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What is Local SEO and how can it Benefit your Retail Store?

What is Local SEO and how can it Benefit your Retail Store?

Reaching a local audience is critical to the success of any brick-and-mortar retailer. This is why local search engine optimization (or local SEO) is so important. 

Local SEO helps store owners promote their retail business to local shoppers.

In this article, we’ll go into detail about what local SEO is and how it can benefit your retail business – from increasing your online visibility, driving foot traffic, and ultimately growing your revenue. 

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO stands for local search engine optimization. It is the process of “optimizing” your online presence so that your store can appear as high as possible in search results. By focusing on local SEO, you can attract more business from relevant local searches.

Essentially, the purpose of a local SEO strategy is to ensure that users can find you – both online and offline. 

The Importance of Local Search

shop local flag

According to Google: 

  • 4 in 5 shoppers use a search engine to find local information.

  • 50% of shoppers who conducted a local search on their smartphone, visited a store within the same day.

  • And 34% of users who searched on a computer/tablet did the same. 

Having said that, the amount of users that are conducting local searches is also growing at a significant rate. 

Over the past several years, there has been over a 500% growth rate in “near me” mobile searches that contain the phrases “can I buy” or “to buy”. 

For shoppers, search is no longer about finding a specific business. It is about finding a specific product in a specific place and in a specific period of time. 

The challenge for store owners then becomes giving target shoppers the answers they are looking for at the exact moment that they are searching. And by doing so, capturing both their interest and the sale. 

This is where local SEO comes in. 

The Benefits of Local SEO 

local store

We know that the modern shopper prefers to conduct product research online before making purchases in store. So it makes sense that retail businesses with the greatest local online presence (or a strong local SEO strategy) will capture the majority of sales in a certain area. 

Listed below are the key benefits of a local SEO strategy. 

Local SEO Strategies

seo strategy

As a local store owner, you may feel that investing time into your Google search ranking is useless as it means competing with larger retailers like Amazon and Walmart. But this isn’t the case for local search.

Google recognizes the benefits of local business and it knows that shoppers do too. So in order to determine how your business ranks in local search and if it is geographically relevant, Google takes a certain set of factors into consideration. 

With that being said, there are key elements to ranking well in local search – which can be broken down into the following three components: 

  1. Optimizing your Google My Business listing: Google My Business is a free online listing service offered by Google. It is a powerful yet easy tool that retailers can leverage to drive local foot traffic. To learn more about Google My Business, click here
  2. Optimizing your store’s website for on-site SEO: Increasing your on-site SEO involves updating your website to optimize for several ranking factors. This includes improving internal linking structure, building local content, optimizing for keywords (website URL, meta descriptions, titles, headers etc.), and ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. 
  3. Optimizing for off-site SEO: This involves everything you should be doing across the web (other than your own website). Key strategies to focus on include NAP consistency, inbound links, and local directory listings. 

If you would like help implementing a local SEO strategy for your retail business, hiring a local SEO consultant is a good place to start. Click here for an informative and thorough guide on how to find the best local SEO company for your retail store. 


Keep an eye out on our blog for more SEO tips. 

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about how you can increase foot traffic and store sales, click here

 

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Retail Marketing: Free Thanksgiving Stock Images

Retail Marketing: Free Thanksgiving Stock Images

Fall is fast approaching. Which means that our retailers are beginning to gear up for their Holiday marketing campaigns.
 
And the first stop is Thanksgiving!
 
So to help you stand out, we’ve put together a collection of beautiful, high quality images.
 
All photos are free for commercial use, no attribution required.
 
Click here to download the images for free.
 
Happy Thanksgiving!

#thanksgiving #canada #retail #freephotos #stockphotos #fallphotos #thanksgivingphotos #retailmarketing #retailpos #cloudpos

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Retail Marketing: Attract Local Shoppers with Google My Business Posts

Retail Marketing: Attract Local Shoppers with Google My Business Posts

For those of you who don’t know, Google My Business is a powerful tool that allows retail businesses to connect with local shoppers. 

And posts on Google My Business is a promotion tool that helps optimize a store’s business listing and increase foot traffic. 

Put simply, it is an easy and free way to promote your business locally. 

I’ll explain more below.

What are Google My Business Posts? 

Google My Business posts is a feature that allows you to share content about your store on Google Search and Maps. It is similar to any other social media platform like Twitter or Facebook. 

As a store owner, you are able to share news, promotions, events, and new products with shoppers. It posts directly to your Google My Business listing – so existing and potential customers can see your content directly in search results. 

google my business posts

What are the Benefits of Google My Business Posts?

local shopper

Posts on Google give retailers the ability to communicate with shoppers so they are better informed when making purchasing decisions. Which means that local businesses are able to: 

  • Engage shoppers with attractive content (photos, videos, GIFS etc.) 

