Local SEO vs. Ecommerce SEO: Which One is better for Your Business?

Mae
Mae
local SEO and ecommerce are both beneficial to onsite and online stores

More and more people are moving their activities from onsite to online—business, work, and even shopping. This is also the reason why companies are doing the same thing and employing local SEO and ecommerce SEO strategies, which are just right and appropriate, especially given the fact that when people want to find establishments, services, and products, they perform a search on a search engine. In fact, more than 90% of online experiences start with search engines.

Thanks to search engine optimization (SEO), you can perform steps and employ strategies that put businesses and online stores to the top of search results pages, providing visibility to their respective target markets. SEO specialists can help businesses use strategies that can bring them to the first page of search engine results pages (SERP) since 95% of traffic go to the first page of SERPs.

What is SEO?

We hear the term search engine optimization quite a lot, especially if you have a website or online store that you want to become more visible. It refers to the methods of increasing the quality and quantity of your website’s traffic through organic search results. In this statement, we have three major keywords—quality, quantity, and organic. Let’s break them down to better understand each of them.

  • Quality – It refers to the quality of the traffic of your website, which is based on the number and the kind of visitors that open it. Even if you have millions of visitors on your website, but they don’t match your actual target audience, they wouldn’t be counted. For example, the brand American Eagle is into clothing and apparel. But if someone who is looking for information on the American Eagle (bird) or the American Eagle credit card company visits their website, that would not be considered quality traffic.
It's important to use keywords that are narrow and specific instead of broad [credit to https://www.ae.com/intl/en]
  • Quantityrefers to the number of quality visitors your website has.
  • Organic – there are two types of ads: paid and organic. Organic refers to ads or results that are not paid, and 70% of searches that are clicked by users are organic.

What are the Types of SEO?

There are many types of SEO. We will discuss below some of the most commonly used ones that your business and online store should consider.

1. On-page SEO

One of the main types of SEO, it refers to the optimization of your website’s elements that you have direct control over. This means that you can employ on-page techniques on web pages in order to make your website appear in search results pages. Among the elements that can be edited are the URL, title tags, alt tags, meta description, internal links, heading tags, content, design, and navigation.

2. Off-page SEO

Aside from on-page SEO, your website can also benefit from off-page SEO, wherein you edit factors of your website that you don’t have direct control over. Among the most popular tactics for off-page SEO is earning backlinks or when other websites link back to your web pages. The more backlinks you have, the higher the possibility for Google to determine your website as an authority, which results in higher rankings.

Some examples of links are:

  • Natural links – this happens when another site finds your page and links to it.
  • Built links – this occurs when you promote your website to another website, and it links to that content.
  • Created links – this is when you create links to your own website and place them on other pages. This is not recommended because Google might label it as spam

3. Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves server and website backend optimizations to help your website or online store rank better in search results. It aims to understand and help search engines crawl your pages while improving user experience.

Some of the technical SEO improvements are:

  1. Updating robots.txt file. Through this txt file, search engine bots will know which pages are not supposed to be crawled or indexed. It is important though that this file blocks the right pages.
  2. Considering duplicate content. Duplicate content is a no-no in search engine optimization; although a canonical tag can tell Google which one is the original content.
  3. Making use of a responsive design. This helps ensure that your website can be conveniently viewed on mobile devices; especially since mobile devices are the source of more than 50% of internet traffic.
  4. Increasing site speed. Site speed is important; otherwise, your visitors won’t stay long in your website, resulting in a high bounce rate. The first 5-8 seconds of your visitor landing on your website is crucial.

4. Local SEO

Local SEO is an SEO strategy that focuses on location-related searches, especially covering the area where the searcher is. Businesses using this SEO strategy usually rank higher in searches that have a ‘near me’ in the search term.

5. Ecommerce SEO

Ecommerce SEO aims to increase your online store’s visibility to shoppers in the different search engine results pages. It involves optimizing product descriptions, brand headlines, navigational structure, metadata, and inbound link strategies. By increasing organic traffic, online stores can attract more new customers while retaining existing ones.

A Deeper Look at Local SEO

Now, let’s take a closer look at local SEO. It is a type of SEO that helps your business become visible in Google’s local searches. This is especially useful for businesses with a physical store or are serving a specific geographic area.

For example, if you search for clothing stores in Melbourne, you will see a map containing three listings of clothing stores, known as a map pack, near you.

The map pack shows you a set of three options through local SEO

After years of ranking thousands of websites, Google began to understand users’ behavior in the trillions of searches already conducted. That is, when people search for certain types of businesses, they want to find those that are located closest to them. This is why Google has included a proximity factor in its search algorithm, which means Google takes into account your location whenever you make a search using it.

For example, if you are at the office and you want to know the nearest shoe boutiques in your area, Google will return results that are close to your office address. When you make the same search at home, the search giant will return a totally different map pack because of your new location.

