Garden centres increase footfall via local SEO

It’s not surprising local SEO is getting more and more popular to drive traffic to garden centres since almost half of the searches on Google are targeting something local. While big brands used to have a monopoly on the top search results on Google, the last updates to Google’s algorithm have been significantly beneficial to smaller businesses.

Sjors Hemmen, business developer at Garden Connect, explains how local SEO works. He said: “Nowadays, 46% of search queries are related to doing, seeing, visiting or buying something locally. We help garden centres rank well on those keywords that their local customer would use, in turn helping to increase footfall.”

Search intent

An important metric Garden Connect uses is the search intent, e.g. does a user want to do something online or does he want to do something nearby? Sjors continued: “If you’re in the market to buy garden furniture online, you’re using slightly different Google keywords compared to say, someone who’s looking for a nearby store which sells garden furniture. We identify these keywords and the intent users have while using them”.

Case study

Local SEO proves to work well for garden centres and retail nurseries. “We applied local SEO to a mid-size retail nursery which is heavily plant focused and found the results to be really positive. Garden centres who are more focused on leisure, with restaurants and playgrounds, can tap into a wider audience by applying local SEO marketing,” explains Sjors Hemmen.

“For the nursery, the number of views of their local listings on Google went up 252% compared to the same period in 2020 which extremely encouraging. However, a view is not an action, and as such we also measure the number of people checking the directions from their home to the store, or those that are making a phone call. These numbers went up by 215% for the nursery customer.”

The impact was mentioned by the store owner who said: “Figures are just figures. But if you do get more phone calls and do see new people visiting your garden centre, it becomes obvious local SEO helps to drive footfall.”

76% visits after searching

Surveys show that 76% of the consumers who were searching for a local business decided to visit one of the places they found on Google. Sjors concluded:  “We often hear it’s complicated to link online marketing to in-store visits. But local SEO proves the clear link between a Google query and in-store traffic. 76% of the consumers searching for a local business pay a visit to one of the businesses they found online within 24 hours.”

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