With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to order online has become an essential feature for 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 a location.
Now, businesses are focusing on providing a seamless omnichannel experience to allow the customer to order online, either directly from the listing or on an individual locator page.
It also allows customers to choose how they want to receive their product with delivery or pickup options that best suit their needs.
With this change, the strategy on how to maximize a brand’s online ordering experience has changed.
In this article, we will share our local SEO guide for e-commerce and online ordering to promote more conversions.
Maximize retail listings for online ordering
When searching online for something to buy, customers will likely interact with a business listing as their first point of contact.
Having the list setup to direct customers to online ordering or visiting your website is essential.
The checkout link should take the customer directly into the checkout flow so they can start their purchase.
There should be as little friction as possible for them to get started and place their order.
Direct your customer to a menu page, a breakdown of the main categories or a simplified search function.
In the list, you can also share the available order receipt options, 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 present as much information as possible to a searcher.
New Google attributes are updated and added regularly, so be sure to regularly monitor what is available and applicable to your brand.
Local inventory ads for retailers
To reduce friction as much as possible and increase the ranking of specific products, retailers should consider having In-store product ads.
With these types of ads set up for a brand’s placements, customers can see specific products available in that placement.
It also allows the listing to rank for specific products a customer might search for on Google and shows what’s currently available at the location if they want to pick up their order.
This creates a streamlined omnichannel experience for the customer while encouraging faster conversions.
Here you can see an example of In-store product ads in a list of Google business profiles.
The list above shows what products are in stock in the locations and what is relevant to the customer’s search behavior.
When a customer clicks on one of the product ads, they are taken to the Google hosted storefront for that retailer.
Google provides the necessary requirements to set up a local product feed so you can take advantage of this feature within your listing.
Google provides metrics to allow brands to measure the performance of these digital advertisements.
the basic implementation details what is required to achieve this configuration for a retailer.
This is currently only available for physical locations in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway , in Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
If you have the basic setup in place for your in-store inventory product feed, there are several optimization features.
To get started, you can contact your Google representative at local inventory ads support team.
Online ordering for restaurants
Locations whose primary category is set to Restaurant have the option to display online orders directly on their listing.
This feature can be managed directly in a restaurant’s Google Business Profile by accessing the food ordering option on the left panel.
To turn it on, you would go to configure your ‘Order online’ button.
By updating this feature, your ad will then show an option to pick up or deliver the order, 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.
A user will then see the different options available for ordering at the restaurant.
The customer can choose to order directly from the restaurant or can choose a third party such as UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless or any partner the location works with.
For integrated locations, customers will be able to order directly from Google.
It will display the menu items available at that location with the specific price.
It will also allow them to make any changes available to their order.
When the order is ready to be finalized, the customer will be able to proceed directly to checkout in Google.
This convenience allows the customer to stay on Google and use all the saved credit card information they already have with Google.
This creates a transparent and simplified ordering process where payment can be made in seconds.
Setting up orders with Google for restaurants
If a restaurant wants the ability to allow customers to order directly with Google, they need to follow a few steps.
Restaurants can visit Order with the Google Help page to see if they qualify for the service.
First, a restaurant must work with an approved third-party ordering provider like Olo.
This is necessary because these third-party ordering platforms have integrations with Google.
Next, brands will need to complete a interest form with Google to begin the process.
Developers can consult the Documentation to ensure they are able to meet the necessary launch requirements.
There is also launch readiness checklist that Google provides once you’ve been approved.
Maximize location pages for online ordering
Location pages should also be optimized for online ordering, just like a location’s listing.
There should be clear calls to action (CTAs) on the page to let the customer know they can place an order.
It should highlight the options available for the customer to receive their products for pickup, curbside, or delivery.
The page should clearly present all key information about pickup or delivery procedures.
A great example is Target, which clearly outlines all of its options and then pushes customers straight into the checkout flow with a clear CTA.
Online ordering has become an essential part of a company’s strategy.
Regardless of your industry, ensuring your listings and pages are optimized to create a seamless omnichannel experience will help your brand drive more sales.
It also improves your user’s experience, encouraging customer loyalty and positive sentiment.
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