local listings

In competitive local retail markets, brands must do everything in their power to be seen and located. Consumers are constantly searching for goods and services near them—often even while they’re already in retail stores, looking at products.

Multi-location retailers need smart, scalable local SEO strategies to increase online visibility, convert more potential customers and ultimately boost revenue. These five local SEO strategies are critical to get right across the brand.

1. Keep Business Information Up to Date

If your business’ online information is inaccurate or obsolete, you are missing out on potential revenue. To make matters worse, your reputation may take a hit as well, as consumers may attempt to reach you at the wrong number or address.

Google is on track to become the single central source of information for mobile searchers, as it curates and presents data from all kinds of local listings and business websites. Through your Google My Business dashboard, your locations can create a customizable profile that is optimized for all devices. Google My Business enables you to control key location information such as your business’ name, rating, description, number, address, website, map directions, and more. These tools make it easy for local customers to learn about and contact your business with a single tap, whether they were searching specifically for your stores or conducting unbranded searches for products and services.

Check out this helpful GMB Q&A to make sure you’re optimizing your locations to their full potential.

2. Obtain More Reviews and Engage With Them

Whether buying an item from an online seller or looking for a reputable local retailer, most consumers look at reviews and ratings beforehand. Of course, as a business, you want to receive positive reviews, as this reflects well on your brand and will lead to more revenue. But reviews can do even more for your online presence, given that they are a highly-weighted local pack ranking factor. How do you encourage customers to leave a review after purchasing product from your business? Make it easy for them by letting them know how and where to leave a review. Or, you may even automate this process via text and email alerts that follow a transaction or visit.

Be sure to respond to every review you get, good and bad. Replying to every review is not just a good reputation management strategy, but a good local SEO strategy as well. Searchers who see your listings can also see that your locations are active in engaging customers online.

3. Optimize All Types of Content

Replying to reviews is not the only way to increase engagement and boost your local SEO. Today, content is king and comes in many forms, from blog posts and social media posts to news pieces, employee features, videos, and more. Consistent, high-quality content can help make your business an authority in the industry as well, helping you solidify your local reputation. By regularly posting content and employing relevant keywords for the retail industry, you can both engage with your audience and score higher in search engine algorithms.

Good, unique content, relevant keywords, and strategic links all serve to better optimize your business’ website. This content, however, does not have to be limited to text. Video content has become valuable for retailers, allowing them to clearly display products and demonstrate how they operate. Like text-based content, these videos should be succinct and also optimized in their metadata, titles, description, and links.

Engage your franchisees and local managers in authoring location-specific content with the benefit of national brand controls. Corporate-assigned user access, permission-based publishing, content scheduling and integrated local search reporting give your local managers the tools and technology needed to support your brand’s local marketing efforts.

4. Apply SEO Best Practices Across Local Sites

Over three-quarters of local shoppers begin their searches on smartphones, making your local optimization for each retail location across the brand mission critical. Local Pages need proper schema markup, smart internal linking, interactive elements such as integrated reviews, and accurate location data in order to engage and convert searchers to buyers. Hyperlocal content helps each local page appear for non-branded product searches, as well.

Bring it all together with an optimized Store Locator that enables you to bulk upload store locator information directly to Google Maps and enhances the search experience for your target audience.

5. Improve Non-Branded Search Visibility by Showcasing Product

How do you get in front of searchers looking for products and services like yours? Specialty Pages can be used to showcase specific products or services, as in this example with a national pet product retailer. Services such as dog grooming and training had proven important business lines for the brand, but they struggled to appear in searches for these queries.

Using an optimized store locator and Specialty Pages drove a 42% lift in search volume across over 1,400 locations. It’s important that when consumers are looking for the things you provide, your locations are appearing as one of their top local options—even if they didn’t know you have a location in the area, or even that you offer that product or service.

The rise of online shopping has undoubtedly disrupted the local retail industry. This does not mean, however, that local retailers cannot survive or even thrive in this economy. Rather, it means that local marketing managers and VPs of retailers must adapt to these changes.

Show Google that your locations are indeed the best answer for local consumer queries and it will, in turn, recommend you as the best solution to searchers.