Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid for Digital Retailing

If you run a local retail store and an e-commerce shop, it's easy to think of your online presence as a separate entity.

But the thing is ...

the two can work together, driving more business to your brick and mortar storefront.

You might pull in plenty of cash online, but depending on where you're located, there are probably plenty of locals interested in your products too.

If you operate a local store and have also entered the digital retailing space, keep reading for an in-depth look at local SEO mistakes to avoid and what you can do to help locals find you online.

Why Local SEO Matters for Digital Retailing

If you have a local, brick and mortar store, local SEO is vital to customers finding your store and stopping by to check out your product.

For local businesses, it's important to optimize your site so that it shows up in searches for your target keywords plus your location and for just your target keyword to searchers located in your area.

Even if you're already doing well for keywords at a national (or international) level, local SEO is a bit different. With local SEO, you've got to let Google know you're in the area.

This can be done in a number of ways, including:

  • Adding your physical location and contact information to your website
  • Checking and updating your Google My Business information
  • Keeping local review sites like Yelp updated

There's a whole lot more to local SEO than that. Those are just a few of the ways you can start optimizing your site locally today.

One of the key components to local SEO is proximity to the searcher. If you don't have clear location information out there, search engines don't know you're nearby when someone does a local search.

Mistakes to Avoid

Local SEO isn't easy.

Just because you're targeting a smaller area, doesn't mean the process of optimizing your site for search is any simpler.

Thankfully, there are a few mistakes you can avoid to give your local SEO a boost.

Mistake #1: Not Letting Locals Know You're Local

One of the easiest--but most significant--mistakes you can make when it comes to local SEO, is not making your location information clearly visible on your website.

For your website to appear in local searches, your location information needs to indicate that you're located near searchers. This is increasingly important as more people take their searches for local goods and services online.

Having a contact or an about page with your address or phone number just isn't enough. If you want to reach local searchers, you need to clearly display your location information in the header or footer of your website.

Mistake #2: Not Taking Advantage of Google My Business

If you haven't checked out your business on Google My Business, you're missing out.

Google My Business is a powerful tool that allows local businesses to appear in local results for their chosen product or service. The great thing about GMB is that your website doesn't even need to rank for your business to appear in search results.

Your business could appear alongside other businesses in the area right on Google Maps or regular Google searches.

As an increasing number of searches are made right from Google Maps or mobile devices, it's vital that you have a presence on GMB if you want to be found locally.

Mistake #3: Setting Up Fake a Location

If you're thinking about setting up a Google My Business location or posting an address on your website for a location where your business doesn't actually reside, think again.

Many businesses have added GMB locations or put location information on their websites for PO boxes or the home address of an employee or the owner.

If your store doesn't actually have a physical location, this could be tempting. But it's deceptive. Local shoppers will assume you have a physical location when you don't, and when they come looking for your store will be less than excited to find nothing.

Some less than honest retailers have used this same tactic to try and rank locally in different locations as well.

Whatever your intentions, don't add an address to Google My Business unless you actually do business at that address. Google can and will penalize you for this practice.

Mistake #4: Trying to Use One Phone Number or Address When You Have Multiple Locations

If you have several physical retail locations in different areas, it can be tempting to post just one set of contact information to your website and only set up a single Google My Business location.

But if you want all of your locations to be found in local search, you need to make your locations clear and distinct for search engines.

On your website, you should create pages with detailed information about each of your locations, helping both search engines and visitors know where each of your stores are located.

Don't forget to set up separate Google My Business locations too with different addresses and phone numbers.

Using the same phone number online for all locations can be especially tempting for simplicity, but don't do it. Search engines need to see distinctive information for each location to help serve searchers the right information.

Fix Your Local SEO

If you've got a digital retailing operation up and running, making some adjustments and optimizing for local SEO doesn't have to be difficult.

Now that you know what not to do, you can start focusing on what you should be doing: creating clear location information and optimizing Google My Business.

Ready to reach more customers locally? Get in touch with us today.