A Local SEO Goldmine for Retailers

A lot of knowledge to tell your SEO technique is hiding in plain sight; you simply must know the place to look. For multi-location retailers, Google Merchant Center generally is a treasure trove of knowledge to assist achieve that aggressive edge.

Last November, simply in time for the vacations, Google started displaying free native product listings on the backside of Google My Business pages.

They are the free model of Google’s Local Inventory Ads and seem like this:

Target GMB PanelGMB Product Widget

This program is open to any brick-and-mortar enterprise with a Google Merchant Center account in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.Okay., and the U.S. Check Google’s Local Inventory Ads Overview for extra updates.

All it’s a must to do is decide in to the “surfaces across Google” program in GMC. You can enroll for it right here.

While the reporting accessible to collaborating companies is minimal, there may be sufficient knowledge for native companies to begin utilizing this program as a secret weapon to enhance their digital efficiency.

I name it secret as a result of I’m just about sure that none of your rivals are utilizing this knowledge (till they see this text, after all).

Here’s how one can faucet into this wealth of native SEO knowledge.

Check Your Free Local Listings Dashboard

Within Google Merchant Center go to Performance > Free Local Listings. There you possibly can see Clicks, Impressions, and Click-Through Rate over completely different time intervals.

You also can see comparable information for the non-Local “Free Listings” which usually seem within the Google Shopping tab, however these received’t present any “Local” information.

Google Merchant Center Free Local Listings Dashboard

Click on the “Free local listings: Traffic” hyperlink and also you’ll see this knowledge damaged down by Product, Brand, and Category.


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For instance:

GMC Traffic By Product Dashboard

GMC Traffic By Brand Dashboard

GMC Traffic by Category Dashboard

The Product report will sometimes have essentially the most knowledge, however every of those can provide you hints which can be useful to optimization.

As far as I do know, free Local Product Listings solely seem hooked up to Google My Business Knowledge Panels within the SERPs, or within the Local Finder/Google Maps as seen right here:
Google Local Finder w Products Widget

This implies that these listings largely present up for model queries (in reality, nearly all of GMB Knowledge Panels seem largely for model queries).


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As such, the Google Merchant Center knowledge gives distinctive insights into what individuals conversant in your model are trying for.

While they don’t break the info down by location (when are we going to get that, Google?), you should utilize your individual analytics to determine that out.

A Quick Word of Warning…

Google says:

“If you use a third party to measure local inventory ads or free local product listings, the information derived from users engaging with your ads or listings on Google cannot be used by you nor by any other party for creating targeting segments, remarketing purposes, or performing any browser or device fingerprinting.”

It doesn’t sound like utilizing the info Google provides you to populate pages with out particularly concentrating on these customers is an issue. However, as with all search optimization techniques you’ll need to ensure you’re in compliance earlier than attempting out a few of these concepts.

Now That You Have The Data, Figure Out What It Means

GMC Samsung

In the instance above, this “by brand” dashboard reveals that over the time interval Samsung-branded merchandise obtained ~91K clicks from the GMB Product Widget.


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In your analytics, you possibly can create a report for non-paid entries to the Samsung PDPs that got here from Google.

Then, filter that report by the person’s location.

It’s not good, however it can provide you a common concept for which cities there was essentially the most demand for Samsung. You can do the identical with the “by product” information.

The “by category” knowledge is just not as useful, as you possibly can’t break it down by product and/or model. However, it can provide you a common sense of which broad classes carry out greatest through which geographies.

This will be useful once we put this knowledge into motion.

(Full disclosure: I’m nonetheless attempting to persuade our TechOps crew it’ll be value it to scrape the GMB widgets and tie it to the GMC knowledge and analytics, to create a recurrently up to date view of efficiency).

Now that you understand which GMB Products individuals are clicking on from completely different places, you possibly can take that additional and have a look at conversion charges by model, product, and site to get a way of the highest performers.


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The extra merchandise you carry, the much less knowledge you’re going to have for every product, as Google appears to rotate them usually.

Google is giving us some precious information with that rotation, by the way in which.

There should be some methodology (dare I say an algorithm?) that Google makes use of to find out which merchandise to indicate on every GMB Page and when.

Given the quantity of knowledge Google has entry to, it possible understands your clients higher than you do — not less than from a standpoint of what makes them click on.

Monitoring these patterns might be a few of the greatest info yow will discover to tell how one can merchandise merchandise and types by yourself web site.

Tips for Retailers to Make the Most of Google Merchant Center Info

Add high clicked/changing merchandise & manufacturers to your location pages, and differ this by every location. If that’s an excessive amount of work, then begin with the identical high performers on all location pages.

We not often see native e-tailers do something really distinctive for web site guests in particular places. Use this information to assist energy suggestions all through the location for these geo-targeted customers.


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Use this knowledge to gasoline a GMB Posts marketing campaign to advertise fashionable merchandise. Since GMB Posts usually seem on the backside of the Google My Business Knowledge Panels, they could carry out simply in addition to the Product widgets, and you’ve got extra management over the messaging.

Extra credit score: This isn’t particular to GMB Products however since we’re speaking native search optimization, observe subsequent click on and search habits from customers who enter through location pages.

Improve conversion by including a promotion to the highest of every location web page for what they’re looking out for/clicking on most. (Hat tip to Noah Lerner for sharing this tip.)

More Resources:

Image credit: All screenshots by creator, April 2021

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