Do you own a physical store that needs more visits? If so, the key to success online is learning how to do Local SEO well. This article discusses 7 Local SEO strategies to attract potential customers to your store.
Even though the Internet has changed how people find and connect with businesses, it has also caused many business problems. Now that mobile searches and “local intent” are becoming more popular, your potential customers are actively looking for goods and services in their area. This is where Local SEO comes in. It helps you use the power of online search to attract local customers, make your business more visible, and stay ahead of the competition.
We know that promotion for a physical store needs to be done differently. So, throughout this article, we’ll talk about Local SEO strategies that can be implemented immediately. So, get ready to take your business to the next level with these practical Local SEO strategies. By the end of this journey, you will know a lot about local search optimization and have the confidence to put these strategies into action and see real, practical results. Let’s go on this journey together and discover what your brick-and-mortar store can do in the digital age!
1. Do keyword research for local search terms
The right keywords can help you find your way to success in making your local business stand out in the digital world. Learning how to do keyword research for your brick-and-mortar store is the first step to bringing in people from your neighbourhood. Below are the steps to conduct local keyword research to reach the right people and get more people to enter your store.
Step 1: Adopt your location
Accepting your location is the first step to doing excellent local keyword research. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what words they would use to search for businesses like yours in your area. You should include the name of your city, neighbourhood, or even sites that are close by in your keyword phrases. This simple change will help your store rank higher in local searches immediately. This will make it easier for potential customers looking for businesses nearby to find you.
Step 2: Use long-tail keywords
In the world of local SEO, long-tail keywords are the secret gems. Long-tail keywords are more detailed and have three or more words, while single-word keywords are more general and have a lot of competition. These words usually have a higher conversion rate because they appeal to more focused users. Instead of “shoe store,” you could try “athletic shoe store in [Your Location].” Using long-tail keywords related to business and its location makes it more likely that you will reach people in your area who are ready to buy.
Step 3: Study keywords your competitors use
As part of your local keyword research, competitive analysis is a powerful tool. By looking at the keywords your competitors are using, you can learn a lot about gaps and opportunities in your market. Look at their website content, meta tags, and Google My Business pages to find which keywords they use most. But keep in mind that analyzing your competitors is helpful, but it shouldn’t tell you how to run your business. Focus on what makes your business different and use keyword research to amplify those things to draw your ideal customers.
Step 4: Use both facts and your gut
Keyword research for local businesses is a mix of intuition and data. Even though keyword research tools give you helpful information, knowing your local community and buyers is just as important. Use the information you’ve gathered to make choices, but remember to trust your gut as a small business owner. You know your customers better than anyone else, so use what you know to help you choose the best keywords for your online store.
By doing this keyword research, you are taking the first steps toward improving the online presence of your local business. Remember that keyword research is an ongoing process. As you collect data, analyze results, and change your strategy, you will find the right balance to attract your ideal customers and lead them straight to your brick-and-mortar shop.
2. Add your business to Google Map
Google My Business (GMB) is your best friend when giving your local store a solid online profile. This powerful tool lets you put important information about your business on Google Search and Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find you and get in touch. Below are the steps to correctly listing your business on Google Maps.
Step 1: Claim your listing and verify it
The first important step in optimizing your GMB page is claiming ownership. Go to Google My Business and claim your business if you haven’t already. Once claimed, you’ll need to prove that you own it. This is usually done by sending a message or calling. By verifying your listing, you ensure you have control over its information and give possible customers more reason to trust you.
Step 2: Give correct and thorough information
For local businesses, having your correct information online is very important. Ensure that your business’s name, address, phone number, and website address (NAP) are the same everywhere. Customers can be confused by even slight differences, which can hurt your local search results. Use the extra GMB forms to give more information about your store, like its opening hours, services, and products, in addition to the basics.
Step 3: Choose the right categories
A key part of GMB optimization is picking the categories that best fit your business. Google lets you choose the best primary and secondary categories for your goods or services. Don’t use too many broad categories. Instead, be specific. When you choose the right categories, Google can learn more about your business and show your page to people looking for exactly what you offer.
Step 4: Use GMB updates and posts
Google My Business has a useful tool called “Posts,” which lets you share news, offers, events, and highlights of your products right on your listing. Use this feature to connect with possible customers and keep them up to date on your latest offers and events. Your local search rankings can also be helped by updating your posts often. This shows Google that your business is active and important.