  • Promote any new sales, products, or events

  • Improve shopper experience with relevant and timely information 

  • Communicate directly with local shoppers 

How Does it Work?

google search

For each post, business owners can include text, call-to-action buttons, and/or photos or videos to promote their store. There are four different GMB post types including: 

What’s New: Share general information about your retail business. For example, you can give shoppers an inside look at your Halloween displays and merchandise.

Events: Promote any upcoming events that you are holding. Each event requires a start time, end time, and a title. It is also good practice to include a photo/video,an event description, and a call to action button leading to a landing page for your event.

Products: Store owners also have the option of promoting any products or new merchandise. For example, a pet store could promote their new range of dog food. Keep in mind that product posts require a title and photo/video.

Offers: According to Google, 50% of shoppers are looking for promotions and discounts when searching for a business online. So provide shoppers with information on the latest sales and promotional offers. Offers will appear at the top of your business listing on both Google Search and Maps. 

These posts require a title, and start/end dates. It’s also good practice to include photos/videos, descriptions, coupon codes, and terms and conditions of the offer. The call-to-action button “View” will automatically appear on all Offer posts.

Some Important Things to Note 

  • GMB posts disappear after 7 days unless you set another shorter time frame. This is why it is important to post consistent and relevant content. 

  • It is a good idea to include GMB in your marketing strategy. Place the same importance on GMB posts as you would on other social platforms like Instagram or Twitter. 

  • Google provides insights on your posts – including how many views each post got. It also tells you how many users clicked on a link in a post


We hope you found this article helpful!

Would you like to learn how to attract local shoppers on Google?

Good news – we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

#retailmarketing #googlemybusines #digitalmarketing #localseo #foottraffic #googleposts #posts #benefitsofGoogleposts

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Retail Marketing: How to Get More Google My Business Reviews

Retail Marketing: How to Get More Google My Business Reviews

Reviews are an important part of local search. According to Google, 2 out of 3 shoppers say having positive reviews was an important factor in selecting a business or store to purchase from. 

Which means two things: 

More good reviews = higher ranking in local search 

Higher ranking in local search = more foot traffic = more sales

This is why it’s important to gather reviews and respond to them. 

How to Get More Google Reviews

1. Ask for reviews at the right moment

According to Brightlocal, 70% of shoppers who have been asked to leave a review went on to do so.

It is generally good practice to ask shoppers to leave a review after they have made a purchase from your store. Also think of asking loyal and long-term shoppers who have not made a purchase in a while. 

How you ask for reviews is equally as important as when you ask for them – which brings us to the next point. 

retail transaction

2. Make it Easy 

Shoppers are unlikely to leave review if the process is difficult. The easier the review process is for your store, the more reviews you are likely to gather. 

Below are a few ways you can make it simple for your shoppers to leave a review. 

customer in store

1) Create Review Cards 

Create physical “drop us a review” cards with your store’s short URL. Place them near checkout and remind your employees to hand them out to shoppers after they make a purchase. You will want to go over best practices with your employees. 

It’s best for employees to hand them out to shoppers who have had a pleasant experience at the store. For example, your staff should look out for the following situations: 

  • if an employee had a positive interaction with a shopper in-store

  • if a shopper was experiencing a problem and are grateful for your store’s customer service.  

It is obviously a good idea to avoid handing them out to unpleasant or rude shoppers. 

You can also create a reward system within the store for your staff. Create incentives for your employees; reward the staff member who hands out the most review cards or generates the most reviews.

review cards

2) Send a follow-up text or email

Go mobile by sending shoppers a follow-up text or create an email campaign. Here are a few tips for what to include in your follow-up text or email: 

  • personalize the email or text : you can personalize the message by including the shopper’s name. Not only do personalized messages make shoppers feel important, they are proven to have a higher open rate as well

  • keep it short : make sure your message is short, simple, and straight to the point. 

  • Include the short review URL : shoppers will not take the time out of their day to find your Google My Business account. Once you claim your short name on Google My Business, you will have access to a short URL that will directs shoppers to leave a review (shown below).

To get access to your short URL for reviews, you must first claim your short name. To find out more information about Google My Business short names and the steps you must take to claim your short name, click here

store owner

1. Sign in to Google My Business

2. Click “Home” on the left menu bar.

google my business home

3. You will see the “Get more reviews” box on the right side of the page – as shown below. Copy your short URL for reviews to share in your email or text message. 

Google get more reviews

4) Add a Review Link on your Store’s Website 

Include a review link or button on relevant pages of your store’s website. This might be your contact page, thank-you page, or even a section on your homepage. 

mini shopping cart

5) Incentivize shoppers  

Offering shoppers a reward or incentive for leaving a review is a great way to gather more Google My Business reviews. Effective incentives include a $15 gift card or store credit, loyalty points, store merchandise etc.

gift in shopping cart

6) Include a Review Link in your Email signature 

Adding a short and simple call to action in your email signature is another effective way to gather Google My Business reviews. For example, “Your opinion is important to us! Drop us a review at [GMB short URL].” 

