What are “Near Me” Searches?
Most people have started using Google and other search engines to find local businesses that are relevant to their needs. “Near me” searches are growing rapidly as more people have access to devices with GPS-enabled services. These devices help Google identify the location of the search and present the most relevant results that are near the user.
How Important are Local SEO and Local Search?
“Near me” searches are an excellent way for you to reach your customers at the moment when they need your services the most. Most of these searches have an element of urgency since it’s something that the potential lead wants at that moment. If you can step up and show them that you’re near them and have exactly what they need, then you’ve reached a potential customer with almost no effort on your part.
“Near me” searches have increased dramatically in the past two years. Statistics show that most of these searches relate to food, but that service industries like home improvement companies, home builders, and remodelers also share a hefty chunk of the pie.
If you’re in these industries or any other location-based service, you don’t need to have an SEO strategy that increases your visibility globally. All you need is for local searches to have your business in the search results. And for that, it’s better to focus on local SEO to capitalize on the growth of “near me” searches.
Tips to Improve Your Local SEO for “Near Me” Searches
Optimizing your local business for local search is essential in the age of the “near me search”. Whether you’re about to embark on a marketing campaign, or already have an established SEO campaign, there are several ways that you can adapt your strategy and improve local search results to your benefit.
Leverage Your Google My Business (GMB) Profile
Google My Business is an essential way to get your business on the map. A Google My Business profile is a listing that has all the relevant information about your business, such as your business name, address, phone number, menu, and business hours.
Once you’ve set up your profile, Google will automatically display your listing whenever anyone conducts a location-based search in your area. Your business services will also show up on Google Maps, which will provide a link to your website or landing page.
To get consistent results for particular keywords, you’ll need to optimize your Google My Business listing to include as much information as possible. The more information you provide, and the more you update the page, the higher you’ll rank.
You can also take advantage of the fact that Google looks for reviews of your business, and once it’s gathered enough reviews it will post them on your GMB listing. If you’re in a service-based industry, this extra bit of reputability can dramatically increase your leads and help you rank higher in local search results.
An easy way to get reviews is to request them on social media or via your website. Encourage users to leave reviews in exchange for the chance to win a prize or offer a special discount for honest reviews.
Use Schema Markup
Schema data refers to information that search engines use to provide their customers with more comprehensive information. If you’ve ever seen a rich snippet in your search results – the search engine obtained that from a schema markup. The most common schema data includes:
- Business address
- Operating hours
- Contact information, including phone number, website link, email address, and physical location.
Adding schema markup is relatively simple, but it’s vital that this information is exactly the same as the information on your webpage.
Get Backlinks with Geographic Anchor Text
Search engines use a metric called “authority” to decide how to rank a website. High-authority websites have lots of backlinks with geographically relevant anchor text, so having more of these will increase your authority.
A good way to start is to use location-rich variants of existing anchor text. Instead of just saying “best kitchen remodeler near me,” add your city or area to the anchor as well.
Acquire Local Links for Your Blog
When it comes to search engine optimization, external links leading to your site are the best way to improve authority. At the same time, having a blog also establishes your authority in the area.
The best way to get backlinks to your blog is to network with influencers near you and link them in your blog posts. Ideally, they’ll return the favor and link to your website. You’ll also need to ensure that the anchor for these links includes your keywords, as well as your “near me” city or area.
Developing backlinks is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort, but the results for your business are worth it.
Optimize Targeted, Location-Focused Landing Pages
If your business has multiple locations, you’ll need to have multiple location pages, each tailored to the area. To optimize multiple locations for “near me” searches, you’ll need to:
- Optimize the title tags and meta tags for your desired local keywords.
- Add the relevant business information to each local business page, including contact details, business name, address, and hours.
- Stick to a user-friendly URL structure that makes it clear exactly which location the page describes.
Mobile devices are the most common device used for a “near me search”. Being mobile-friendly is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy, especially as Google continues to prioritize usable, accessible websites.
Best practices for your website include:
- Keep it responsive by minimizing the loading time
- Ensure it’s easy to navigate by keeping buttons large and visible
- Optimize site speed by enabling compression and using a CDN to distribute server load
“Near me” searches are great for local businesses because they provide you with an opportunity to get customers right before they’re about to commit to a purchase. A focus on local keywords can dramatically increase your business visibility and even foster consumer trust.
If you want the benefits of “near me” searches but don’t know where to start, why not give us a call today?