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Do you have a localised SEO strategy? Are you making effective use of Google Places? If you are not, like many brands, then you are missing a trick.

For any brand, having an all-encompassing long term SEO strategy, targeting high volume key phrases, is essential to maintaining a continual revenue stream.

However, a vital area that can produce shorter term success but is often overlooked is the opportunity for localised SEO. 

I spoke recently at an event and many brands thought they were ranking in the top three, as opposed to ranking third organically, when there is potential for that organic ranking to effectively be displaced by ten places listings above them.

The importance of organic listings has been notably cannibalised and Google Places now means that big brands and small pop ups find themselves competing on a more “new user-friendly” landscape, aimed to provide diversity at the very least.

So lets imagine I’m the owner of an ecommerce website, I’ve done my location research based on geographical searches and I’m about to embark on opening the businesses first store in London.

I know that without a consistent revenue stream coming from our ecommerce platform the business won’t be sustainable, but achieving rankings for the high volume, competitive phrases can be a time consuming process. 

This is where local rankings and localised SEO strategy come into play. Instead of preying on high volume key phrases which will have less chance of success, adding a geographical suffix makes the term instantly less competitive.  

We must also remember that with the growing popularity of intelligent assistants like Siri, and with future improvements coming in the next update to IOS, we can expect voice searches to increase massively, integrating search into a real world environment.

This means that search queries will be less constrained as speech is often far less structured. 

But where is this search activity taking place? While PC users spend approximately 20% of their online time in social networks, mobile users spend 30% of their daily mobile time, engrossed in social media therefore it can be predicted that mobile search and apps will house more and more of our queries.

The tides might be about to change, but with the average Google+ user spending around six and a half minutes on the platform throughout the whole month of March 2013, as opposed to the six hours 44 minutes spent on Facebook, we might be forgiven for thinking that Facebook & Twitter have provided a one stop shop for all our day to day activities, taking the top spots across the gamut of social services offered.

With these quick tips you can ensure your store hits the ground running, attracting both in store and online purchases from a variety of diverse streams with great traffic potential.

Seven key ways to ensure success with localised SEO 

Store directories

Use the new store directories to take your spot above the big brands in the organic listings:

Google+

Setup Google+ for your business and furnish it with interior shop images as these can be viewed when using Street View, adding great value to new audiences, engaging videos and relevant topical posts that support your brand identity.  

Below is a fantastic example from AllSaints, allowing customers to explore its Spitalfields store via the web whilst stating the Twitter handle and hashtag for social media amplification.


A multi-network presence

Create a multi-network presence by building your businesses profiles on as many social networks as possible including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr and Medium and ensure your address and contact details are filled out on Facebook & Twitter! 

Semantic markup

This won’t directly affect your rankings but it could increase CTR by as much as 15%, especially if you’re using authorship markup showing your Google+ profile, so make your listing stand out.

On-site content

Around two years ago Matt Cutts recommended that any store location on your site should have a dedicated page,raise perceived trust with shop, product and any other supporting images, videos, directions and any other resources that might prove useful.

For example, take a quote from the store manager maybe on their personal product picks.

Example: Hotel Chocolat. A customer walked into a Hotel Chocolat Store to ask for the specific Store Manager to ask why the product seen on the store page was her favourite, after an explanation, she then bought that product in the store (for herself) and subsequently two more online for her family (gifting).

This is a perfect multichannel (or is that now omni-channel!) case study showing how you can really add value to previously untapped sections of your website.

Think about customer behaviour

Where are they? Are they searching from home or are they using their mobiles? If they’re on the move, are they going to use speech recognition to search? If so is it worth adopting a far more diverse, set of long-tailed search queries, as your keyword focus?  

If your customer is lucky enough to find you in the listings, will they be put off by a badly designed mobile site? 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website.

The future

Think about the future, with Geo-Fencing on the horizon and Fused Location Provider being announced at Google I/Os 2013, its time to start thinking about what kind of content you could offer to your target audience the moment they step in your shop and how you want to ensure you retain that customer when they leave. 

Chris Bishop

Published 14 June, 2013 by Chris Bishop

Chris Bishop is Founder & CEO of 7thingsmedia and a contributor to Econsultancy. He can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

17 more posts from this author

Comments (17)

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Ewan S.

