I love local SEO and genuinely think for larger brands it’s one of the key areas typically overlooked in favour of higher volume-based landing pages such as CLP & PLP templates.
However, if you operate a business which allows customers to shop in-store I highly recommend you begin to look at how you can maximise your own store pages to drive more local branded and non-branded searches.
Outside of the obvious usage of Google My Business and ensuring your profile listings are fully updated, there are some items which can and should be done on your own website to optimise for local search queries.
Before I begin, it’s worth sharing some examples of local store pages which I am particularly fond of: Halfords (being the obvious one) and I also like Morrisons, here is an example https://my.morrisons.com/storefinder/263. These sites typically use a platform such as Yext in which regardless of the technical stack allow you to create well optimised local pages but this should not put you off as sites with smaller store numbers can do this independently.
Select & Save Local SEO Opportunity
I’m going to review the current opportunity and recommendations on how the local convenience store chain Select & Save could be driving additional search traffic to their site and growing a bigger audience offline.
It’s worth noting that there may be additional reasons why Select & Save are not currently doing this such as believing customers would already have an awareness of their shop within a specific catchment area, but I have learnt to “never assume” and therefore would implement these recommendations regardless.
Who are Select & Save?
According to their website, Select & Save are a fresh, local and convenient symbol group of independent retailers.
“We are a small team of dedicated retail professionals who are passionate about what we do and determined to help our members grow. As a team we play to our strengths. We have a significant breadth of retail experience between us, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the business. This helps us to secure the best possible outcomes for our members. We know and understand our business, our members and their customers. It’s in our blood.”
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is about helping expand your awareness for specific local queries such as “Hairdressers” or “Convenience Store Stratford upon Avon”. Local SEO is particularly important for those brands and businesses looking to target local customers and who operate in a specific GEO area.
Select & Save SEO Opportunity
Upon landing on the main website we are greeted with a large image banner following which we are habitually inclined to scroll down the page. It is here we see a small section which outlines the core areas in which Select & Save currently have local convenience stores.
However, what we can immediately see is that there is no quick or easily navigable way to view the locations of the core stores and primary information such as opening times and services offered. If we think about additional services these stores offer, such as National Lottery, Parcel Returns and fresh produce information, there is a lot of local visit intent that is not optimised for.
According to Google based on me being in Stratford upon Avon my nearest Select and Save would be in Redditch however we’re not able to verify this as both Google my Business and the main website do not openly show accurate locational information.
Based on the above immediately we can see a missed opportunity with the main brand not ranking in position one for any branded search query but also the main GMB profile which is being returned also returns inaccurate information and without any link back to the respective location (We already knew this would be the case as the site does not have individual store pages)
So now we have identified there is a missing opportunity here and keyword volume which could be captured how do we go after this?
Developing Local SEO Pages
I am going to pull on some insights I implemented at Halfords along with other recommendations from articles across the web on how to develop the ideal local SEO landing page for growth.
- Create a dedicated “Finder Page”
I like the idea of having a central place that can be used as a hub to link out to all stores across the site. Something like this https://www.halfords.com/locations typically works well as a gateway to direct users back into deeper internal pages across the site.
Furthermore, it also means you can utilize this page to capture related “Near me” searches and have a good way to drive internal links to the single store page without needing to link to every store etc.
In the example for Select and Save however there is also an organic opportunity here for example “Convenience store“ has around 3,300 searches a month which Select & Save currently have no visibility for although granted in some instances if they have no local store this search would not be hugely beneficial.
- This page should house a small block of content which should add some weight to the landing page
- An intuitive “Finder” will allow the user to actually use this page by inputting a postcode
- A simple list of stores will allow the user to manually browse and provide internal links to Google
- Create dedicated store pages
No surprise here but to really compete locally we are going to need dedicated local pages in a similar fashion to what both Nisa & Londis have today.
As an example, I’d recommend developing the URL structure to be something like https://selectandsave.co.uk/our-stores/ with each store anchored off this subfolder page.
The below elements for Select & Save are those which I believe should be added to the new dedicated location pages: A full visual of a potential mock-up of Select & Save can be found here.
- Header Block & Address
A simple header block which houses the main address and store name should be above the fold overlaid on a full-width banner image. The address should only be added as an overlay on top of the image if it can be done so using HTML5.
This address should of course also be marked up with JSON-LD SCHEMA to help provide further data around the main location.
The 2nd element on this page should house primary information which is more useful to the end user than Google however it’s still important to make these pages useful to the end user these elements include.
- Opening Hours
- Latest Promos
- CTA Buttons
A full map should outline the primary location for each store which should potentially be connected to Google Maps API to be interactive and allow users to interact with the main landing page.
- Unique Content
This section is where the magic happens so to speak this content would need to be unique to each location and should be around 150 words in overall length. Here this block should be speaking about the primary location and the range of products and services available within each store.
- In-Store Services
This block has been taken from Morrisons but should house all the convenience elements available in each local store such as The National Lottery, Hermes Returns, Tabacco, Off License, Fresh Produce etc. Although not needed I visually like the way in which Morrisons have outlined their services with the key iconography.
- Store Manager Introduction
This would be an opportunity to become more personal and is a great way to put some more community feel into the store pages, this would just need to be a small snippet of content or statement from each store manager within each of the Select & Save locations.
- Promotions & Savings
An element already featured today on the main Select & Save website but adding in relevant promotions and savings could also help increase users who come to the store based on items that are currently under promotion.
- FAQ Section
This might not be super useful in some instances but adding some FAQ’s could help also drive a higher CTR From search and lead to additional clicks and also provide information to potential customers about the store and services offered.
- Local Imagery
Photos for each location should be added but these should be unique to each location and not generic images of stores and interiors of each store.
I would also look to further enhance these pages with:
- Directions to this store from other local points of interest such as pubs, schools and motorways
- Other local amenities that may make a visit worthwhile such as a hairdressers, pharmacy, takeaway or tanning salon can also enhance the page.
Finally although potentially over kill for Select & Save would be to add in relevant FAQ’s about each location such as information about promotions etc
For me creating dedicated landing pages would allow Select & Save to increase the overall organic opportunity and ensure they can have relevant information for customers within any given catchment area.