Optimising for “Near Me” Searches
Google, on average, gets over 100 billion searches a month, with the majority of these queries coming from mobile phones. However, arguably the best feature Google boasts isn’t its search capabilities, but rather its ability to identify nearby locals through its “near me” query (when it can locate your mobile device’s location). Whether you’re going to lunch in a specific resteraunt or looking for a local plumber, Google can use your location to identify nearby restaurants, grocery stores, salons, trademsmen and more.
Optimise your Google My Business search
To improve how well your business shows up on “near me” or local searches, one of the first things you should do is get on Google My Business.
This is a free tool that Google offers. The primary benefit of it is that it allows businesses to improve their presence throughout all Google applications, including Google Maps. Once on the Google My Business page, you’ll need to submit a complete profile of your business. Be as thorough as possible when filling out your business’s information.
You’ll be asked to provide your business name, location, contact information and hours of operation. However, go beyond that and include other helpful details as well, such as your website URL. Essentially, all the information you provide will display on searches when your business name pops up. The more details you offer, the easier it will be for clients to learn everything they want about you from one place.
Make sure your information is listed consistently
Google is particular when it comes to determining which businesses make the cut for near me results (just like with any other Google search results). Essentially, it favours consistency and location.
If you want to increase your chances of showing up in results, make sure all information relating to your business is consistent across the web.
For instance, if your business displays one address in one online directory, another on a different website and a third on Google My Business, Google picks up on these inconsistencies and pushes you further down in its rankings. The SEO world calls these listings “citations.”
That’s why it’s important that all pertinent details of your business remain consistent everywhere. This can be accomplished by hiring a local SEO company, such as Direct Submit.
Make Reviews and Customer Feedback count
When you show up on “near me” results, one of the first things that will display directly beneath your business name is your overall customer rating. This will be based on a scale of one to five stars with five being the best.
This not-so-little detail is considered a key factor that influences whether or not a customer chooses to do business with you over your competition.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly
As I mentioned, the majority of your customers will perform “near me” searches directly from their mobile devices. This means that if you’re listing your website on your Google My Business profile, which you should, then it makes sense for you to optimise your site specifically for mobile.
“Near me” searches aside, people nowadays predominantly use their smartphones, not desktops, to access the web, so optimising for mobile is good business sense.
When you’re checking how mobile friendly your site is, make sure all elements of it display correctly on mobile devices. For instance, make sure your site loads fully, nothing is cut off, buttons are functional and your site can be fully navigated.
Local resources and directories
Many industries have online associations or business directories that list businesses in that industry. Research to see if you find any for your industry. If so, reach out to them.
Unless they’re charging a fee, getting your company on these listings is definitely worth it. If they require a payment, consider how strong the site is and its likelihood of referring your customer. If it’s not a well-known site, it’s probably better to skip out. There are always other, free ways to have your site backlinked.
If you do find an appropriate directory or association to go with, verify that they’ll share your business’s geographic location in their posting.
When Google sees several backlinks, it’ll weight your business more seriously in search engine results, including for “near me” searches.
Google is a unique science in its own right, but one worth mastering because of its innumerable benefits to your business. Increased exposure, heightened foot traffic, and more web searches are just a few things to look forward to when you optimise your business for “near me” searches. As an added bonus, “near me” is a great (and free) way to market your business in a unique way.
If your business relies on traffic from the search engines, and it would benefit from the increase in traffic better rankings could deliver, we can help. Direct Submit are a digital marketing agency that specialises in all thing’s SEO. Set up over 15-years ago, we have been continually adjusting and tweaking our proprietary SEO strategies, which has made us leaders in our industry.
Call Direct Submit today on 0845 2722350 or visit our website for further information on how we can help your business do more with local SEO.