Step 5: Encourage customer reviews and reply quickly to them
Customer reviews are a big part of customers deciding what to buy. Encourage happy customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing and respond quickly to positive and negative feedback. Engaging with reviews shows that you care about your customers and their experiences, and it tells Google that your business is respected and trustworthy.
Step 6: Use GMB Insights
Google My Business gives you helpful information about how people use your listing. Look at the views, searches, and acts data to determine what works and needs to be changed. Regularly look at this data to improve your GMB optimization plan and make decisions based on the data to get more people into your store.
Step 7: Use Google my business messaging
With GMB Messaging, customers can contact you straight through your listing. Enable this feature to make it easy and quick for possible customers to talk to you. Responding quickly to messages can help you turn questions into store visits and sales.
Using these optimization tips and getting the most out of your Google My Business listing, you set up your local business for success in the digital world. Stay on top of updating your ad and talking to your customers through posts and reviews. With a well-optimized GMB page, you’ll stand out to customers looking for businesses like yours and bring more people into your store. Use Google My Business’s power to make your neighbourhood business stand out on the digital map.
Read also: How to Use Social Media for SEO
3. Use local citations and online directories
Local citations and online directories are potent tools to help your physical store get visibility. Local citations are when your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are mentioned online on different websites, listings, and platforms. These links are like digital breadcrumbs that search engines use to make sure that the information about your business is correct and factual. If your NAP information is consistent and accurate across different online sources, search engines will think your company is more reliable, which will help your local search results. Here are the steps to use citations and online directories for local SEO strategies.
Step 1: Make sure NAP information is always the same everywhere
The first step to using local reviews to your advantage is to ensure that your NAP information is correct and current. Check the information about your business on your website, your social media profiles, and anywhere else online where it is mentioned. Any differences in your NAP can make it hard for potential customers to find you and hurt your performance in local searches.
Step 2: Choose high-quality online directories relevant to your business
Consider their quality and usefulness when choosing directories to put your business in. Start with sites that have been around for a while, like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, and Apple Maps. Find the area and industry-specific directories that cater to the people you want to reach. By putting your business in niche directories, you can reach customers looking for goods or services like yours.
Step 3: Get good citations from local sources
How good they are is more important than how many neighbourhood citations you have. Look for websites and places with a good reputation where you can share information about your business. Look for ways to get your business listed on community websites, industry-specific directories, and websites for area businesses. Getting good neighbourhood citations makes your business more visible online and shows people in your community that you can be trusted.
Step 4: Keep an eye on citations and update them regularly
Your business information may change over time, like getting a new phone number, address, or business name. It’s essential to keep track of your current citations and update them as soon as possible if they need to be changed. Some online directories let you directly claim and control your business listings. This makes it easier to ensure your information is correct everywhere on the web.
Step 5: Use reviews from customers in your citations
Local citations are helpful, and customer reviews are a big part. Positive reviews add to your business’s trustworthiness and affect how potential customers decide whether or not to buy from you. Encourage happy customers to leave reviews on relevant directories and react to all feedback with grace, whether good or bad. Participating in customer reviews shows that you care about their thoughts and feelings.
By prioritizing local citations and online directories, you lay the groundwork for a strong SEO profile in your area. Remember that uniformity and quality are the most important when optimizing your business listings across the web. When you use the power of local citations, your local business’s exposure will skyrocket, bringing in more customers and building a strong community of loyal customers.
4. Create content targeting your local area
By ensuring your content is relevant to the interests and needs of your local audience, you can build strong relationships and make your store a vital part of the neighbourhood. Below are the steps to create content that speaks directly to your local audience.
Step 1: Know who you’re talking to
Understanding your local audience inside and out is the key to making localized content. Take the time to learn about your community’s people, their likes and dislikes, and their problems. What are their hobbies, interests, and goals? What problems are they trying to solve, and how can your goods or services help? Understanding your readers will help you write content that hits home with them.
Step 2: Speak the local language
Speak their language to make a close connection with people in your area. Use neighbourhood phrases, slang, and references in your writing. Show that you are a part of the community and know what makes it unique. Whether you talk about local landmarks, events, or customs, adding a local flavour to your content will make it feel natural and familiar to your audience.
