Before COVID-19’s impact over 90% of purchases used to happen in physical stores for local businesses. And predominantly all purchases were happening within a radius of around 20 kilometres from an individual’s home location.
Now all this has changed or has it not? Post-October 2020, the world over people have been increasingly moving back to normal and even today in India, there is a recovery in view. But is it still true that businesses that shifted online during the pandemic can still gain the advantage of digital channels?
Let’s take things from a customer’s perspective and showcase how they are impacting a local business.
Pandemic Scenario: You are a local shoe business that started an online e-commerce store during the pandemic to bring in online sales as a channel to offset your drop in sales from the physical store.
Digital: You realise that people are still searching for shoes and your physical location on Google Maps is ranking in the top 3 and hence, visible in the local pack as in below
Prospective customers were visiting your online store instead to do the purchase and you had a great return on investment for setting up the online store.
You realise people are going to do online as well as in-store purchases in your physical locations as well. You literally had seen improvement in Diwali sale for a record-breaking sale online and don’t want it to go down while recovering your physical store sales.
So what should you do?
Implement Local SEO & optimise your performance on Google Maps as well as for local searches such as shoe shop near me, etc.
Ok, if that is the solution then there are few questions that need to be answered:
Those are the majorly asked questions but they are not all the questions. Please do visit our FAQ page for more common question & answers in digital marketing.
Local SEO relies on optimising your local presence in an area of your service or the physical location of your office.
The main focus of a Local SEO campaign is to get local websites to feature your brand or organisation or service or products. The most popular local websites are usually map services such as Google Maps, Bing Maps, OpenstreetMap, etc. along with websites of local organisations such as salons, cafes, etc.
Getting your website mentioned in all these websites is the main objective of Local SEO.
Local SEO based link building approach has the following key components:
The other key elements of Local SEO are your map listings:
In general too, we have noticed websites with good Local SEO to see conversion rates of over 6% which is very high compared that the normal benchmark is around 1% to 1.5% for websites.
Local searches are done by people in the vicinity and looking for a quick resolution for a problem or need of theirs.
Going with our earlier example, if someone is looking to buy a pair of shoes, then it makes sense for them to get them from a local store. It makes sense to them for the following reasons
These local searches are often from people who are having very high intent to purchase and that is key for any online business - getting relevant website visitors who convert into customers.
People are usually likely to do a purchase online as it provides them with multiple benefits:
Therefore, for all physical businesses providing a service or products, it is essential to optimise their local SEO.
You have to build on the basis of your local searches for your product or service. Then you have manage your active listings within a set of guidelines and rules to have the best impact possible. Refer to our checklist on the same.
Promote your offers via Google Posts and list out the special days or events or special sales you are conducting.
Having a strong review collection strategy as the key way to grow on local SEO is by having a regular inflow of customer reviews and testimonials.
They are so crucial that the sole difference between gaining new orders consistently or losing out to your local competition depends 95% on your reviews.
Hence, incentivise reviews and give back something to your customers - gain Local SEO dominance and loads of business!
Stay tuned for our part 2 - which has in-depth execution plans and strategies to gain local SEO edge for your business. Or feel free to hit us up for a conversation.
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