During the infancy of local SEO, only people who used the desktop were able to take advantage of this type of SEO. However, with more and more people using their mobile phones to access the internet, local SEO is now also dominating mobile searches.

Benefits of Using Local SEO

If you are unsure if you should use local SEO, check out these benefits and learn why it’s important.

1. Community building

Even the online and digital world has community building, which helps keep the local economy alive and thriving. Linking and connecting with other local companies can have amazing results online and offline. There comes a supportive relationship between business owners and locals, helping your store rank higher and becoming more visible.

2. Enhanced online visibility

At the top of Google search results are paid ads and organic ads. However, it is the first five results that get 67.6% of user clicks. And if your business is not found on the first page of search results, then, people won’t know about it. With local SEO, you will use tried-and-tested techniques that can help raise your traffic.

3. Increases relevant traffic

Remember that local SEO targets customers near your business. Therefore, it is important to keep your SEO strategies localized to attract customers who will want to come and visit your store.

For example, if you bet on search terms that are too broad, you will end up attracting traffic that includes people from faraway places who have little to no plans of coming to your store because of your location.

4. Repeat customers

With more people seeing the value of supporting the local economy through local stores and businesses, using local SEO is even more beneficial. With this strategy, people in your community will want to search for nearby shops and then come by for a visit. And if you provide a good customer experience for them, they will remember your store and come back the next time they need something from you.

5. Ad cost savings

In the past, a business’s only chance for better visibility was through paid ads. But these days, searchers give more importance to organic results and pay attention to them. With local SEO, you won’t need to pay as much for ads because it will help you gain higher rankings through effective strategies.

Paid ads used to be the only way to get ranked highly on Google

6. Better sales

Customers who are looking for your store will definitely want to buy your products. The simple fact that they are looking for, say for example, a clothing boutique near them already indicates their intent to purchase. Therefore, when your business shows up on results pages, people visit your shop, buy your products, and increase your sales.

How About Ecommerce SEO?

To explain what is ecommerce SEO in the simplest terms, it refers to an optimization process that helps your website rank highly in different search engine results pages. This results in bringing more visitors to your online store.

These are the key steps in ecommerce SEO:

  1. On-page SEO. When optimizing products, use the right title tags and meta description as well as create keyword-rich page content with images.
  2. Technical SEO. This covers improving site speed and making your website mobile-friendly to enhance customer experience.
  3. Content marketing. Writing quality content helps increase site authority and improves the rankings of your product pages.
  4. Link building. Through backlinking, Google identifies your website as an authority; thereby, increasing your organic traffic.

Here are the benefits of ecommerce SEO:

1. Increased brand awareness

When your online store appears at the top of search results pages, most searchers will take that as equivalent to an endorsement from Google. And they trust highly-ranking websites more than those that don’t. Seeing your business at the top will make them remember your brand more; thus, increasing brand awareness.

2. Offers great user experience

People who visit your site already have an idea of what they want and what they are looking for. However, you risk losing them if your online store doesn’t offer great user experience. For example, if you are a store that offers surfing outfits, then, you can arrange your pages in a way that makes it easy for customers to find what they are looking for. Create pages and categorize your items for easy navigation. Separate surfing outfits for men from those for women and for kids.

Hollister's website categorizes its products into pages. [credit to Hollister's website]

3. Generates more sales

The ultimate goal of ecommerce SEO is to put your business at the top of search results pages. When this happens, customers will naturally prefer your online store over those that are at the bottom of the page. Thus, more users visit your site, which translates to greater sales.

4. Repeat visitors and purchases

Studies prove that customers prefer websites that are ranked or recommended by Google through search. They also remain loyal to them, which is why they will always go back to those websites that rank highly whenever they need to repeat or make a new purchase.

5. Targets the right audience

With ecommerce SEO, your website and ads are optimized for your target audience. So, when searchers land on your page and find the information that they are looking for, they will stay on your page and even become long-term customers.

Conclusion

If you look at both local SEO and ecommerce SEO, you will notice that they have differences as well as similarities.

For one, they both aim to bring in the right customers and quality traffic. By optimizing your website, Google brings to you your target audience, which translates to better sales.

Another similarity is that they both help offer a great customer experience. In online stores, ecommerce SEO lets you organize and arrange your pages and create categories to make it easier for customers to navigate them. As for businesses with a physical store, local SEO helps customers easily find you with only a few clicks.

Perhaps, the biggest difference between the two is the type of business they cater to. Ecommerce is most suitable for online stores, while local SEO is for physical stores. In conclusion, both types of SEO can greatly help grow your business.

Versant Digital offers these services along with other digital marketing services. Visit our site and talk to a strategist today and get a free consultation.

Let's learn more insights like this

We are committed to sharing useful content, tips and insights for the ecommerce industry. Sign up below to get more valuable content straight to your email.

Mae

Mae

Writer, blogger, software reviewer.

Read more about these topics: