How often have you found yourself looking for a café, restaurant, gas station, pharmacy, salon, motel, or other services close to you? Google’s ‘Near Me’ is a handy tool to get precise search results for a category of outlet/ service in your vicinity. Whether you are at home or on the road, your search keywords would usually include ‘…near me’, ‘where to buy…’, places to buy…’ and so on. A Consumer insights report from Google indicates that:
- 30% of all mobile searches use the phrase ‘near me’
- 76% of these searches result in a visit to the business location within 1 day
- 28% convert into an actual purchase
If you have a business with a physical location, the mobile-based ‘near me’ searches act like attractive and effective roadside billboards, drawing potential customers to your store. However, if you think that simply adding the keywords ‘near me’ on your website will generate leads for people looking for your services or goods, that may not be true. Essentially, this search phrase produces results for a ‘specific category’ of goods or services, in a ‘specific period of time’, and within a ‘specific area’. Hence, during a ‘near me’ search, Google rides on the user’s current location and offers precise information about accurately matched establishments within close proximity of the user. Read on to understand the impact of ‘near me’ searches on your local SEO efforts, and how your business can capitalize on this feature.
Tips to Optimize SEO for ‘Near Me’ Searches
‘Near me’ searches are an excellent way to promote your local business and increase foot traffic to your physical outlet / store. While users may not have to state their location while initiating the search, the business owners and their digital marketers must optimize their website for the locations that they wish to score a rank for.
Here are some tips to make the most of local SEO services for your business.
1- Set up Your ‘Google My Business’ dashboard: ‘Google My Business’ is a central hub that stores all the information related to your business, including the location, map, contact details, reviews and more. In order to take advantage of ‘near me’ searches, one of the first things you should do is set up the dashboard for your business and maintain detailed and updated information at all times. Satisfy the potential consumers’ search criteria by:
- Including your business category, complete address, phone numbers, website URL and email ID.
- Adding your detailed hours of operation. A ‘near me’ search user always wants to know if your store / facility is open at the time of the search.
- Incorporating your pricing details, customer testimonials, or the advantages that you offer over your competitors. Address the aspects that draw the search user to you, instead of going to a competing store in the same vicinity.
2- Rank Better on Organic Searches: Improve your rank in organic searches by optimizing your website for local SEO services:
- Prominently display the areas that you serve
- Include keywords, such as ‘near me’, or ‘nearby’ in the title tags, text and internal links
- Add the location keywords of the areas that you wish to rank for.
3- Maximize Your Ad Spends: When it comes to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, you can target potential customers by focusing on location-specific segments. Set up location-based ad campaigns by pinpointing the neighbourhoods, postal codes, or search radius, which allows your business to be ranked in the ‘near-me’ searches of the relevant consumer base.
Attract ‘Near Me’ Searches for Your Local Business
Location-specific searches are becoming more accurate and detailed due to aspects such as higher interconnectivity of search engines, and increased sophistication in location tracking. Moreover, the rapid adoption of voice-based searches and digital assistants indicates that search algorithms will become more complex. Eventually, the search output will be minimized to include only one or two results. While potential customers will enjoy the simplified and refined search output, local businesses will face stiff top-rank competition for ‘near me’ searches if they do not tailor their content to location-based SEO.