Step 3: Create content that is specific to a location
Focus on creating content that is relevant to your area to attract customers who are close by. Make blog posts, videos, or posts for social media that talk about local news, events, or companies. Work with other companies and groups in your area to make content that shows how great your community is. By sharing information about your neighbourhood, you make your store a valuable and trusted resource for people in the area.
Step 4: Naturally integrate local keywords into your content
Add local keywords to your website, blog, and social media posts as you make content for a specific area. These keywords should fit with where you are and what your local audience is interested in. Be careful not to fill your content with too many keywords, as this can feel unnatural and ruin the experience for your readers. Aim to balance making your site SEO-friendly and giving your audience helpful information.
Step 5: Encourage content and reviews by past customers
User-generated content (UGC) and customer reviews are significant when making localized content. Encourage your customers to share their photos, videos, or testimonials about your shop. Share this user-generated content on your social media and website to show the good things your store does for the community. UGC builds a feeling of community and authenticity, strengthening the relationship between your business and your customers.
Step 6: Tell people about local events and projects
Participate in your local community by informing people about and supporting local events and projects. Share information about upcoming events, fundraisers, or charity activities on your social media and website. Participating in local events shows that you care about the community and allows you to make content showing your store’s involvement.
5. Do on-page optimization techniques
Your local business website is a virtual shop that shows potential customers online what you sell and how you can help them. On-page optimization is essential to leave a lasting impact and get more people to visit your brick-and-mortar store. Below are the steps to do proper on-page SEO for your website.
Step 1: Write content with local keywords
Targeting local keywords that fit your business and the likes of your local audience is the first step in on-page optimization. Do thorough keyword research to find out what words and phrases people in your area use to look for products or services like yours. Use these keywords naturally in your website’s titles, headings, meta descriptions, and text to appear higher in local search results.
Step 2: Use NAP information to show where you are
Your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be easy to find on your website. This information is important so customers can find you quickly, and search engines can figure out where you are and put you in the right place in local searches. Ensure your NAP is the same on your website and all other sites to ensure everything is clear.
Step 3: Use schema markup based on your location
Schema code is a powerful tool that makes it easier for search engines to figure out what your content is about. Use location-based schema code to clearly state your business’s address, hours of operation, and contact information. This markup makes your site more likely to appear in rich snippets or local search results. This makes your site more trustworthy and appealing to potential buyers.
Step 4: Optimize page titles and meta descriptions
Make page names and meta descriptions that are interesting and detailed, and include the local keywords you want to use. These parts of your website are what search engine users see first when they visit your site. Make them fun, engaging, and full of helpful information to get people to click through to your website. A good meta description can make all the difference if you want to get more direct traffic to your site.
Step 5: Make landing pages for each location
If you have more than one location or serve more than one area, you can make landing pages for each place. Customers in each locality should be able to relate to the content and local keywords on these pages. By focusing on specific areas, you show that you care about the local community and increase your chances of higher up in local search results.
Step 6: Use alt text to improve images
Images are not only lovely to look at, but they also help your site’s SEO. Optimize your pictures by adding local keywords to the alt text that describes them. Alt text lets search engines know what your pictures are about, which can help them increase image searches and general search rankings.
Step 7: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
Most online searches are done on mobile devices, so ensuring your site is mobile-friendly is essential. Google uses how mobile-friendly a site is as a ranking factor, so it’s important for both SEO and user experience that a site is mobile-friendly. Test how well your website works on mobile devices and make any necessary changes to make the experience smooth for your mobile users.
6. Build strong links for your local business
Link building is a vital part of your SEO plan for boosting the online presence of your local business. By making strong connections with other local businesses and organizations, you can increase your website’s authority, visibility, and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines. Here are the steps to get links for your physical store.
Step 1: Work with partners in your area
Building local links starts with getting to know other companies and organizations in your area. Look for ways to collaborate on events, projects, or efforts that fit your brand’s values. Participating in local partnerships helps people feel like part of a community and opens the door to possible chances to build links. When you work with local partners, they may link to your website to show how well you work together. These backlinks can help your SEO efforts.
Step 2: Donate to local charities or events
Sponsoring local events or charity work is a great way to give back to your community and make valuable connections. When you support an event or charity, the organizers may put your business logo and a link to your website on their event page or promotional materials. This gets your business in front of a bigger audience and gives you backlinks from authoritative sources.
