Our objectives were to increase the organic visibility of the store location pages, and make sure that local SEO was once again a focus for the brand.
Tesco is the UK’s largest grocer, and is a truly recognisable brand around the world. The size and scale of the business has continued to grow and during the COVID-19 pandemic we were tasked with continuing this upward trend through a dynamic local SEO project which looked at Google My Business (GMB) and store location as well as ongoing technical SEO.
Our objectives for 2020 were to increase the organic visibility of the store location pages, and make sure that local SEO was once again a focus. As the year went on, it was also important to monitor and adapt the strategy in line with government legislation, to ensure customers could get the information they needed online about shopping at their local Tesco during the pandemic.
We knew that in order to get the very best result for Tesco, we would need to work closely with multiple stakeholders including Tesco’s Store Location Services Team in Poland, Google, a variety of Internal Concession teams as well as Tesco’s Data and Brand Management Partner Yext.
It was only by utilising the strengths of each partner that we could build a bespoke strategy that would ensure data parity was delivered from the initial starting point of Tesco’s API, all the way to the thousands of separate GMB stores and concessions URLs.
We started by collating the data on each store and rounding up all of the store location pages. We then conducted a full site audit as well as a GMB audit.
This research phase led to the discovery that there were multiple issues with hundreds of pages and listings. These included:
We used our experience, and partnered with Google and Yext, to clean up Tesco’s GMB profile, and our task here included compiling a large data set to ensure that all of the concessions and stores were included. The auditing process covered in excess of 3000 stores and concessions.
This is vital for local search, where users are actively looking for a particular service or location. All of this data was sorted and uploaded to the correct profiles and has been regularly maintained. The key information added in this area of our work surrounded access to pharmacies, fuel stations, travel products, the F&F clothing range and cafes.
We ensured every Tesco store (Express, Metro, Superstore and Extra) had a GMB listing and that the listing had the correct address, opening times etc (and ensure times were kept updated as store opening hours changed in response to the pandemic). Then listings were created from scratch and verified if they didn’t have one and existing listings were updated to make them accurate. There were over 2,700 of these.
With an increasing number of sessions, and more bespoke searches, we needed to implement a way of tracking all of the concessions. We decided the best way was to add Universal Event Tracking (UET) links to all stores. This action gave us an insight to referrals and traffic from GMB and via Yext.
The SEO project that we had undertaken had seen a YoY increase of 13.91% in terms of average website clicks. The GMB work that we implemented, and the post coronavirus updates we made to local search meant that, by the end of 2020, average website clicks were up 31.3% YoY. *Overall results of this campaign may have been affected by the impact of Covid-19