Why is Local SEO Important for Brick-and-Mortar Stores?
Customers are dependent on search engines when they want to make a purchase decision. That’s why it's essential for businesses to curate an effective SEO strategy whether they are brick and mortar stores having partial sales from ecommerce channels too. If you already have a physical location and a digital presence, your store can leverage the power of local SEO to increase visibility in your target area.
What is Local SEO?
Simply put, local SEO is an organic search engine optimization strategy where you drive local site traffic through search engines. When more local customers get to know about your business from search engines, your physical store’s sales automatically boost. Before analyzing the importance and benefits of local SEO, first let us see how local SEO differs from other search engine efforts.
How is Local SEO Different from Global SEO?
General or global SEO and local SEO are closely similar to each other. Ranking factors, on page SEO, off page SEO, technical SEO, indexing all of these things are same for the both of them.
There is just one difference between global SEO and local SEO. Local SEO efforts specifically focuses on targeting a specific location for generating revenue. In local SEO you drive traffic from a geographical area that is in close proximity to your brick and mortar store. Global SEO on the other hand reaches a nationwide or an international audience.
How is Local SEO Different from Paid Search?
Local SEO is when you get organic traffic from search engines, whereas in paid advertisements you have to the pay to the search engines every time a customer comes on your website. We don’t recommend paid search to brick and mortar stores as they can be costly, especially when you are just starting out.
Organic search results can take months before you start getting decent results. However, this is a strategy that pays huge dividends in the long-run.
5 Reasons Why Local SEO is Important for Brick And Mortar Stores
1. Local SEO gives you a competitive advantage in Google Search
Most businesses, especially big ones try to capture global leads. They invest in full-cycle digital marketing, and general SEO to increase their average order value.
As a store owner, this gives you a competitive advantage over other local businesses when you try to capture customers through local SEO.
If you can see in the image, the difficulty for global/general SEO keyword is 43, whilst for Houston's local keyword it is 20. This shows it is easier to rank on the keyword and no matter a smaller group of leads, your business can still capture one solid lead.
Through local SEO, these customers can find your brick-and-mortarn a much more cost-effective way than digital marketing and SEO. Basic local SEO doesn’t rely on a hefty investment and a team of experts. It's easy to set up local search presence and gets you results almost instantly.
2. Local Search Engine Optimization is cost-effective
Small businesses can serve a specific region without investing heavily in paid advertisements. For example, if you are running a small grocery shop near a housing complex, your audience will be much easier to target than an eCommerce store.
Local SEO for brick-and-mortar is also easier to manage because you don’t run into logistics and other issues which eCommerce shop owners make. So, this means you can get good profit margins with higher client retention rates.
3. Attract More Qualified Leads and Local Customers for your Local Business
You need to target the right buyers when you are running a brick and mortar store. Brick and mortar stores get a lot of foot traffic, but that doesn’t mean those customers will necessarily buy from your store. If you bring in qualified leads from search engine, then you’ll be saving both time and money for your business because these are the customers that first checked your local digital presence and then came to shop.
That’s where local SEO helps brick-and-mortar store owners. It brings in customers who are already interested in buying from your shop, unlike window shoppers. You can attract ready-to-convert leads that will bring in sales for your business, without the customer even stepping foot in your store.
Brick and mortar stores that are relatively new have a weaker cash flow than fully-established eCommerce stores. That’s why they should keep track of every penny they spend on business growth.
When new customer walks into your store, after finding your business online, you have a much higher chance of converting them.
4. Get More From Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a goldmine for brick-and-mortar stores. In case you don’t know, Google My Business is one of the most used online directories that let you list your brick and mortar store on Google Maps and Google Searches free of cost. With GMB, customers can instantly find your store if you are in close range of their locality or neighborhood.
On GMBs, the customers can see each and everything about your brick and mortar store such as your business number, store timings, website, images, online reviews and much more relevant information.
According to statistics, most of the local searches made on smartphones are visited by the searcher within 24 hours. That’s how powerful GMB is for brick-and-mortar businesses.
5. Make the most out of timely local community searches
Big brands like Amazon and Walmart offer two-day shipping. This is a gap and you can capitalize on this by delivering the local orders right away, or even in a span of 4 to 5 hours. This is how you can still manage to grow through local community searches and compete against the giants in your niche.
Oftentimes, customers may need a thing or two right away instead of waiting for two days. It could be a last-minute gift for someone, or a new gadget they can’t wait to get their hands on.
Make sure you have an updated product catalog on your website, so customers can view which products are in stock. If they need something, they’ll give you a quick call for putting the product on hold for them, or simply drive to your store instantly for picking up the item. Either way, this impulsiveness will get you loads of sales.
Brick-and-mortar stores can’t ignore the importance of Local SEO for growing their business. An effective local SEO strategy can get you new foot visitors and quality shoppers for your brick-and-mortar store.
If you are also one of the retailers who needs assistance in setting up the local SEO initiatives, our experts can help. We are a full-service digital marketing company offering data-driven and result-oriented Local SEO services. Reach out to us today and top the SERPs in your neighborhood.