2 March 2021
Did you know that 46% of the search prompts in Google are done by people who want to see, do, or buy something in their neighbourhood? This is almost 3 times more than it was 2 years ago, so local findability, which we call Local SEO, is growing rapidly and becoming more important to attract more customers to your garden centre.
1. Watch your online appearance
There are a lot of websites with company information. You have probably seen your details on Google, but there are more sites that show your company information. An important part of Local SEO is to manage al these ‘mentions’ and to keep them consistent.
Yalwa is an important online company guide. Every month thousands of customers search for companies and stores. If you don’t manage the information, the page will be empty and looks like this:
This obviously won’t attract any customers. But what’s even more important is that when a visitor searches for a garden centre on www.yalwa.com, the garden centres that don’t have any (recent) information will be shown last. Simply because out of date information is not very useful to customers.
An up to date profile gives a lot of information, such as pictures, opening hours and a good company description.
Which garden centre would you like to visit? The one with nice pictures, positive reviews, and where you can read a nice description of what to expect in the store? Or the one without any information on Yalwa and other online guides?
2. Consistent information
Managing your company mentions ensures that your information will be more consistent. Many company guides show various pages that are sometimes not even correct.
For example this mention of one of our clients on Yelp:
Or this one on Yalwa.com which is very empty:
The description on Cylex.com isn’t easy to read so it’s hard to grasp the essence:
Besides the mentions, the company guides can also give information that’s very relevant for the customer. On the Google company page the following information is mentioned:
Shop visit is not possible
That’s handy to know, but on Yelp only the following information is mentioned:
This is also very important, but ideally, each mention should be like this:
Shop visit is not possible
By providing this page with recent information, pictures that match with the season and current updates helps your customers to decide whether they want to visit your garden centre. Inconsistent information makes it unclear, confusing and ultimately people will be less likely to visit your store.
3. Online visibility
Why are all these mentions important? Despite the fact that you may not be familiar with the previous websites, your customers might be. Google also uses these websites to understand what makes your company special.
Search engines have gone through several phases during the last 25 years and in the current phase, it’s more important than ever to manage your company mentions.
In the first phase search engines used to look at meta descriptions and meta keywords that you could fill in yourself. They were not able to read the website, so you had to manage this manually by giving up keywords.
In the second phase, search engines could read and index websites completely. They were (and still are) reading the texts on your website completely.
In the third phase, and this is what made Google famous, links were counting as well. Every link from an external website that refers to your website, was a vote. More votes meant higher positions in the search results.
In the fourth phase, the context of the link counts as well. A link from a page with recipes to a page on your website of garden herbs is more relevant than a link from a website about long jumping to your website. Google uses the context and content from the page where the link is posted, to acknowledge the value to your website.
The mention on websites such as Cylex and Yalwa is relevant because they actually mention your garden centre. If you post more relevant content on these pages, your online visibility will improve.
By optimising your company mention, these pages will also be shown higher in Google. Visitors on these pages will also be likely to click through to your website. This will help you to have your own website on the first page of search results, instead of other pages of which you’re not in control.
4. Content that pulls people to your store
Once people are on your website, the website should encourage them to visit your garden centre. That’s why we publish and optimise the following elements at Garden Connect:
A well-written text with pictures of the garden centre
Real reviews, written by your customers
A Google Maps map
Services that are relevant to your target audience
An example of the last one being a service where heavy products will be brought to the car (great for elderly customers) or facilities for baby changing (important for young families).
The landing page on your website is essential to convince the visitor: should I go or not?!
5. Recent opening hours
There are many websites where your garden centre is mentioned. Often these pages also show your opening hours. Because the garden industry has different opening hours per season if these are not consistent it can be unclear whether these are correct.
With Local SEO marketing you ensure that these opening hours are correct on each platform, including bank holidays where you might be opened or closed as an exception.
But why is this important? Because your opening hours are also mentioned on your own website? That’s true, but Google shows your opening hours immediately in the search results. If you search for “Garden Centre Manchester” you will find the following results:
The hours shown are the opening hours of today. It would be unfortunate if these aren’t correct because customers often don’t understand that it’s not necessarily your fault. But they would be annoyed if they show up for a closed garden centre!
Now you’re familiar with the Google My Company page, but what about the other websites that show your opening hours? Do you manage these during the change of seasons?
Managing all these pages is quite a task and easy to forget. For garden centres for which we do Local SEO Marketing, we also manage their listings on a maximum of 17 different websites. These are also car navigation systems, Facebook and of course Google.
This way you don’t need to look at your pages and they are always up to date and consistent!
6. It really works!
The last and most important reason to use Local SEO is because it really works. As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, the number of people looking for something ‘near me’ has increased a lot in the past few years. Google Trends shows that ‘near me’ searches are at an all time high:
Besides that, it’s important to think about intentions:
Grass seeds Manchester
Apple trees Thirsk
Garden furniture Bedford
People only use these types of combinations when they have the intention to buy something near them. Otherwise, they would be looking for:
Grass seeds webshops
Apple trees delivery
Buy garden furniture online
By being more visible online, you ensure to attract more customers to your garden centre!
Do you want to know more about Local SEO Marketing? Contact us via
(+44) 203 475 5541 or send an email to email@example.com.
This article is written by:Sjors Hemmen
Business development UK
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