Local SEO Guide for E-Commerce and Online Ordering

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to order online has become an essential feature of every webpage and business listing.

Before the pandemic, the primary goal of local search engine optimization (SEO) was to drive visibility and foot traffic to the site.

Companies are now focused on providing an end-to-end multi-channel experience to allow the customer to order online, whether directly within a menu or on a single site page.

This also allows customers to choose how they want to receive their products with delivery or pickup options that best suit their needs.

With this shift, the strategy for how to maximize the online ordering experience for a brand has changed.

In this post, we are going to share our local SEO guide for e-commerce and online ordering to boost more conversions.

Maximize Retail Listings for Online Ordering

When searching online for something to buy, customers are more likely to interact with a business’s listing as their first point of contact.

Preparing the menu to direct customers to order online or visit your website is essential.

The order link must take the customer directly into the order flow so that they can initiate the buying process.

There should be as little friction as possible to allow them to start and place the order.

Direct your customer to a listing page, a division into major categories, or a simplified search function.

Within the menu, you can also share the options available for receiving the order, such as in-store pickup, curbside pickup, same-day delivery, or standard delivery.

These are known as attributes, and each applicable retail attribute should be selected for each of your listings to provide as much information as possible to the searcher.

New Google themes are updated and added on a consistent basis, so make sure you monitor what’s available and applicable to your brand regularly.

Local Inventory Ads for Retailers

To reduce friction as much as possible and increase the order of certain products, retailers should consider having local inventory advertising.

By setting up these types of ads for the brand’s websites, customers can see specific products available on that website.

It also allows the listing to rank for specific products a customer might search on Google for and shows what’s currently available on the site if they’re interested in choosing their order.

This creates a streamlined end-to-end channel experience for the customer while encouraging faster conversions.

Here you can see an example of local inventory ads under the Google Business Profiles list.

Image from Google Business Profile, February 2022

The above list shows which products are in stock at the locations and what correlates with the customer’s research behaviour.

When a customer clicks on one of the product’s ads, they will be directed to the Google-hosted storefront for that retailer.

Google provides the requirements for setting up a local product feed so you can take advantage of this feature in your listing.

Google provides metrics to allow brands to measure the performance of these digital ads.

The basic implementation details on board what is needed to get this retailer setup.

This is currently only available for brick and mortar locations in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

If you implement the basic setup of your local stock product feed, there are many optimization features.

These improvements include features of a merchant-hosted, on-demand, and today-received local storefront.

To get started, you can contact a Google representative for your local Repository Ads support team.

Online ordering for restaurants

Sites whose primary category is set as Restaurant have the ability to display online ordering directly in their menus.

This functionality can be managed directly within the restaurant’s Google Business Profile by going to the food ordering option in the right panel.

To turn it on, you will go to setting up the “Order Online” button.

By updating this functionality, your listing will then display an option to order pickup or delivery, which will direct the customer to https://food.google.com/ for that individual location.

The image below shows what this would look like in practice.

Example of a Red Robin restaurant order buttonImage from Google Business Profile, February 2022

The user will then be shown the different options available to order from the restaurant.

The customer can choose to order directly from the restaurant or choose a third party such as UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless or any partners the site works with.

For embedded sites, customers will be able to order directly from within Google.

It will display the menu items available on this site with the selected pricing.

It will also allow them to make any available modifications to their application.

When the order is ready to be completed, the customer will be able to checkout directly within Google.

This convenience allows Customer to remain on Google and use any credit card information they already have with Google.

This creates a seamless and streamlined ordering process where check-out can take place in a matter of seconds.

Google Business Profile Delivery OptionsImage from Google Business Profile, February 2022

Prepare orders with Google for restaurants

If a restaurant wants to have the ability to let customers order directly from Google, there are a few steps they need to follow.

Restaurants can visit the “Order” with Google help page to see if they qualify for the service.

First, the restaurant must work with an approved third-party ordering provider such as Olo.

This is required since third-party ordering platforms integrate with Google.

Next, brands will need to fill out an interest form from Google to begin the process.

Developers can review the documentation to ensure that they are able to meet the necessary operational requirements.

There is also a launch readiness checklist that Google makes available once you are approved.

Zoom website pages for online ordering

Site pages should also be optimized for online ordering just like a site’s menu.

There should be clear calls to action (CTAs) on the page informing the customer that the order can be initiated.

It should highlight the options available to the customer for receiving his products for pick-up, curb or delivery.

The page should clearly identify any basic information about the pick-up or delivery procedure.

A good example of this is Target, which clearly describes all of their options and then drives customers directly into the order flow with a clear CTA.

Example of a target local landing pageImage from Target, February 2022

Conclusion

Online ordering has become an essential part of the company’s strategy.

No matter what your industry, making sure you optimize your listings and pages to create a seamless end-to-end channel experience will help your brand drive sales.

It also improves user experience, encourages customer loyalty and positive sentiment.

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Featured Image: elenabsl / Shutterstock

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