitor, which can aid you immensely in any research, later on.
Voice search optimization
At the end of the day, you also need to think about the voice search optimization, especially since more and more people use voice search on a daily basis. Earlier on, we talked about the importance of local mobile searches and almost all voice search users do so via their phones. Therefore, you need to consider the way to approach this topic. For instance, your attitude towards the keyword needs to change, seeing as how in voice search, people tend to use more grammatical format.
Aside from the above-listed seven ideas, you can also start a blog and write a locally-relevant content or use offline marketing techniques (billboards and radio ads) to increase your traffic. All in all, improving your local SEO rank is just a means to an end, which means that you need to be extra careful that your investments don’t exceed potential gains. This is especially true if you have to boost your local SEO independently in several different locations. ROI is the name of the game and this is one of the most important lessons that every single entrepreneur has to learn.