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Category: Local SEO

Voice Search and eCommerce – How to Prepare Your Store

The future of search is more intuitive, more natural, and more vocal. Voice search has been on the horizon for years, and some claim that by 2020, 50% of searches will be conducted using voice.

It’s likely that this is already part of your everyday life. You can find voice search functionality in common places like:

  • Windows 10 (Cortana)
  • iPhone (Siri)
  • MacOS (Siri)
  • Android (Google Assistant)
  • Google Home (Google Assistant)
  • Amazon Echo (Alexa)

Voice can be used to control smart home devices, answer common questions, add a meeting to your calendar, or even order your favorite food delivery.

It’s also improving accessibility by making it easier for users with visual or motor skill impairments to search and perform tasks. Improving your site’s accessibility should already be a top priority, and giving users the ability to find your site through voice will only help.

Voice Is Changing How People Search

The way a person searches using their voice can be quite different than how they traditionally search the Internet. Let’s say that you’re looking to buy WooCommerce extensions. If you’re typing into a search engine, you’re likely to use a phrase like ‘WooCommerce extensions’. A voice search, however, will be much more conversational – ‘Hey Google, tell me where I can buy WooCommerce extensions’.

However, according to PWC, people are most likely to search for simple answers or basic information using voice. So, you might consider voice search to be a top-of-funnel activity. This means that you can use it to make new customers aware of your store, but depending on what you sell, it probably won’t result in many immediate purchases. To get the most from voice search traffic, make sure you have a plan to follow-up with website visitors after they find you.

Store owners who use WooCommerce benefit from its seamless integration with WordPress, the CMS that powers a third of the web. They can quickly add unlimited amounts of useful, high-quality content to their website. As a result, they are more likely to appear in search results and attract first-time customers.

How to Prepare Your Store for Voice Search

If someone searches for a product or service that you offer, you want them to find your store. So what changes do you need to make to ensure that they can find you?

Luckily, if you’re already focusing on search engine optimization and providing a quality user experience, you’re on the right track.

Voice search is still search. If you appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), then you’re more likely to be found. Google provides an excellent SEO starter guide and WooCommerce offers advice tailored specifically to eCommerce site owners.

There are, however, a number of extra steps that you can take to improve your voice search optimization.

man searching on Google using a laptop

1. Target Long-Tail and Conversational Keywords

Due to the more conversational nature of voice searches, long-tail keywords are more important than ever. Long-tail keywords are more specific than standard keywords, which means that they usually have lower traffic volume, but also less competition.

There are many long-tail keyword tools available online (e.g. keywordtool), but you can come up with them yourself by thinking logically about the questions someone may ask when using voice search.

For example, a question like, “What are the most popular fall scents?” might be appropriate if you sell candles.

Google Analytics is also a great tool to determine the impact of voice search on your site and generate keyword ideas. While finding exact stats on how many people are getting to your site from voice search is a little tricky, there are a few things you can look for:

  • Conversational keywords – If your keyword search data shows a lot of conversational keywords, this is a good indication that those searches were made using voice, rather than traditional typing. You can also check Google Search Console for keyword data.
  • Length of queries – If you can’t see your exact keyword data, look at your trends for the average length of queries over the last few years. Logically, you would expect voice searches to be longer due to their conversational nature.

It can be impractical to manually track your keyword targets and results. Instead, use software like Moz Pro and Unamo to automatically track them and provide suggestions for new keywords to target.

2. Reshape Your Content

Content is a critical part of search engine optimization, so consider shaping it to be more conversational. Voice searches are often conducted in the form of a question. So, a strong FAQ page is critical and may even be a good source of ideas for long-tail keyword targets. Learn more about creating an effective FAQ page.

Another way to do this is by creating blog posts in an interview style. So, instead of writing a post in third-person by a single author, you could have a back and forth between an expert and a reporter. You could even create a video and transcribe it in a blog post. Then, you’ll have both video and written content that can be used for marketing.

Typically, podcast content is naturally conversational. If you have a podcast, make sure that you transcribe each episode and share it on your site.

3. Improve Your Website Structure

Structured data allows you to suggest information about your website to search engines for indexing. Incorporating this strategy into a larger SEO plan can lead to higher search engine rankings, especially since Google is using structured data now more than ever.

Reviews are a great example. You may be familiar with star ratings in Google search results, like this WooCommerce Memberships review:

search example for WooCommerce Memberships showing Schema markup

This search engine format is the result of schema markup implemented on the site. In this case, you can clearly see that a score and reviewer has been provided. There are many different schemas that can be implemented; for a full list check out the official schema.org resource.

This requires some technical knowledge, but there are plugins available to make things easier, such as Schema and Schema and Structured Data for WP and AMP.