Step 3: Use local business directories to your advantage
Getting listed in local business directories is one of the most critical parts of getting local links. Ensure your business is listed correctly in well-known lists like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and local chambers of commerce websites. Backlinks to your website from these directories show search engines that your business is essential and trustworthy in the area.
Step 4: Make valuable local content
An excellent way to get natural links is to make valuable and exciting content for your local audience. Write blog posts or tips that show how knowledgeable you are in your field and cover essential topics for your community. When your content has real value, other local businesses, bloggers, or community websites may link to it as a helpful resource, improving your website’s authority and search rankings.
Step 5: Look for PR opportunities in your area
Take advantage of local chances for public relations (PR) to get coverage in the media and valuable backlinks. Contact local newspapers, online publications, and bloggers to tell them about your business’s new goods, upcoming events, or efforts to help the community. When your story is covered, you often get backlinks to your website, which brings more people to your site and makes it look more trustworthy to search engines.
Step 6: Talk to influential people in your area.
Local leaders can help you a lot with building links in your area. Find people with great power in your area who fit your brand and audience well. Work with them on joint projects, funding, or reviews of your products. Local influencers talking about your business on their sites can lead to valuable backlinks and more people seeing your store.
Step 7: Monitor and maintain your links
As you build links, keeping an eye on and keeping up with your linking profile is important. Ensure that your website’s links come from valuable and trustworthy sources. Remove any bogus or low-quality links that could hurt your website’s SEO. Improving your website’s search results and getting more local customers requires a healthy backlink profile.
Read also: How to Optimize URL Structure for SEO
7. Use customer feedback to improve your local business
As a physical store owner, you know how important word-of-mouth recommendations are in your neighbourhood. In the digital age, customer reviews and scores similarly affect how people see your business and decide whether to buy from you. Below are steps to use customer feedback to improve traffic to your physical store.
Step 1: Ask customers to give feedback
You can use customer reviews to their full potential if you ask happy customers to write about their experiences online. A simple request at the end of a transaction or a thank-you email can go a long way toward getting customers to write reviews. Ensure they know how vital their comments are to helping your business grow and better serve the community.
Step 2: Use multiple review websites
Use various review sites where customers can say what they think about your business to reach more people. Some examples are Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and review sites just for your business. Using more than one review website gives potential customers more chances to find your store through good feedback and ratings.
Step 3: Reply to customer reviews
Whether good or bad, responding to customer reviews shows you care about your customers and their experiences. Recognize and thank customers for good reviews, and respond to bad reviews with empathy and a desire to fix the problem. Your quick response shows that you are proactive about meeting customer needs and gives potential customers a good image.
Step 4: Display good reviews on your website
Put your good reviews front and centre on your website to get the most out of them. Make a page for reviews or testimonials so buyers can read about how others liked your store. Putting positive reviews front and centre on your website gives you more credibility and builds trust with potential customers, making them more likely to choose your shop over others.
Step 5: Monitor how people feel about your online reviews
Keep a close eye on how people feel about your online reviews. Check your reviews on different sites often to see how happy your customers are and where you can improve. Use this information to make necessary changes to your goods, services, or customer experience. You create an environment focused on your customers by constantly listening to them. This makes them more loyal and promotes your brand.
Step 6: Incentivize honest feedback
Giving people a reason to provide honest feedback can be an excellent way to get them to write reviews. You can run events for customer reviews or provide discounts to customers who leave feedback. But make sure you follow the rules of the review site and are honest to keep the trustworthiness of customer reviews.
Step 7: Use customer feedback to improve your business
Customer reviews aren’t just recommendations; they also give you essential information about your business. Analyze the feedback you get and use it to improve your goods, services, and the experience your customers have with you. Pay attention to reviews that talk about the same things repeatedly, and fix any problems to give your customers a better general experience.
Hire local SEO services in Nigeria
Local SEO is a powerful tool that can bring more people into your brick-and-mortar store, attract possible customers, and help you build long-lasting relationships with the people in your area. I can strengthen your online profile, improve your search rankings, and make sure your business stands out using personalized strategies.
Are you ready to take your business in Nigeria to new heights? Let’s work together to make a local SEO plan that fits your business goals and gets you measurable results. Contact me today to talk about how my expert local SEO services can help you get more leads, make your brand more visible, and succeed in the Nigerian market in the long run.
As an SEO expert in Nigeria, I can help your business succeed online by following the latest local SEO trends and best practices.