You’ve probably used the search phrase “near me” when looking for restaurants, gas stations, apparel, and more without even realizing that you’re part of one of the fastest growing local search trends
. Smartphone users are dropping location qualifiers (e.g. ZIP codes and neighborhoods) from local searches because they expect the results will be automatically relevant to their location due to their GPS-enabled devices. According to a Google Data study
from 2015 to 2017, there was a 500% growth in "near me" mobile searches that contained a variant of "can I buy" or "to buy."
Smartphone users are searching online for local services now more than ever before. See how you can leverage “near me” searches to increase your business’s presence in local search
1. List and optimize your Google My Business listing.
For your business to appear in the local search results, you’ll need to have a Google My Business listing. After creating your Google business listing, it’s essential that you optimize it to ensure your business listing shows up in Google’s local search results:
- Verify your listing
- Include detailed, accurate, and up-to-date information
- Make sure the NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) is consistent across all of your business profiles on the internet
- Use the complete address to reach your business using Google Maps
- Add your logo, hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, contact details like phone number and website, and the product or service you sell
- Add high-quality photos of your services and products
- Ask customers to leave a Google review
- Respond quickly and sincerely to customer reviews
- Create and add content to the listing’s Google Posts
- Perform a routine check to your Google My Business listing
- Include your business in the correct category (be as specific as possible)
- Ensure your business information stays accurate and up-to-date
- Add amenities your business offers like WiFi or pet-friendly
2. Properly use schema markup.
With schema data, search engines are able to obtain more information related to your business and display them as ‘rich snippets’ in the search results. We recommend adding schema markup to every location page that your business serves and should include the business address, operation hours, and contact information. You should also add the homepage schema markup to allow your business to show up in the Knowledge Graph and help ensure accurate business information. Furthermore, only include the information in the schema markup that is displayed on the page.
3. Acquire backlinks that have geographic anchor text.
Backlinks are a great way to improve your site’s rankings on Google local. By acquiring high authority, relevant backlinks that have geographic anchor text, it’ll be easier to increase your business rankings for "near me" searches. For example, if you want to rank for "near me" searches for the location "Orlando" and for the category "cafe", then you need to include location variants in the anchor text like "best cafe in Orlando", "cafe in Orlando", "Orlando cafe downtown," etc.
4. Create and optimize pages targeting each of your business locations.
For businesses with several locations, it’s crucial to create specific pages for different locations. For example, if your cafe serves five different cities, then you’ll need to create five different pages. Here are some optimization tips for local pages:
- Use a URL structure that is user-friendly and easy to read such as "example.com/orlando-cafe,'' “example.com/tampa-cafe,” “example.com/miami-cafe,'
- Optimize the title and meta tags for your target keyword
- Add proper alt tags and title tags to the images used in the web page
- Add an appropriate description to your business and include relevant information such as operation hours, menu, store directions, etc.
5. Make your site mobile-friendly.
Having a mobile-friendly site that loads quickly is key for improving user experience and ranking higher for "near me" searches. Here are some effective ways to make your site mobile-friendly
- Use a responsive web design
- Have a quick load time
- Create a smart UX/UI design
- Employ other mobile optimizations (e.g. compressing heavy images, removing Flash animation)
6. Create a blog and get local links.
A blog allows you to share content on a regular basis that not only helps keep users up-to-date on your business, but also acquires local links. There are many types of content you can do to earn local links such as conducting interviews with local influencers, and in return, they link to your site on their blog. You can also conduct local surveys and publish the report regularly on your blog, create a FAQ to help users find answers to their questions, write specific blog posts for each question/answer, and much more.
Local Search Optimization Services
By implementing these six tactics, your business will perform better in “near me” searches which will also enhance your overall SEO. With the growth of local searches
, businesses can’t afford to ignore local SEO - especially those with multiple locations.
Call Sales & Marketing Technologies today at (407) 682-2222 for a free strategy session with one of our local search marketing