To test your schema, use the Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool examines your pages and lets you know if there are any errors. Put simply, it shows how Google views the structured data on your page.

Google also recently introduced Speakable (beta). Google says:

“The speakable schema.org property identifies sections within an article or webpage that are best suited for audio playback using text-to-speech (TTS). Adding markup allows search engines and other applications to identify content to read aloud on Google Assistant-enabled devices using TTS. Webpages with speakable structured data can use the Google Assistant to distribute the content through new channels and reach a wider base of users.”

This is currently aimed at news outlets, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see it expanded to online stores and other types of websites in the future.

4. List Your Products on Google Shopping

When customers use Google Assistant (Google Home), they may also get search results from Google Shopping. So if you sell physical products, Google Shopping could be an important way to get them in front of the right people.

The WooCommerce Google Product Feed extension syncs the products on your online store with Google Shopping. It automatically maps product data, like price and variations, and updates when anything changes on your store. This will save you a lot of time and hassle, while ensuring that your customers can find you on Google.

5. Claim Your Business on Google My Business

Google My Business allows you to provide important information about your company to Google, including opening hours, website, location, and reviews.

When someone searches for a business, these results appear to the right of the page on desktop, and at the top on mobile devices and voice search. Signing up is easy, but does require verification, so don’t expect instant results. It’s also important to keep your profile up-to-date since users rely on accurate data.

Amazon speaker next to a television

6. Build a Skill for Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa skills are voice-driven capabilities for devices, like playing music and answering questions. If you’re comfortable with software development, you can create your own Alexa skills or hire someone to make them for you.

For example, some supermarkets have Alexa skills that allow customers to add products to their shopping lists and track orders while they’re cooking. This provides an excellent user experience and makes the process of shopping online much simpler.

Amazon provides very detailed documents and tutorials for creating Alexa skills.

Not All Voice Search Is Equal

As mentioned above, there are many devices that offer voice search, but they’re not all the same and they don’t all use Google by default. While devices may give users the ability to change their default search engine, most users won’t do so. Here are the default browsers for the most popular voice search devices:

  • Apple Siri – Google
  • Microsoft Cortana – Bing
  • Google Assistant – Google
  • Amazon Alexa – Bing

This diversity means there is no single strategy for preparing for voice search; a multi-faceted approach is always going to be required. This also means that being in the top few results for target search terms is more important than ever. If results are read to a customer, they will only hear the first few.

Like with traditional search engine optimization, Google is likely where you should focus most of your efforts. However, check your own site’s data as well as the trends of your target demographic to determine your focus.

Looking to the Future

One thing is certain – voice search is not going away. In fact, it’s likely to keep growing for the foreseeable future. We may also start to witness more licensing of voice technology to third parties. Google already does this with Sony and their S50G speaker.

It’s hard to ignore voice search. It offers convenience to its users and results are getting more refined and accurate. Gartner claims that by 2020, 30% of all web sessions will be completed without screens. Take action now to reap future rewards!

20 Valuable Web Directories for Small Business

Web directories and local citations still appear to be a small ranking factor. In this article, I am going to share 20 Valuable Web Directories for Small Business.

Citations are not links but rather references that contain information about your business Name, Address, and Phone aka NAP on local review sites, directories, and business listings. Google scrapes these third party business directories and listing sites and take the data into account when determining which business/website to show for Geo-targeted searches.

According to Moz research, web directories and local citations still appear to be a small ranking factor – especially for local businesses. However, Google’s John Mueller himself has said that directory links “generally” don’t help with SEO.

A local citation is any mention of your business on the web; it is any combination of your company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code, and website address. Citations in SEO are a key factor in improving your local search results.

Useful Web Directories for Any Kind of Website

1. Google My Business

2. Bing Places

3. Yahoo

4. Yelp

5. Foursquare

6. BOTW

7. AboutUs

8. Spoke.com

9. Yellow Pages

10. Chamber of Commerce

11. HotFrog

12. Superpages

13. MerchantCircle

14. Better Business Bureau

15. B2B Yellow Pages

16. Brownbook

17. eLocal

18. DexKnows

19. Alignable

20. Local.com

What are the Advantages of Local Citations?

There are many advantages of online business directories and local business listings sites for small businesses owners, such as:

Business Directories are Cost-Effective

There are many online advertising sources out there, which cost hundreds of $$. But many online business directories for which listing your local business is free, and some listing sites require additional cost for some special features, such as more than one business listings, multiple locations, multiple categories, location map, a website link, or adding videos and photos.

Increase in Local Visibility

However online business directories are enormous, they have suggesting capabilities and advanced filtering, and help you to connect with your targeted customers or audiences. For a small local businesses, online directories are truly beneficial because they build your business locally visible to your community.