This strategy is especially important for retailers who regularly email their customers. 

email marketing helps generate Google My Business reviews

Responding to Reviews

Once you’ve set up a process for gathering reviews, your focus needs to shift to responding to them effectively. 

Responding to reviews shows potential shoppers that you value good customer service. It also shows shoppers that their opinions will be heard and leaving a review is worth their time. 

This is why it is important to respond to all reviews – the good and the bad. In fact, 45% of customers state that they are more likely to visit a business if that business responded to negative reviews

For more information on how to respond to reviews, click here


We hope you found this article helpful!

Would you like to learn how to attract local shoppers on Google?

Good news – we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

#retailmarketing #googlemybusiness #reviews #googlereviews #reviewmarketing #digitalmarketing #localseo #foottraffic

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Retail Marketing: 3 Digital Marketing Tactics That Drive Foot Traffic

Retail Marketing: 3 Digital Marketing Tactics That Drive Foot Traffic

Are you looking for a cost effective tool to drive footfall to your store? 

Then you should consider targeting shoppers online with digital marketing tactics. 

The Importance of Digital Marketing for Retailers

Many retailers disregard the importance of digital marketing. In fact, only 44% of local retailers have claimed a Google My Business Listing

If you are not making use of digital marketing tools, you are missing out on a huge chunk of customers! 

Shoppers are now searching for retail businesses like yours online. According to Google:

  • 3 out of 4 customers now use a search engine to find a business. 

  • 7 out of 10 customers made a purchase from a business they found using a search engine. 

This is why digital marketing strategies are essential for retailers who are looking to drive foot traffic and sales. 

To learn more about the benefits of digital marketing for retail stores, click here

Below are three strategies you can leverage to build an online presence and attract more shoppers. 

3 Online Marketing Tactics that Increase Foot Traffic 

1) Local Directory Listings 

local seo

Local search results present a huge opportunity for retail stores; according to Google, 80% of people now use a search engine to find local information. 

This is why local directory listings are so valuable to retailers as a digital marketing tool – they help optimize your retail business for local search (or local SEO). In simpler terms, they help you be found locally by making your retail store appear in search results. 

Directories feature business information such as your address, contact information, store hours along with other useful features such as customer reviews, images, videos, and preferred payment options. 

Not only do local directories help you appear higher up in search results – they also help your business stand out among big box stores and online retailers. 

As mentioned above, most retail stores haven’t optimised for local search while online competitors can’t compete with your store locally. Meaning – there is a competitive edge you can gain by focusing on local SEO. 

To learn more about the basics of SEO, click here

The following are some online directories that will help you get noticed in local search results:

  • Google My Business

  • Yelp 

  • Yahoo Local 

  • Bing Places for Business

  • MerchantCircle

  • Yellow Pages

  • Foursquare

  • Manta

  • Angie’s List

  • Citysearch

2) Buy Online, Pick Up In-store (BOPI) 

shopper buying online

Buy Online, Pick Up In-store or BOPI (also commonly known as click and collect) takes advantage of consumer shopping habits to drive foot traffic. 

This omni-channel strategy draws on the fact that shoppers prefer to see the physical product in person but want the convenience of browsing online. In a recent survey, 50% of shoppers stated that they decided where to make a purchase based on whether a store offered BOPI options

BOPI is increasing in popularity as more and more retailers are adopting the strategy in order to remain competitive in the age of Amazon. And it is a tactic that seems to be working – according to the Business Insider, 68% of US consumers have made multiple click and collect purchases

Retailers adopting BOPI strategies are also reaping the benefits – 85% of shoppers made additional purchases when picking up an order in-store

To summarize, BOPI drives foot traffic while offering several advantages to retailers including: 

  • Higher rates of impulse purchases  

  • Decreased shipping costs 

  • Lower return rates

  • Satisfied shoppers

3) Google Local Inventory Ads

foot traffic

Google Local Inventory Ads are one of the most important digital marketing tools that retailers can leverage to drive foot traffic. This is because LIAs give retailers the unique ability to display a store’s in-stock merchandise –  at the exact moment that a relevant local search is made.

According to Google, shoppers prefer and act on location based ads

When a shopper makes a relevant product search, and that product is available at a local store, they will be shown a local inventory ad with an “in stock” label.

Once that shopper clicks on the ad, they will be taken to the Local Storefront page. Here, they will be given more information about the product and your physical store including other in-stock inventory, current promotions, store location, and hours. 

So by implementing Google LIAs in your digital marketing strategy, you will be able to target local shoppers and drive relevant traffic to your store! 


We hope you found this article helpful!

Would you like to learn more about how to increase your retail store’s online presence? 

Good news- we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

#digitalmarketing #foottraffic #builtforretail #increasefootfall

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