You have a brick-and-mortar store and the numbers of real buyers are dwindling. Your e-commerce store is also not doing well. Maybe it has hit the dead-end on the Internet Highway or lost its way in the jam-packed e-commerce ecosphere.
Whatever the reasons are; one hard fact is disturbing you – dipping sales.
What is the reason behind it? You might wonder.
The reason could be, you went ‘global’ instead of being ‘local’ with your website.
Maybe you were not ‘Thinking Local’ when you launched your e-commerce store.
How will you optimize your e-commerce store’s local listing?
How increase foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store?
Simple. Follow the proven steps
Here they are.
- Claim Your ‘Google My Business Page’. Put your business on the right path.
It is a simple process, go the link https://www.google.com/business/. Use your Google account to get started. You will receive the verification code via a postal mail postcard. Check your postal mail and be on the lookout for a small, simple postcard.
You do not want to miss it and delay the verification process!
Once the store location is verified you do the following:
Add a good description to it. Long enough to tell perfect about your business. Make it unique, not copied from your competitor.
- Select the right business category
- Upload relevant photos. Add as many as possible
- Add your business address. It should be the same as that mentioned on the e-commerce store and in the local business directories.
- Add your local number (of your store)
- Mention opening and closing time and the days when your store remains open.
- Upload a profile image and cover photo.
- Add customer testimonials.
Note – If you have more two or more stores in different locations, add the unique phone numbers of all the stores.Your business Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) should be consistent everywhere. On Google business page, local directories (online and offline) and e-commerce store.
Consistency is very important. Make your business page flawless so that you do not end up confusing the search engines and your prospective customers.
- Go local with SEO. Create more links
SEO is not dead. It is still alive and kicking. So follow the proven SEO tactics for local business page listing. Your ‘My Google Business Page’ is your landing page. Make it available to search engines. For that, you need to do the following. Add City/Region, along the relevant business keyword in the landing page in following areas:
- Title Tag
- H1 Tag
- Content (text)
- Image ALT attributes
Also, embed Google Map with your business marker in the landing page.
…. Create more local links
Local link building is like community living wherein you bond with each member of your community on a personal level. That is what exactly you do with your business. Build links with websites local to you; relevant to your business. Search engine like more numbers of high quality, relevant local links on your Google business page. Get them on your page and rank higher.
So build, build and build more local links. But earnestly follow below-mentioned tips to get best results.
Local directories are the best places to get started in that direction.
Find a group relevant to your business interest and location in Meetup.com. Filter out local events relevant to your industry and contact the interested businesses about sponsorship. Get a link from their website and their Meetup.com page.
Create own event and get links from the local event page.
Take part in local forums relevant to your business and get links from it.
Give discounts to local organizations in exchange for linked mention on their website.
Reciprocate the invaluable links to your e-commerce store with offerings like- discounts, sponsorships, freebies.
Win over local communities and their endorsements in the form of reviews, back-links, and testimonials.
- Earn Reviews from credible sources. Get a five-star badge for your business
Reviews are views published on third-party review sites. Yelp, Google My Business, Yahoo listings, Facebook ratings and reviews are well known.They all are credible sources of reviews. So get your business listed on them.
Double-check and confirm that your business is listed on, in-your-geography or business-specific review sites.
Good local reviews earn good rank in the local business search results. So have a well-defined review earning policy in place for your business:
- Respond to negative reviews with high degree of professionalism
- A steady flow reviews are better than a sudden wave because some platforms can start filtering them
- Ask customer to leave their reviews from their accounts
- Thank the positive ones
- Guide customers how to create reviews for you. Create a help page for it.
- Content is King. Treat it that way.
Do not copy content. Instead, create high-quality pages for your e-commerce store.
If you have brick-and-mortar stores in different cities then create a unique business page for each store. Try every business keyword/city combination and create a unique page on it. Online traffic will multiply, so will the foot traffic to your physical store.
Ensure keyword-content relevancy and uniqueness. The result; search engine will give higher rankings for given keywords.
Adopt right content development standards. You will make your e-store unique, and easily searchable. Here are the tips on it:
- Tag all the embedded videos and images. Write out the transcripts of video, if someone wants to read the video content because of hearing disability.
- Create unique blog posts every week. Engage more readers and encourage them to leave reviews. They are invaluable back-links in eyes of search engines.
- Ask users/customers in your business locations to leave genuine reviews in their own language.
- Interview experts in your industry and publish it on your store. That is a great way to get useful and unique content on your website.
- Sponsor events and competitions in your city; or take part in them. Create a content on it and print it.
Try to give unique tone to your content and hook your audience to it.
- Get your citation strategy right. Win over the search engines.
Citations are mentions of your business name and address on other webpages, even if there is no link to your website of e-store.
Business citations can be found on a local Yellow page, Chamber of Commerce, etc. They are trustworthy because it is difficult to fake membership in city business index or in the local newspaper.
Search engines like the citations for well-established and well- indexed portals. So get some for your business.
Follow a healthy citation practice. Here are the tips:Create a unique set of citations for your physical stores. Each citation should have the name, address, phone number and website URL.
- Create citations for the real stores, not the virtual ones.
- Point citation to relevant geo-location stores. For example Atlanta citation for your Atlanta store; Houston citation for your Houston store.
- Get rid of duplicate listings. Be on the right side of search engine law.
Make sure that your business does not have more than one listing for any single physical store in an online directory. The other listings of your store are the duplicate listings. If they are not removed your business can face such problems such as:
- The search engines index the outdated listing and grade it the most authoritative instead of the new one. Any live editing you do, may not show up because you may be doing it on some other listing that is not authoritative.
- Your business has many good reviews but because of duplicate listings, your review equity gets split. The outdated listing has more numbers of reviews with higher ratings than the new one. You fail to show up your good reputation to your potential customers.
- Your old, outdated business listing with the old address and wrong phone number may outrank the new, updated one. The consequence is that new traffic goes to the wrong listing and you could end up losing customers.
- Duplicate listings in different directories confuse search engines and hurt your credibility.
- Old listings can propagate across different platforms and end up creating false new listings.So do not create more than one listing for each store.
- Get social on the social media. Take advantage of the word-of-mouth phenomenon
Never forget the awesome power of word-of-mouth phenomenon on the social media circuit. Leverage it the right way for your local business. Identify the most popular social media sites already popular with your local customer base. It should not be a straight sell-off thing but more of social engagement.
You as social media enthusiast will help others with your expertise. You can engage a sad spirit and brighten his or her day, offer a valuable resource or engage in a useful discussion.
This all can fructify into business relations once a strong bond develops.
Use social media to connect with people in your community or city. Take part in events and conferences. Join local celebrations and sponsor local teams or college level competitions. Reach out to the furthest nooks of your community. Cement a strong bond.
You will boost your brand’s image. The result – more foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.
If you follow the above mentioned 7 golden rules you will better engage your local community and city folks. As a result, you will build a credible business image that will draw more foot traffic to your physical store.