Help to Get Found More

Usually, local business listing sites and directory allows their users to search by specific bases, such as location, category, and service. This is extremely advantageous for small businesses because sometimes, users don’t know to search for the specific service or a specific business name they need. If you added complete information about your business in your local listing than chance is high that the directory will show your business to a user even if they don’t search about your business.

Improve Your Business Repute

Online business directories allow a user to give reviews about their local businesses. This will help small businesses to improve their reputation by getting positive reviews. There’s also a chance for negative reviews but if business owners know how to properly handle user reviews, then the weigh of negative reviews will be decreased. Also remember that negative reviews are not so bad for your business reputation, because a blend of positive and negative reviews shows users that you are a perfect and trusted organization that has nothing to hide.

Strengthen SEO

This one, as an SEO specialist, I like the most. For search engine optimization (SEO) Google and other search engines are always looking for user’s trusted businesses, so if you provide complete and accurate details about your business, same as you provide on your website and on google my business listing than chance are high to rank higher in search engines.

Get discovered by potential Investors and Partners (B2B Marketing)

Online business directory or local citation sites are the places where potential partners and investors search for businesses to do business with. Adding your complete local business info such as contact details, services, products, etc. will help them to give your business some consideration.

Local SEO: The Ultimate Guide To Ranking Your Online Business

Local SEO is a child category of Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is known as SEO. It’s a universal knowing keyword at an online marketer. There are three types of SEO. They are (1) On-Page SEO (2) Technical SEO (3) Off-Site SEO.

According to a study done by Forbes, 95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches, out of which 61% called the business and 59% visited.

(1) On-Page SEO

On-page SEO relates to the content on your website. It helps search engines understand the topic of the content and see that the website is a valuable source that people would want to find. Keyword research, content creation, Content Optimization are included in On-Page SEO

(2) Technical SEO

Technical SEO not related to content it all about website design and development. More precisely it all about UX – User Experience and UI – User Interface

The types of SEO included in this category relate to:

Website Speed
Website Responsive Design
Stander colors implement
Proper Typography
Easy Navigation
Indexing
Crawlability
Site architecture
Structured data
Security

(3) Off-Site SEO

Off-Site SEO indicates a relationship with other relevant websites. Off-Site SEO mostly relates to high–quality backlinks. Backlinks help the website to get more and more traffic and rank your website at the top of the search engine. People don’t go directly to any website without a few popular website like Amazon, PayPal, Facebook, Instagram.

They first seek the information in a search engine like Google and normally top listed websites get the traffic. So do business in online everyone need traffic or customer. Here the importance of SEO. But I think, I still not started to write the main topic. That is Local SEO.

What is local SEO?

When SEO is done for a local business for the local customer or for a fixed area that calls LOCAL SEO. Some online digital marketing experts call LOCAL SEO as local search engine marketing. Local SEO is easy to rank then Globel SEO. It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers. According to Google, 46% of searches have a ‘local intent’.

Why Local SEO is Important for Your Business?

we already have a concise idea of what exactly local SEO is. I want to give a clear idea of why local SEO holds such a dominant position in online marketing, and how it can help you grow your business.

  1. 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. (Source: GoGulf)
  2. 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
  3. 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
  4. 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Source: Nectafy)
  5. 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. (Source:  HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
  6. By 2021, mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales. (Source: Forrester)
  7. 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day, whereas only 7% of non-local searches led to a sale. (Source: Think with Google)
  8. 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
  9. “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years. (Source: Chat Meter)
  10. 72% of computer or tablet users and 67% of smartphone users want ads that are customized to their city or zip code. (Source: Think with Google)
  11. By using location-based coupons on mobile can lead to a 9916% increase in incremental mobile revenue. (Source: WordStream)
  12. Local searches result in purchases 28% of the time. (Source: Joel House Search Media)
  13. Search result information will send 70% of consumers to a physical store. (Source: Joel House Search Media)
  14.  92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. (Source: SEO Expert)
  15.  Global retail eCommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
  16.  4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. (Source: Think with Google)

 

Local SEO Ranking Factors

My business signals How relevant you are to the person’s search query — including your business category and local proximity
Link signals Number and quality of backlinks (extra credit if they’re also from authoritative local sources), internal links
On-page signals NAP (business name, address, phone number) on your site, keyword usage
Local citation signals Is your site mentioned in quality business directories with consistent NAP information?
Review signals Are people reviewing your business? What are they saying? Do you have good reviews? Do you have a lot of them?
Behavioral signals Are people searching from mobile? Are they checking in? Are they following through? Do they visit your website? What is their behavior?
Personalization Users’ locations and personalized search — this is mostly out of your hands
Social signals Are people mentioning your business on social media? Are you linking to them?