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Optimizing Google My Business: The Importance of NAP Consistency

Optimizing Google My Business: The Importance of NAP Consistency

Every retailer needs a Google My Business listing. 

It’s the single most important tool that store owners can leverage to gain local exposure. But it’s not enough to just have a listing, you must optimize it so you can reach as many local shoppers as possible. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the first step in optimizing your business listing. 

What is NAP Consistency?

To get started, Google My Business will request basic store information including your store name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP). 

This will act as the starting point for your store’s local seo

NAP

It is extremely important that the NAP you provide Google My Business is exactly the same as the information listed on your website. Otherwise, your ranking in search results will be negatively impacted. 

In fact, your store’s NAP should be consistent across the entire web – including other local directory listings and your social media.

This is known as NAP consistency: it can be defined as having your store’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistently listed the same across the entire web. 

How Does it Affect Local SEO? 

NAP inconsistencies are the #1 issue affecting local search ranking.

ranking issue graph

NAP is critical for any retail store that wants to rank high in organic search and be found locally. This is because NAP is what causes your retail store to appear in local or geo-targeted searches. In other words, when a user searches for product or store information, Google uses NAP information to decide which stores to display in the search results. 

NAP Helps Google Determine Legitimacy 

It’s important to note that Google prioritizes businesses and sites that it believes to be legitimate. And to determine the legitimacy of a business, Google will reference how a business’s NAP appears across the web (including websites, local directory listings, social media profiles etc). If this information is not consistent, Google won’t know to display your store information to local shoppers. 

NAP Consistency Checklist for Retailers 

1. Decide how to format your name, address, and phone number. 

Tip: Keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent. For example, if you use Allison and Bret’s Pet Store, 123 Main street, and 555-555-5555 on your website, don’t use AB’s Pet Store, 123 Main St., or (555)-555-5555 on Google My Business.

2. Post your NAP on your website. You’ll want to ensure that it is visible on specific parts of your website including: a prominent location on your homepage, your contact page, and the header/footer on the rest of your webpages. You may also want to include an embedded Google Map of your business address on your contact page (this acts as a strong local SEO signal). 

3. Post your NAP on your Google My Business listing. Remember, it has to be exactly the same as the information listed on your website.

4. Improve local SEO by listing your business on local directories. Again, NAP on each listing should be consistent with your Google My Business profile and your website. The following are some online directories that will help your store appear in local search results:

  • Yelp

  • Yahoo Local 

  • Bing Place for Business

  • MerchantCircle

  • Yellow Pages

  • Foursquare

  • Manta

  • Angie’s List

  • Citysearch 

5. Add your NAP to your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.). 

6. Once your NAP is listed across the web, make sure to periodically check that it is accurate and consistent.

SEO

Looking to increase foot traffic and store sales? Easily implement Google Local Inventory ads with our new Google integration. Learn more here.  

#NAPconsistency #NAPdefinition #localseo #googlemybusiness #optimizinggooglemybusiness

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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: 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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Google My Business for Retailers: Creating a Short Name

Google My Business for Retailers: Creating a Short Name

Google recently introduced a new feature for verified merchants on Google my Business (GMB). Business owners can now create a GMB short name (also called a custom name). 

You may be wondering what the purpose of this new feature is. 

Google My Business short names make it easier for shoppers to find you online! 

I’ll explain more below. 

What is a Google My Business Short Name? 

It is basically a simple or shorter name that is used to represent your retail business or location. If your retail business has multiple locations, it is a good idea to use your business name with the location (city, neighbourhood, street etc.) of the store as your short name. 

The majority of merchants and business categories now have access to the feature. So it is a good idea to claim your preferred short name before it is no longer available. 

What are the Benefits of a Google My Business Short Name?

store front

GMB short names make it simple for you to share your business listing with shoppers – so they can easily find you online.

Before Google released this feature, GMB profiles had extremely long URLS – making it difficult to share with shoppers or use as a landing page. 

When you create a short name, shoppers can enter your short name URL “g.page/[yourcustomname]” and they will be directed straight to your business profile. 

Once you claim your short name, you will also get access to a short URL for requesting reviews.

GMB get more reviews

With a GMB short name, it is now easy to promote your business to gain more reviews, share directions, and get leads. 

Best Practices 

Before you take the steps to claim your short name, here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • It’s important that your short name is associated with your store’s name.

  • Make sure that it is simple so that you can easily promote your business and shoppers can remember it. 

  • If you have multiple locations, you must claim a short name for each GMB listing. Again, it’s a good idea to include your location (city, neighbourhood, street etc.) to make your name unique and easy to remember. 

  • It is also a good idea to use your short name URL on marketing materials. This way, you can gain more reviews and local exposure. 

How to Claim Your Short Name on Google My Business

1. Sign in to Google My Business

2. Click “Info” from the menu bar on the left.

info in GMB menu tab

3. Click on “Add profile short name”.

GMB short name

4. Enter your short name – it can be up to 32 characters. If your name is unavailable, you will receive an error message. You can try a shortened form of your name or you can try adding your location. Otherwise, try another short word that describes your retail store. 

Apply GMB profile short name

5.Click “Apply”. Once you do so, your short name will show as pending. When it is ready and approved, it will show up on your business listing. 


Did you find 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.

#googlemybusiness #retail #shortnames #attractlocalshoppers #retailpos #cloudpos #localseo #searchengineoptimization

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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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