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Leveraging Your Online Store for Local SEO: A Detailed Guide

In today’s digital era, having an online store is important for any ecommerce businesses looking to thrive in this competitive market landscape. However, merely having an online presence is not enough; you need to ensure that your store is visible to potential customers. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play. 

In this guide, we will explore how you can leverage your online store to enhance your local SEO efforts and attract more customers.

Understanding Local SEO and Ranking Factors

Search engine optimization focuses on finding the keywords that resonate with your customer base and optimizing your website and its mentions across the web to rank its pages for said keywords. Typically, this includes ranking product pages for the keywords that best describe products that you sell and ranking articles and guides for informational keywords.

Local SEO focuses on ranking your website or Google Business Profile for relevant local keywords. In local SEO, not only your website is an important aspect, but your Google Business Profile is important too, as it often can appear in local searches.

Source: Google
Alt: Local pack results in SERP showing a part of Google Maps search.

The work you need to do to get your online website optimized for local SEO includes all the general best practices of SEO as well as some things specific to local SEO. Here is what you need to do:

  • Create unique and keyword-rich SEO tags like the title tag
  • Create keyword-rich, readable URLs
  • Improve website loading speed and other Core Web Vitals
  • Create a Google Business Profile and fill it with relevant information
  • Build or earn backlinks from local websites
  • Build citations across the local web

Setting Up an Online Store for Local SEO

The first thing you need to do to get your website ready for local SEO is to enable SEO-friendly URLs. It’s likely that your online store platform supports human-readable URLs, so you can find this setting in your store’s admin panel.

You may also want to set up rules for creating semantic URLs. This means naming the URLs for your products in a way that is easy to understand for both users and search engines.

To make both your online store’s website and Google Business Listing work together, connect them. You can connect the two with an external app like Zapier or Make.

Finally, consider creating a mobile app. Mobile traffic is dominating in local searches, so giving users more options to interact with your business is a good idea.

Keyword Research and Optimization

Optimizing your pages for the right keywords is one of the main cornerstones of SEO, and it applies to local SEO efforts as well. The two things you’ll have to do to optimize your website for local SEO are to find the right keywords and to include them in your website in strategic places.

The first task is finding them. Focus on the core keywords that describe your business and products. Then, find similar keywords to expand your keyword list. You can do that with free tools like Google Keyword Planner or a specialized SEO tool. The best alternatives to popular SEO services won’t be a strain on your budget and will provide a rich list of keywords you can optimize for.

Once you have the list of keywords, add them to the key locations:

  • Meta title
  • Meta description
  • URL name
  • Alt tags on
  • H1s tag on the product description page

You should also include them sparingly in the body of text on product pages.

Leveraging Online Store Features for Local SEO

There are multiple ways to optimize your online store for local search. Apart from using the basic SEO layout of meta tags and proper URL naming, there are four key features that will be useful for local SEO.

The first feature that is useful for SEO is something that you don’t even need to use. It works for your SEO efforts on its own. The fact that it offers a responsive design and a high loading speed on websites created with it improves SEO already.

The blog that you can create can be used for local content marketing. You can either try to rank blog articles for local informational keywords or create content that local news sites and blogs can gladly link to.

The ability to create different rate areas and differentiate between product availability in those areas means your in-stock markers in SERP.

Source: Google
Alt: A result in SERP showing the availability of the product.

This results in a higher click-through rate on SERP.

Lastly, one of the best things is the fact that you can work with multiple SEO plugins for your online store. For example, CS-Cart supports third-party add-ons, that you can get on their Add-on Market. For local SEO, you can choose between dozens of add-ons. One you could start with is the Mega SEO Package.

It covers most of the on-page local SEO tasks and gives you more mobile optimization options.

Building Local Backlinks and Citations

This part of local SEO can’t be helped with your online store because it’s off the website, but it’s important to mention this. To get the most out of optimizing your online store, you need to build backlinks and citations from local websites. You can get those links from sites like:

  • Local news sites
  • Local business blogs
  • Review websites
  • Local business directories
  • Event websites

Some of those links don’t require any effort, and others will require you to create content that editors will want to link to.

Local SEO Analytics and Performance Tracking

Finally, no SEO campaign is possible without tracking your progress and analyzing it. 

With the native store management tools, you can see your store’s financial progress. With the Google Analytics integration, you can see how your SEO efforts play out. Combine the two, and you have a near-complete picture of the SEO.

One thing to keep in mind is that SEO takes around a month or two to influence your website due to Google having to index changes and new pages.

Advanced Local SEO Tips 

The best local SEO advice you could get is this—keep up with the industry and be the first to use new techniques and Google features. SEO is always changing, and it’s best to be among the pioneers who reap rewards than among the people who follow them. This is especially true if you’re looking to land an online job or grow your freelance business.

To do this, you can read the official Google blog and documentation, as well as listen to industry podcasts.

Conclusion

Leveraging your online store for local seo is very much important to attract new leads and to drive more traffic and conversions. By implementing the above mentioned strategies you can improve local search and stand out from the competiton.


Author’s Bio:

Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate, and out-of-the-box thinking woman having vast exposure in Digital Marketing. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results in her professional motto. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things, and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on X or LinkedIn

Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart | Website

Yan Anderson is the Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart with over 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. He's passionate about explaining complicated things in simple terms. Yan has expertise in building, running and growing eCommerce marketplaces. He loves to educate people about best practices, new technologies, and trends in the global eCommerce industry.

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