Is your store lease ending? Maybe that’s an opportunity to use digital technology to find a better retail location.
For six-store Oregon Hot Tub, the recent move of one showroom from a Clackamas, Ore., address to Portland proper took into account an interesting factor. Keyword traffic referrals to the company’s website showed the owners how prevalent technology has come to attracting customers.
Consumers entering the phrase “hot tubs Portland Oregon” would find Oregon Hot Tub’s website in page results, but when it came to results on Google Maps, the only way for the store to get visibility would be for its business to be located in Portland.
“One of the places that we were failing was when people would search ‘hot tubs Portland,’ they weren’t seeing us in those locations because we didn’t have a hard address there,” said Dave Doornink, director of marketing at Oregon Hot Tub.
The Google My Business feature (formerly Google Places) is what search engines’ robots use to surface locations.
“We knew that was a popular term and the more you dig into the science of search engine optimization [the more you realize] locations are being specifically used in a search. A lot of people are doing more of it now,” Doornink explained. “You’re always looking for something local.”
The new store in Portland is in a strip property with a Dick’s Sporting Goods and The Home Depot, which will help increase the amount of foot traffic in the store. But the location’s address also will up web traffic in Google My Business.
Capitalizing on the SEO advantages of Google My Business is a way Klapprodt Pools in Keller, Texas, differentiates itself. The pool building, service and retail firm took map results a step further and paid Google about $450 to have photos taken of the inside of the store. “In my mind, being able to walk the store with the virtual tour before you go there is pretty neat,” said Jeremy Klapprodt, co-owner. “From a consumer side, you can see where you’re going before you get there.”
Klapprodt Pools enhances its online presence by using targeted keywords for specific areas. The campaign uses spa keywords throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but targets pool chemical keywords to a tighter radius to the store, depending on the distance customers will drive for certain products. “People do a lot of their research online, and it’s been a huge success for us over traditional print ads, whether it be newspaper or magazine,” Klapprodt said.
All other factors being equal — rent, street and foot traffic, space — Internet marketing consultant David Carleton recommends considering the SEO factor when looking for new premises. “Is it a common occurrence? I would say not necessarily, but … understanding their Google Analytics or keyword SEO would certainly be a smart thing to do in terms of trying to optimize the web traffic as well as optimize the locations for their new stores,” said the president of spapoolmarketingsuccess.com, who works with Oregon Hot Tub.
“I wouldn’t break a lease to go move for that reason, but if you’re moving anyway, I would certainly say that that would be a consideration.”
The new store location for Oregon Hot Tub also has the advantage of being fairly close — about 5 miles — from the former Clackamas location, so it’s still convenient.