When it comes to deciding where to fuel up, consumers rely on a quick, usually last-minute search before leaving the house or when they are on the road. What does this mean? Can you apply standard marketing tactics if you own gas stations? Not exactly! You need to take into account the specifics of this industry.
What do your customers look for?
Many will go for a gas station that also has a bathroom and a convenience store. Add images and the name of the convenience store (if there is any), the opening hours, and the interior. For a driver that has been on the road for hours, this information will make the difference between picking your gas station or going for your competitor.
The location of your gas station should dictate how you present your listing. If it’s right in a busy center, then parking slots are going to be crucial, if it’s right in the middle of nowhere, highlight the facilities and convenience store/cafe you have inside the station.
This all sounds very simple, but we are forgetting the first step. What exactly do searchers see when they look for a gas station?
If you don’t appear in the local pack, the chances are close to none that someone will do long research to find your gas station.
Your customers are not loyal and it's great!
You should see this as an advantage. Why? Because they are not loyal to your competitors either. A person looking for the nearest place to fuel up is not going to pay attention to the brand, but to factors like the ratings, reviews, and proximity. So, improving your local search results is more important for gas stations than branding.
How to appear in the local pack?
This is the hard part! It requires a consistent local SEO optimization strategy to beat the competition and appear among the first ones in the local pack.
There are a number of factors affecting your position in the local pack. To improve those chances, start with these actions:
- Get and manage your GBP reviews
- Optimize your listings with consistent and correct information
- Share Google Posts about your offers, sales, and more.
What’s your gain?
Nearly 90% of gas station mobile searches result in a purchase. If you appear in the local pack, you have all the changes to make a sale.
Keep an eye on your listings
Your business information can change without your permission. Any Google user, your competitor, or a spammer can suggest changes to your gas station listings resulting in lost sales and a bad reputation. It’s crucial to monitor and make sure that all your listings have the correct address, phone number, name, or website mentioned.
In the case of gas stations, the address or the proximity of your location from the driver is going to affect the foot traffic and even whether you appear on the map or not.
Need more guidance to improve your local search results? We've been helping a number of international gas stations with their local SEO efforts and know exactly how you can succeed.
Astghik Nikoghosyan, August 4, 2022