If you’re a local retailer looking to drive more in-store foot traffic, you’ve probably considered a number of tactics—flashier banners, unbeatable promotions, and perhaps even aromas (hi, Lush!)—to draw people in. If you haven’t been making use of technology, though, you’re missing out. One great way to boost foot traffic may be something that’s right below your nose—local SEO.
Those who aren’t very well-versed with SEO often believe it to be more beneficial to e-commerce stores and other businesses selling services online. However, local SEO is particularly valuable to brick-and-mortar stores because it allows you to target local clients based on your geographical location.
The majority of people performing local searches are motivated to find a quick solution to their problem. They’re looking for something nearby that they can get right away. As a business owner, you can take advantage of this by showing your audience that you’re the quick solution that they need.
Want to boost foot traffic with local SEO? Here are four tips to get you started:
1. Claim Your Google My Business Listing
To kick off your local SEO strategy, claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing. To do this, all you have to do is create a Business Profile on Google and add business information such as your physical address, phone number, and opening hours. It’s also a great idea to add some quality visual content such as photos of your products and storefront.
Pro Tip: Remember to keep your business details consistent throughout all the local business directories that your business is featured in. Your Google My Business Listing will apply all across Google (including Search and Maps), but consider adding your business to other local search engines such as Yahoo Local and Bing Local as well.
2. Do Keyword Research
When you’re targeting your local area, it’s important to identify the keywords that are being used to find businesses like yours within your locality. Keep in mind, however, that keyword research for local SEO is a bit different from your general keyword research. There are, fortunately, several tools that can help you with this.
Pro Tip: If you’re a new local business, keep in mind that you probably shouldn’t start with keywords that get tens of thousands of searches per month simply because you probably won’t be able to compete. Start small and target local keywords that may not get as many searches, but are likely to get you high-quality leads. These are the searchers who are more likely to convert, anyways!
3. Pay Attention To Your Reviews
If you want your business to be visible on local search results, you need to keep a careful eye on your reviews. Google is always looking to provide better user experiences by delivering the most relevant results to searchers. To make this possible, data from reviews is used to evaluate which sites are considered to be the most helpful and valuable.
Pro Tip: Encourage your regular customers to leave positive reviews about your business. Make it easy for them by providing a QR code or an incentive to spread the good word!
4. Build Quality Links
Part of building a strong reputation online is getting endorsed by brands and people that consumers trust. On the internet, this means building quality links and getting citations on other reputable sites. You may find this involves networking and reaching out to other local businesses. You’d be surprised as to how much someone’s stamp of approval can boost your local traffic! You might even meet some new friends along the way.Pro Tip: When it comes to building links and making quality connections, complementary relationships are key. The competition may not want to be advertising your services, but a business whose products complement yours may. If you’re a coffee house, why not build a relationship with a local bakery? You’ll benefit from their endorsement of your coffee while they benefit from customers looking for a tasty pastry to go with their cup of joe. It’s the type of business relationship that can extend both online and offline!
Local SEO is one of the most powerful ways to boost walk-in traffic today. When done correctly, you’ll be able to achieve the success that you desire. We’re not going to lie—it can be a bit trickier than the four steps we’ve described above. If you do get started with these, though, you’ll be several steps closer than you were before!
If you really want to maximize results, work with an SEO service like Ranked. We help local businesses improve their rankings and boost walk-in traffic while building a reputation as an industry leader. Check us out today to see how we can help you grow!