How To Improve Your Local SEO Strategy For Retail

By Yext

Dec 8, 2022

6 min

On average, today's consumer uses three to five different channels before making a purchase — this uptick in digital adoption has made customer journeys even more complex and nonlinear. While this shift comes with its own challenges, it does appear to benefit eCommerce: according to DigitalCommerce360, eCommerce sales saw a 27.2% increase in 2020, followed by a 14.2% increase in 2021.

But while eCommerce is booming, the cost to acquire customers continues to rise — leaving retail marketers struggling to find more economical strategies to drive traffic to stores.

Marketing’s next big hurdle: rising customer acquisition costs

Customer acquisition costs (CAC) are up across the board for B2C and B2B companies: they've risen 60% in the last five years alone. High acquisition costs can be attributed to recent privacy changes, such as Google's planned phaseout of cookies and Apple's iOS 14.2 Privacy updates, leading users to jump ship and advertisers to reduce their spending on Facebook. In response, marketers have started testing out alternative platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, and others — but are finding them to be costly without driving results, likely due to increased competition across various channels.

The need to drive traffic is critical for a business' survival. And with 68% of web traffic coming from organic and paid searches, a cost-effective SEO strategy is critical for retailers to achieve their revenue goals. That's where optimizing location listings and local landing pages can make all the difference.

The power of accurate listings

According to Google, 4 in 5 users use search engines (namely, Google) to find local information. But ranking high on the search engine results page (SERP) with inaccurate listing information only pushes high-intent shoppers towards the competition. Managing hundreds, if not thousands, of location listings can seem daunting and time-consuming, but by accurately maintaining your business information for each location, you can successfully capture shoppers at their highest intent moments — all while building their trust and loyalty in your brand.

According to a Salsify consumer research report, 46% of shoppers in the US will not buy a product if they don't find detailed product/store information online. By maintaining key facts about each location — including store hours, holiday schedules, contact information, products, and services — brands can accelerate the purchase decision process by delivering accurate information to customers.

James Connell, Chief eCommerce & Customer Experience Officer of Roots Canada agrees: "In order to bring in customers, we need to have accurate brand and store data everywhere, as well as the ability to consistently update that information and ensure uniformity." Since launching with Yext, Roots has seen a 22% year-over-year increase in listing clicks, including a 12% year-over-year increase in direction clicks, and a 34% year-over-year increase in website clicks.

If you're doing everything right, your listings should work great on their own, and they help deliver accurate and concise information to your customers through search. However, there is a way to drive even greater results.

In order to bring in customers, we need to have accurate brand and store data everywhere, as well as the ability to consistently update that information and ensure uniformity.

James Connell

Chief eCommerce & Customer Experience Officer

Maximize your results with local landing pages

Once your listings have been fully optimized, it's time to turn up your local SEO strategy a notch by assessing how your landing pages display store location information. According to Google, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. Without location pages, your business is limiting consumers from:

  1. Finding the nearest (and most convenient) store to get the product or service they're looking for

  2. Having the ability to instantly buy products for delivery or in-store pickup

By creating search-optimized local landing pages with structured data, and linking your third-party listings to those pages, you enable search engines to associate all of the content on that webpage with the corresponding listing. And vice-versa, you can create a local page by borrowing elements such as design, products, and store hours from your listings to improve your SEO strategy and drive results. Essentially, you can think of your local landing page as an extension of the local listing — one that's not limited in the number of attributes it can store.

Local landing pages are essential to improving your local search rankings and visibility, creating brand consistency across all your locations, helping consumers find what they are looking for, and driving foot traffic to your brick & mortar stores. They'll also help to improve your:

  • Google score

  • SERP ranking

  • Conversion rates

  • Store revenue

The dynamic duo for local SEO strategy

Our research shows that customers who leverage local landing pages alongside location listings see 24% faster growth in impressions, as well as results that rank better for both branded and unbranded search results, website clicks, directions clicks, CTA clicks, and customer engagement.

In a sample of 80+ retail enterprise clients who have both landing pages and listings, customer actions with their Google listings grew 12.9% larger, on average, than retail enterprise listings clients without pages. Here are some additional remarkable results that our clients have seen while using Yext Listings and Yext Local Landing pages together:

  • Fazoli's - 71% YoY growth in clicks to branded searches

  • Kiehl's - 22% YoY growth in clicks on their listings

  • Haagen-Dazs - 25% incremental lift in foot traffic and a 45% incremental lift in website clicks during peak season

Launching a winning local SEO strategy today

Since your business information is already stored in the Yext Knowledge Graph, you can quickly deploy local landing pages at scale within minutes. Anytime your underlying data changes, our solution only re-generates the page in question, not the whole site — saving you time and headaches. This helps you support a stronger omnichannel customer journey and direct your customers to the information they want.

Our Local Landing Pages are pre-built requiring minimal to no development work on your side and are desktop and mobile responsive — which is critical given consumers are using more devices than ever before. In fact, mobile devices drive more than 70% of web traffic to our customers' local landing pages1. They're also built for page speed, one of the important ranking signals for Google and can significantly impact your conversion rates. Studies have consistently shown that fast page speed results in a better conversion rate, and the quicker a page loads, the more likely a user is to perform a targeted call to action. With a fast-performing landing page for each location you serve, you can elevate your local search presence on Google and win local customers that are trying to find you in their area.

Entering 2023, market uncertainty will require businesses to rethink their strategies repeatedly. It is important to select tools that are both cost-effective and drive business value. For brands to rank high across search engines, they must list accurate information on their business and deploy local SEO strategies to capture shoppers at their highest intent moments. Using Yext Listings and Yext Local Landing Pages in tandem can also help to understand the customer journey better and get a holistic view of how your customers find you on Google and their actions. These solutions can drive revenue quickly while being a significant return on investment (ROI).

Interested in using Yext to power your pages? Reach out to your Yext representative or request a demo here.

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