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How to set up a Local SEO strategy for an international retailer with >3500 locations

This International retailer intended to improve the visibility of its stores in local search results. The challenge lay in the large number of stores, countries and labels, where there were differences per country in the quality of the store profiles, tooling and resources to manage the locations. They asked iO to support regarding a roll-out strategy for, among others, Italy, Spain, Benelux, France, UK, Ireland and Sweden.

The aim of the project:

  • Improve visibility in Google Search and Google Maps;

  • Growth in impressions in Google Search and Google Maps;

  • Improve the quality and effectiveness of Google Business Profiles;

  • Increase the number of store visitors and appointments through Google Business Profiles.

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How do we ensure better visibility of our locations in local (Google Maps) search results across multiple countries and labels?


Integration of the right tooling in combination with a thorough local SEO process and cooperation with the local marketing teams.

About Grandvision

GrandVision has a network of approximately 7,000 stores worldwide and is active in more than 40 countries. With retail formats including Eye Wish and Pearle, this optical retail giant provides more than 150 million customers with specialised eye care, including lenses and frames for glasses, contact lenses and other products and services.

Girl at eye wear store - Grandvision


Making such a project successful is complex, and therefore a clear approach is needed. We started with a zero measurement and analysis of the (growth) potential of the stores within the different countries. Subsequently, a process was developed with which best practices could be implemented per country.

Because we deal with different labels, a diversity of (historical) location management tools and capacity within the team, support per country is necessary for a successful rollout.

The approach was divided into several phases; 1. implementation tooling, 2. basic optimization, 3. store potential analysis and 4. ranking optimization.

In collaboration with the tooling partner, a uniform location management tool was implemented for all countries and labels. General guidelines were drawn up including SEO best practices specific to this market and industry. Per country a generic local keyword research was performed, and responsibilities were assigned for, among other things, review and location management and posting promotions. 

After the basic implementation, the positions of the locations for important keywords were examined per country. It was examined whether there were still growth opportunities after the basic optimization to push the locations further in visibility. In the countries where this potential existed, a follow-up process was started in which the positions for important keywords were improved, whereby we optimized this per group of 25-50 locations.

Grandvision Google Maps Screenshot

Top 12 key points that were optimized

  1. Company

  2. Address

  3. Opening hours

  4. Categories

  5. Definition

  6. Website URL

  7. Appointment URL

  8. Images

  9. Characterize

  10. Promotions

  11. Q&A

  12. Reply reviews


This project has ensured that more than 3500 store profiles from different countries and labels were optimized. This ensured a uniform and qualitative appearance. In addition, it resulted in a significant increase in local visibility. Where the stores in some countries were previously barely visible, the locations were now shown for all major keywords. This increase in visibility also led to a measurable increase in store appointments, store visitors and turnover.

In figures


growth in direct, branded and non-branded searches


growth in Google Maps and Google Search impressions


growth in Google Business Profile interactions


growth in store visitors


growth in store sales
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Clarissa_Filius - iO
Your contact:Clarissa,Teamlead SEO