Near Me" searches have become a key input on mobile devices and voice-enabled services. It has started to play a crucial role in the search optimization world today. If you own a local business, you should understand how to rank for near me searches. It will help you tap into users who are searching for local businesses, and at the same time, improve your SEO rankings.
‘Near me’ search queries can be explained as web searches for specific products and services in a given location. These are usually made by prospective customers with the intent to purchase or shortlist a brand for future use. For example, if you want to know about a gas station in your locality or current location, you can search for ‘gas stations near me.’ Similarly, you could search ‘restaurants near me’ to find the places in close proximity offering food.
In the era of eCommerce growth on the internet, physical businesses need an edge to survive in the competition. ‘Near me’ searches allow the local businesses to identify themselves for the prospective customers and transform the leads into sales.
So, higher rankings of a business help in bolstering its presence and helping customers get close to their search results.
Even though we can see how much eCommerce sales have increased over the past few years, some consumers still prefer offline shopping. In addition, there is a significant amount of consumers that believe in supporting local businesses. As a result, to get more visibility, companies like Google, Waze, Yelp, and Facebook have created programs to help small businesses (SMBs).
Over the past two years, "near me" searches have rapidly grown. As per Google's report, they have grown up to 100% over the past year. During the pandemic also, consumers continue to use these searches to confirm the needed item at their local store or facility before leaving home.
So, how can you ensure that your business gets the most visibility whenever somebody searches "xyz near me?" The answer is you need to understand consumer behavior and start focusing on some specific local SEO strategies.
To put it simply, Google uses the user location to track businesses in the vicinity and produces them in the relevant results following a ‘near me’ search query.
Most users nowadays have location or GPS service enabled on their smartphones. Since most apps require GPS permission to function effectively, even those users who are worried about their privacy tend to keep it turned on for the sake of their convenience. So, Google automatically detects their location and produces highly localized results matching the search queries.
From a marketing perspective, ranking for ‘near me’ searches can be a great value addition for any business. It helps a marketer to reach out to consumers based on local SEO and target high-value searches that are most likely to result in conversions. If an individual searches for a product or service in the locality, it is plausible that they become a potential customer soon. Apart from enhancing the business presence, ‘near me’ searches can lift the sales volume as well.
So, if you own a business in 2022, you ought to excel in local SEO and rank for ‘near me’ searches for blooming results. But how do you do that? Well, you must keep a few factors in mind including how to show up on Google’s ‘near me’ search, how to optimize SEO near me, and how to use ‘near me’ in your keywords. These will help you in attracting targeted customers at a local level.
Optimizing your business’s presence for ‘near me’ search will increase its visibility. You just have to understand how to rank for ‘near me’ searches through a few easy steps.
To rank for ‘near me’ searches, you will have to improve your business ranking on local business results pages. It is a pretty simple process. All you have to do is create a business account on Google My Business. Click on "Start now" and proceed to add your business’s details on Google local.
It's equally important to optimize your business listing in the Google local search results.
Just as is the case with better SEO rankings, backlinks improve business rankings on Google local. For this, you need to acquire high authority backlinks that carry geographically relevant text.
Suppose you intend to rank for ‘near me’ searches for ‘Minneapolis’ and the category in related is ‘hospital.’ In this case, you need location-rich variants of anchor text such as ‘reputed hospital in Minneapolis,’ ‘hospital in Minneapolis,’ or ‘best hospitals in Minneapolis.’
If you are running a business at several locations, it is recommended that you make different web pages for various locations. For example, you have hospitals with the same brand name in five places, namely, Boston, Austin, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. It would be advisable to optimize all these web pages for ‘near me’ searches through a few easy steps.
Google always gives preference to those sites that are user-friendly. And since most of the ‘near me’ searches are made on smartphones, it makes sense to create mobile-friendly websites. It helps you rank for ‘near me’ searches and also improves ‘near me’ local SEO.
It is essential to understand that your content strategy should revolve around your local SEO goals. Hence, you can always write blogs to promote local content. It requires optimizing relevant content for local SEO and ranking higher in ‘near me’ searches.
In the case of the healthcare industry, you can promote local SEO by writing on topics like epidemics and medical issues of local concern. For example, if there is a new wave of COVID-19 cases in the city where you operate a chain of hospitals, you could publish blogs about the rising cases and the necessary precautions that must be taken. You may also cover symptoms to identify a possible COVID-19 case.
In addition to this, local content can revolve around community-oriented events and landmark occasions to improve the level of relevance in ‘near me’ searches. This could always form a part of your strategy on how to rank for ‘near me’ searches.
Businesses can leverage ‘near me’ search by ranking higher for it. The strategy is more commonly called local SEO and is based on Google's algorithm. When a user searches for a specific product or service, the algorithm comes into the picture and sorts the information to match the relevant keywords. So, you have to rank your business for searches in your vicinity, identify the target audience, and reach out to them.
While you discover how to rank for ‘near me’ searches, you may also try on-page optimization. When working on an SEO strategy for your business, you will arrive at a list of initial keywords that you would want to focus on. Complement these keywords by performing further research and finding new keywords to optimize your content for ‘near me’ searches and local SEO.
If you are running a chain of hospitals in Minneapolis, you should use the keyword ‘Hospitals near me’ as one of your page titles. This will help you mark your presence to that particular user. Similarly, using ‘near me’ in the title tags of your locations pages, anchor texts, and alt tags can help your business enhance its appearance for local searches.
However, ensure that you are not spamming your page with ‘near me.’ Keywords stuffing on your website content is never a good idea and can indeed be counter-productive when you are working on how to rank for ‘near me’ searches. What you must intend to do in local SEO is to try and use ‘near me’ as a keyword in an intensely natural way.
At the end of the day, your content and the keywords used ought to be beneficial for the users. Remember that Google's algorithm can always catch up and give preference to content that is coherent and relevant for the search query.