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Ecommerce SEO Tips for Local Small Businesses

Ecommerce SEO is not just for big brands with big advertising budgets. When executed in the right manner, ecommerce SEO for small business retailers can have a momentous impact.

The first step toward ecommerce SEO success is building logical expectations and setting realistic goals. In short, most small business ecommerce sites are not going rank highly for 2-to-3 word product-related keywords (e.g. "Asics running shoes" or "mens vintage clothing"). There's just too many well-optimized websites dominating the playing field.

Instead, an ecommerce SEO strategy for a local retailer needs to be extremely specific with keyword targeting. That is, small businesses need to optimize their ecommerce sites for more detailed long-tail keywords (e.g. "Asics nimbus gel 12 womens" or "mens vintage leather pants".)

Additionally, any small business retailer can benefit from having a local SEO strategy that merges aspects of social media marketing. Addressing the local approach to optimization (and social marketing) can significantly benefit ecommerce SEO for small businesses. This is primarily because Google is starting to integrate more locally-focused search results that also include social activity of Google+.

So how does a small business begin in creating the optimum ecommerce SEO strategy? Let's dive into greater detail below.

Latch-On to the Long-Tails

Although high-volume keywords look attractive for SEO, the more volume a keyword offers, typically the more competition it has. In fact, this is a primary reason most ecommerce SEO campaigns fail - they try to optimize for keywords that just not plausible to rank for (and they spend months trying to reach page 1 with no success.)

When doing keyword research for small business ecommerce SEO, start with phrases that are highly relevant to your website and core product offering. Get very specific with your research and try to uncover long-tail keywords that offer substantial search volumes, but with minimal competition. Although this can be an exhausting effort, choosing the right keyword targets can make or break your ecommerce SEO campaign.

Look for 3-to-5 word phrases that get 10-200 local monthly searches. The keywords in this range of search volume are typically less competitive, yet significant for SEO. And if your business is highly relevant on these long-tail keyword phrases, you chances to rank for these terms are even greater. Be sure to actually search these phrases in Google and get look that the search engine results page (or "SERP".)

Take note of the websites that ranking in the top 10 results. Additionally, take a gander at any paid or sponsored listings surrounding the organic results. A competitive keyword is sometimes evident based on who is bidding for the keyword using PPC advertising.
 

Combine Local SEO with Ecommerce SEO

In effort to ensure better quality results, Google is starting to serve its users more relevant, localized listing. Earlier this year, Google started integrating Google+ social activity into it search results. This has underscored the importance of locally optimizing a small business website.

The first step of local optimization is quite basic. You simply need to include your geographic references of your location through certain areas of the site. One of the best ways to achieve this to ensure your address is accurately mentioned in the site-wide footer of your website. In addition, you can further locally optimize your ecommerce site by:

  • including the city and state in the Page Titles and Meta Descriptions of the primary optimized pages of your site
  • mentioning your geographic location in the page copy or text of certain webpages
  • building links to your website using geo-specific anchor text (e.g. "mens vintage clothing in Boston")
  • cross-linking your Google+ Local page with your ecommerce site (more below)
     

Share Your Goods via Google+

A priority for any small business pursuing online marketing should be creating a Google+ Local page. This social media profile is a powerful web property that can significantly enhance the ecommerce SEO efforts of a small business.

Here you can share links to products, video reviews, or other relevant content that you deem valuable to social users. As a result, you can inbound more traffic to your website, in addition aiding your 2013 local SEO strategy with social signals pointing to your content and optimized product pages.

When Google+ followers or simply local searchers go to Google to find a product that you're offering, it's possible that your Google+ posts can be seen in their search engine results. To maximize the potential of this happening, be sure to use the hashtag (#) to tag relevant keywords that best describe your post.

For instance, if you're posting a review about a 'green countertop cleaner' include at the end of your Google+ post a few hashtags, like #green #ecofriendly #cleaner. This will increase the keyword relevancy of your post around green cleaners, and can increase the chances that your post will be visible on both Google+ and Google search.

To learn more about ecommerce SEO services, contact us or visit our subsidiary company ClickCentricSEO.com

Is PPC Advertising is Right for Your Local Business?

Pay Per Click advertising may have a reputation as a costly and overly-competitive endeavor.

Sure, that might be the case if you are bidding on popular keywords that cost over $3 per click.

However, Pay Per Click advertising actually offers extraordinary control and flexibility over who sees your ads, and under what keywords they use to trigger them. This can be huge for local business.

The fact of the matter is, PPC advertising can be momentous game-changer for all types of companies. The trick is knowing the right keywords to bid for, as well as knowing the minor (yet significant) intricacies of setting-up a paid search campaign.

In this post, we are going to breakdown some of the advantages and techniques to using Pay Per Click advertising for your local business.

The Advantages of PPC Advertising for Local Businesses

For local businesses, PPC advertising can be HUGE for a local company's marketing efforts. In short, Google AdWords enables advertisers to set campaigns so that their ads are only triggered to users in certain geographic regions.

Let us give you a prime example: A bike shop wants to promote its niche inventory of road bikes, namely 'Orbea bikes' being one of the keyword targets. The bike shop, located in Traverse City, MI, can roll-out a some ads for this particular keyword that are only shown to search engine users in the northern Michigan region, or within a specified radius of Traverse City.

Assessing the PPC Playing Field

Determining if PPC advertising is right for your business requires some keyword assessment and competitive analysis. First you must pinpoint the keywords that the most relevant to your company and what your business has to offer. In addition, you must assess the cost per click (CPC) of each keyword to evaluate whether or not the investment is worth the website traffic.

Once you have some keywords that are relevant and within your budget, you must search those keywords to get an idea of how competitive they are in the search results. If you are only interested in local traffic, the size of your market will have a major influence on your decision. For instance, notice the paid listings above for "chiropractors."

This search was set so that we were looking for chiropractics in "Boston," a large metropolitan area. As a result, the local competition for this keyword is fierce, and we may want to do some more research before rolling out an Pay Per Click ad.

Social Momentum in Search

Notice in the image of the 'Orbea bikes' ad above the social integration of Google+, "Jason Whittaker +1'd this page." This nice little ad enhancement is an example of how Google is infusing its social media platform (Google+) in the search results.

These little social icons are also popping up in the organic results. For local companies, this holds even more marketing importance. At the end of May, Google ditched its 'Google Places' pages (often shown in the search results for locally-oriented keyword searches) for a new format called Google+ Local pages. Google+ Local pages are designed for local businesses, and are somewhat like a hybrid of Google Places pages and Facebook brand pages. This is because Google+ Local pages are associated with both social (Google+) and search.

As a result of these big changes by Google, righteous businesses can capitalize on building cohesive Internet marketing campaigns that involve social media, SEO, and Pay Per Click advertising. Building a successful campaign takes research and analysis of your business, its market, and your competition. In some cases, PPC advertising may not be in the best interest of your business, and SEO and web optimization is the best route.

Nonetheless, the emergence of Google+ must not go overlooked. So whether you're pursuing organic SEO to increase your rank, or seeking immediate search engine exposure via ecommerce PPC advertising, keep the social top of mind, because it's definitely a primary focus for Google.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our website optimization Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653