Suitable for big brands and small businesses alike, this piece is accessible for all. Spot on point regarding the CR gains that can be achieved using Authorship markup, it’s amazing how much difference a little personification can make….

over 3 years ago

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Custom Web Development

Great post,thanks for sharing!

over 3 years ago

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Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing

"For example, take a quote from the store manager maybe on their personal product picks."

I think that's fantastic way to introduce unique content and some personality into your content. It gives prospective customers something real to latch onto and help connect them with your store. Your employees have a passion for your business, so let it shine!

over 3 years ago

Chris Bishop

Chris Bishop, Founder & CEO at 7thingsmedia

@ Ewan - Thanks!

@ Custom Web Development - Thanks!

@Nick S - Definitely, the store team are just as passionate about the product as the marketing and/or management team! It's a fantastic genuine story from my time at Hotel Chocolat from 2006. Multi-channel adoption wasn't anything like it is now and a customer story like this really empowered the local store team and the whole company.

over 3 years ago

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Denis From OnlySEO

In most industries, maps account for 5% of click through compared to organic of 60%-70%. unless you need people to come into your store because you don't have ecommerce, maps could do more damage than good.

Maps are great when useful though, perfect for restaurants and accommodation.

over 3 years ago

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Scott Kahle

Will localized SEO, such as Google Places, Yelp and others, help general organic SEO?

By the way, "small business" is not always synomonous with "local business. My business is very small and I need a large fooprint like North America. The reason I have my business on the internet is to broaden my market reach as their is not very strong demand in my local area. That's what is so great about the WWW.

over 3 years ago

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Lalit Saili, CIo at Pravaa

Chris - great post! A fantastic opportunity for small and large businesses. Thanks

over 3 years ago

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Chris Kershaw, Business Development Manager at Fluid Creativity

A very interesting article, especially the Hotel Chocolat example. Thanks for sharing Chris

over 3 years ago

Chris Bishop

Chris Bishop, Founder & CEO at 7thingsmedia

@ Denis - As you say Denis, the focus on Google Places results does depend heavily on the industry, but it’s still a great way to corner the market for businesses with a store front, especially if the places / linked Google+ page utilises supporting content like photos and videos, as these “profile” pages often compound perceived user trust.

The tactic really comes into its own, when used by businesses without many high ranking organic listings, as Google Places gives them a great opportunity to gain more prominence on page one with much shorter lead times.

Remember also that CTR's to the Google Places listings are growing with the increased focus of.

@ Scott - Localised SEO presence across a diverse range of platforms will help with organic SEO, aiding those finding it hard to attain high volume search phrase rankings, by allowing further penetration into searches with the same high volume phrase but with a geographical modifier.

The single best way to aid your organic campaign with localised content is to build out store pages on your website with useful and engaging content.

@ Lalit & Chris - Thank you!

over 3 years ago

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Miracle | SEO Company India

great post and good news seven tips for local seo following link for your SEO Campaign http://www.miraclewebsolutions.com/smo-services.html

over 3 years ago

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Eilidh MacRae

Great local SEO tips and advice. Thanks very much.

over 3 years ago

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Laxman

I likе the hеlpful info you provide in your artiсlеs.
I will bookmark your wеblog and check аgаіn hеre геgularly.
I am quite сertain ӏ wіll learn a lot of new stuff right here!
Good luck for the next!

over 3 years ago

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Paul Lovell

This post is great, At the moment some of my clients are getting ready to get there shop street viewed. I think that it will be great for local seo. and we are going to use some little trick with universal analytics to see the conversions for online visitor to in-store visitor

over 3 years ago

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Jomer Gregorio

That is something what i call, stand and deliver, good points shared.
the best one is, if you can see like a search engine then you can make things better for your site or blog.

over 3 years ago

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River sand

Thank you for posting this post, we apperciate your post on Do you have a localised SEO strategy? Are you making effective use of Google Places? If you are not, like many brands, then you are missing a trick

over 3 years ago

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Divya Priya, Program Analyst at Web Desinigng Company

Great post..! Found it really helpful. Thanks for the share

about 2 years ago

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Divya Priya, Program Analyst at Web Desinigng Company

Great post..! Found it really helpful. Thanks for the share. Worthy information for sure.

about 2 years ago

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