Increasing store revenue and local brand perception can be done by making use of local search.
Local search is now one of the best ways marketers can increase store revenue and local brand perception. With 45% of all searches on Google now including the use of local intent and 84% of those resulting in purchases, local search is one of the most powerful weapons that marketers can use today. Despite this, many businesses and marketing executives are not taking enough action to improve their local presence.
Knowing the differences between SEO and local SEO is important to begin with. As most marketers already know, SEO is the process of optimising your website to show up on page one in relevant search results. Traditional SEO has more to do with your business’s website being relevant for certain (non-local) searches and has less to do with brick and mortar, whereas local SEO is very different. With this, effective local SEO results in improved local search rankings and reputation of locations, which, in turn, will drive customers directly into stores.
One of the main reasons for getting local SEO right is that customers are no longer going onto your website to find out information – they are making decisions right from Google Maps, Apple Maps, Facebook Local, Yelp, etc.
Below are three key local SEO strategies that should be implemented into businesses marketing strategies and budgets.
Local Listings Update
The way in which your local business listings are represented (on Google Maps, Yelp, Apple and Bing) is responsible for more than 50% of how Google decides to rank your business in its local search results. This means that the information presented in this section needs to be accurate, have fantastic descriptions, and high-quality photos to really show a great customer experience. This information can be updated manually or by using a provider as this process can often become overwhelming when manually going at it alone.
Managing Your Reviews
Ensuring that your locations have great reviews enables people to trust in your business. It was found that 84% of people trust online reviews nearly as much as they do personal recommendations. Often the reviews featured on your local search give customers all the information they need in a matter of minutes on whether to use your business or not, so making sure that the information supplied is the best that it can be and of better quality than that of your competitors is extremely important. Making sure that reviews left from customers are all responded to is also equally as important. Positively responding to them will show that you are listening to customers and care about them, but ignoring reviews impacts your rankings negatively, and will result in churn, with customers perhaps never coming back to your business.
Social Media Management
In 2017 the amount of social media users grew by 34%, from this as many as 74% will be using social media to help to guide their purchase decisions in future. The usage of social media helps to generate more personalised and relevant messaging, engage with the local community and optimise for your local area. By creating unique store posts and pages that are specific to the area where the store is located, you will be able to engage better on a location-by-location basis and will appear much more relevant to customers.