If you’re trying to bring more customers to your storefront, SEO can help. By building a local search strategy, you can translate web traffic into physical traffic.
It starts with an audit. You need to determine you current online presence and how well its serving you. Dive deep and figure out the following:
- Your organic search competitors
- What your searchers are looking for
- Where you’re showing up on the SERP
- If all the information listed is accurate
Once you have this information, you can begin to create your strategy. It starts with optimizing your Google My Business page. If you haven’t claimed your page yet, start here: https://www.google.com/business.
Make sure everything is filled out thoroughly and correctly, including:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Business Category
Your GMB listing should look and feel similar to your website. Make sure the content is correct and consistent on both platforms. If it isn’t exactly the same, inconsistencies will negatively impact your search ranking.
Make sure your business category is as specific as possible, then fill out all applicable attributes.
Don’t forget the photo! A Synup study found that “Listings with photos are 2x as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks.
Your GMB profile isn’t complete until you have some reviews. Ask your customers to start filling in reviews for you by adding a link on your website, including it in an email thank you or receipt, and posting your reviews to social media.
Next, focus on content. Your content marketing strategy needs to focus on location-specific keywords to increase your chances of being found. If there’s a locals way of referring to your neighborhood or city, be sure to use that. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Describe where your business is located and how to get there
- Your community involvement
- How long you’ve been in business and why you started
- Cross-promote any neighboring businesses you have relationships with
Think about your customers and what type of content would be most helpful to them. This is is what will be most valuable to your strategy, and to helping your customers.
Make sure you are also present on Yelp or any other industry-specific listing sites, and fill out those profiles thoroughly as well. These are great opportunities for back-links, as well as reaching your customers where they like to look for new businesses.
Once you’ve covered your organic bases, move to paid advertising. On the digital side, this should include locally-targeted search and social media ads for people looking for businesses like yours, live in your area, or fit your demographics.
But you shouldn’t rule out traditional methods as well, including newspaper ads, local event sponsorships, or even radio and TV ads. Though these platforms might feel outdated, they can still be very effective, especially as they’ve become more overlooked by advertisers.
Once you’ve determined the channels and tools you want to use, you can make a plan. Determine your budget, your content plan, and how you’ll keep up with your SEO monthly, weekly, and daily. Gaining traction online does not happen overnight, and you’ll need to continue to improve your site and build up your presence.