How to Master E-commerce at a Local Level
Mastering local e-commerce is the first step towards attaining success as a business. But there are processes that are critical to local e-commerce success. Most of these are little things that many businesses ignore. Effectively positioning a brand in the local market is the first step to attaining real success in e-commerce.
Lee Nagel, the VP of marketing at Izenda and the leader of operations and marketing execution, recently offered advice to small businesses and established ones that are looking to embrace a more efficient strategy. He spoke with me and shared some useful tips to help businesses master e-commerce at the local level as they look to expand into broader markets.
Cultivate local reviews
Running a local business on the internet is no easy task if you fail to establish credibility with customers online. One of the ways your e-commerce business can capture the local market is cultivating local reviews so when someone from your region searches for products to meet their needs they see relevant information that points to your business. According to research, people will trust your business more when the reviews they read about it are from friends or people from their vicinity they can relate to, so ensuring your e-commerce business establishes its local presence calls for developing credibility at the local level.
Open a Google My Business Profile
Given the fact a business benefits from local ratings, it is essential y to have strategy to obtain reviews. One essential tool at your disposal (and that is also free) is a Google My Business profile. This is your starting point for local SEO as many people who search for information about as it will see key details (business hours, reviews, events) about your business at a glance, even before they proceed to your website.
To get a verified listing, you are required to have Google call a phone number you have provided, or you can have a postcard submitted to the address you provide to verify your profile. A verified profile lets you perform better at local SEO because your Google My Business profile page will come up in local searches. When a person searches for a product using their location as a keyword, your business is listed among those in that location that offer that particular product. It increases site visits and ultimately earns you more conversions if these visitors are satisfied with the products you offer.
Employ search and analytics data to guide your strategy
Every business needs a strategy to generate demand for its offering and, ultimately, profits. For an e-commerce business, you need to focus on using the appropriate strategy based on the data you collect from analytics. You need to serve the needs of your customers, but most e-commerce stores are developed without considering search data. To become a successful e-commerce business, it is important to conduct research in order to formulate an SEO project that is customer-centric.
This will help to uncover what people are searching for locally and, with a careful review of the keywords your prospective customers will use when searching, you will be able to come up with a successful strategy. Data is king and if you want to succeed locally as an e-commerce business you need to utilize data in the right way. Considering volume of searches and relevance to your offering is key in the beginning. Over time, analytics should be used to set priorities on search terms that have driven revenue. Using analytics software to understand how your likely buyers will search for products is key to developing strong campaign strategies for local e-commerce success.
Content strategy focused on search data
Based on the data you collect from searches from prospective buyers, you can develop a content strategy. Content is an important part of targeting potential customers with information that is relevant to them and helps them on their buyer’s journey. Targeting local clients means you should also tailor your content to address the questions typically queried by your local market. Local businesses can connect with buyers in their area by understanding their unique needs, incorporating (in a natural way) colloquial language, and including content specific to their region. The most relevant content is based on consumer data including keywords and search phrases as well as trends and preferences.
Optimize your business’ website properly
The reason you need to optimize your website is to achieve targeting efficiently. Your website is a key asset for e-commerce that must come first while planning to initiate a strategy, so you need to master a few things in this area. First, invest in a domain name that highlights the type of business you own as well as its location. Second, remember to add keywords on the title of relevant pages that will help to identify your business and the services it offers. Include local town and city names inside your content and page meta in a natural way where it makes sense. Most importantly, incorporate the address, name, and phone number of your business and add a call to action on each page of the website.
This a guest post by Jennifer Smith with Izenda. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.
Izenda is an industry leader in embedded ad-hoc reporting. Visit their website to find out how embedding analytics in your application speeds time to market and improves your ROI.