Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | December 29, 2018

How to Increase Your Store Traffic with Local SEO

How exactly does Local SEO play into the world of brick-and mortar retailing?

More than 1 out of every 3 customers claims that they use the internet to find or search for local business on a weekly basis – at a very minimum! The internet and specifically local search has become an integral aspect of consumerism in today’s market.

Consumers have learned to utilize local search when looking for a business because it brings them the most relevant search results specific to the goal they are trying to accomplish; goals like finding a new restaurant, the nearest gas station, or the trendiest clothing outlet. It helps them locate businesses that could all be reached within a matter of minutes.

The rise of mobile devices has made local search even more relevant to today’s brick-and-mortar retailers.

More and more, customers are pulling out their smartphones to make a quick search for a local business while they are already out and about. This presents an opportunity to capitalize on searchers with “on the go” needs who are ready to make a purchase Right Now!

50% of local searches on mobile devices visited a store within one day and 18% of these searches actually lead to a sale within the first 24 hours. While these statistics are from the results of a survey conducted back in 2014, since then, Google has only refined their local search algorithms and enhanced their ability to handle more natural, long-tailed keyword searches leading to more accurate and relevant results. With this improved accuracy and relevancy we can speculate that the conversion rates from local search have continued to improve as well.

Whether you are a national chain brand that wants to increase store traffic in particular communities, a regional company that wants to improve their authority in specific neighborhoods, or a mom and pop store that is looking to become relevant in the online community, a local search strategy will help you improve your online visibility and drive more customers into your store.

Long story short, local search is your solution for driving more customers into your store and creating a long-term authoritative status in your local community.

Click Here to Read: Top 5 Local SEO Strategies to Increase Your Revenue

3 Concrete Reasons Why Local SEO Increases Store Traffic

1. Increased Online Visibility

A local SEO strategy helps to increase online visibility by targeting a number of important factors that influence the local search rankings. Factors such as listing accuracy and consistency, Google My Business Signals, and review signals are highly influential and together, account for over 45% of how well your business will rank in the local search results.

In addition to generating local visibility through the ranking factors, you are also prepared to target the rapidly growing hyperlocal market. With the rise of mobile and the increasing number of “on-the-go” searches, Google has been showing signs of pushing people towards hyperlocal searches. A local search strategy increases visibility for hyperlocal searches by focusing on becoming the most relevant and trustworthy business within an extremely localized area. Hyperlocal may seem like a small area to target, but searchers who fall under that category have immediate needs and are some of the most ready to spend money.

Ranking signals are crucial to your visibility and the hyperlocal market gives you the potential to answer to the immediate needs of your customers. The issue that many businesses face is that building your own local search strategy can be extremely difficult and time consuming without the right tools; additionally, keeping up with such a fluid industry like SEO can be overwhelming for businesses that are not fully committed to staying up to date with the constant changes.  

2. A Better Online Reputation

A study done by Forbes Insights found that as many as 82% of customers research online before making a purchase. This makes your online reputation is one of the most important factors in today’s marketplace and can make or break your business.

When it comes to your online reputation, it all starts with your reviews. 80% of people will trust reviews as much as personal recommendations; they look to reviews as a trusted community of people that can either vouch for your business or advise against it. A business with better reviews and a better overall online reputation will ultimately win over more customers and drive them into their stores.

A great SEO strategy for local search places a strong focus on building up your online reputation to show customers and search engines you are the most trustworthy business around. The right tools and strategy will help you generate more positive reviews and increase your review response rate, both of which are crucial for improving your online reputation.

3. Reduced Risk from User Photos and Videos

Another way local search can increase store traffic is by using photos and videos posted by previous customers in order to reduce the amount of risks potential customers feel when they researching your business. Photos and videos give searcher the most insight into what a real experience will be like if they visit your store. They are the closest thing to a real life experience customers can get to when searching online and they help customers feel more confident when deciding to visit your business.

The best local search tools out there will help you compile and manage all of your media in one place, even the photos that do not specifically tag your business. This allows you to monitor user generated content for any inappropriate photos as well as promote the best photos and videos taken of or in your business.

The demand for local search is there, it is up to your business to become relevant and authoritative in the local results in order to drive more customers into your stores! Schedule your FREE demo with Chatmeter to learn how our dashboard can equip you with the most effective tools in the industry allowing you to build a long-term local SEO strategy and consistently drive more customers into your stores.