15 October 2020

Did you know over 46% of the search queries on Google include the name of a place or a term like “near me”? That’s nearly half of the millions of search query customers in your area are entering on Google. But how do you get those people from Google to your garden centre? 

Edwin Meijer, founder of Garden Connect and working together with over 300 independent garden centres, explains how to benefit from Local search traffic. 

Search intent model

Every purchase follows a number of steps: the customer journey. And with every step, different keywords are used. At Garden Connect, we’ve created a search intent model to clarify this.

The model includes 4 types of keywords which reflect the intent of the customer. We’ve included a sample search query with every step:

  • Informational
    How to prune a hydrangea?

  • Navigational
    Best pruning shears

  • Product-related & transactional
    Gardena Bypass Pruning Shears

The last step is the most important one: the purchase-intent search query:

  • Online purchase
    Gardena Bypass Pruning Shears online

  • Offline purchase
    Gardena Birmingham

As you can see, customers start with a question and are just looking for information. Step by step, their intent shifts from informative to the intention to buy new pruning shears to prune their hydrangea. 

Why local matters

The beauty of the model Garden Connect developed is that it makes it very easy to identify customers who have the intention to buy locally. And that matters a lot since that’s a great way to attract customers to your garden centre. Consider the options you have to attract customers to your garden centre, for example:

  • On social media, you’re in touch with people who already know your brand.

  • Offline advertising means you’re putting yourself in front of people you hope are in the market to buy something.

  • Your email newsletter goes to customers who already know you and like your brand.

  • But if you target Google-users looking for a place to buy products, you’re helping them by giving them answers.

By targeting Google-users who are looking for a place to buy something, you’ll see an increase in footfall as soon as you hit the top of Google.

Where to start?

Now you know how to get people from Google to your garden centre, but where do you start? The most important thing is to review your website content:

  • Do you have unique content on your website? 

  • Do you give people reasons to visit your garden centre? (And no, a text like “we have great offers” isn’t a reason to visit you since every centre has great offers!)

  • Do you have content focussed on getting people to your garden centre? 

  • Do you have professional photos of your departments and product lines on your website?

It’s easier to focus on very specific keywords (like “buy pruning shear Birmingham”) and work your way up to more generic keywords. It’s very hard to rank with “how to prune a hydrangea” and chances are low people from Dorset will drive to Birmingham to buy some basic Gardena shears. 

In other words: focus on keywords people use to buy pruning shears in Birmingham if that’s what you’re selling! 

Do you want to learn how you can benefit from local search traffic via Google? Check our Local SEO Marketing service or get in touch with us! 

The 4 steps from search query to purchase
Edwin Meijer

This article is written by:

Edwin Meijer

Marketing director

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