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56% of mobile searches are from mobile users looking for local information. People want to know where you are, how to reach your business, and what you sell. As more people search for local businesses, more people are using “near me” in their search queries, too.
By learning how to optimize for “near me” searches, you can appeal to nearby locals. Then, you can attract them to your website or store to grow your business.
As more people find your business online, you can boost brand awareness and increase sales.
Ready to start optimizing? Keep reading for the nine steps you need to appeal to more “near me” searches!
1. Update Your Google My Business Listing
The first step to improving your local SEO is to update your Google My Business listing. This listing appears in a prominent spot in the top right of a search page.
Updating your Google My Business listing can also help you appear in Google’s 3 pack. The 3 pack displays on a Google Map at the top of a search page. This is another chance for you to take up prominent space during a Google search.
Then, you can attract the user’s eye toward your business.
Appearing in the 3 pack will also give you an advantage against competitors. As the name suggests, only three companies appear in the 3 pack. Your company name will appear prominently on the map, along with your contact information underneath.
Consumers can click on your Google My Business listing or 3 pack listing for directions or to call your business. As a result, you’re boosting brand awareness and attracting more people into your store.
Make sure your Google My Business listing is up-to-date. Your name, address, and phone number should all match the information on your website.
If you have more than one business location, make sure each location has its own listing.
You can also add reviews, photos, articles, and business hours to your listing. The more information you provide potential customers, the better their experience with your business.
2. Ask for Customer Reviews
If you want to learn how to optimize for “near me” searches, you first need to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. Updating your listing will benefit your local SEO. Adding customer reviews to your listing and website will help, too.
Reviews act as social proof, which is a factor when Google determines website rankings. Happy reviews tell potential customers that they can trust your business.
You should respond to negative reviews, too. Show customers that you care and want to improve.
Have your customers post their reviews on Google. Then, add them to your website. Together, these reviews will boost your SEO ranking, helping you reach more local customers.
3. Keep NAP Consistent
Your name, address, and phone number should appear consistent across all marketing channels. That includes your website, directories, listings, and social media.
Inconsistent information could confuse Google and your customers.
You can use schema markup for this information to benefit your local SEO.
4. Use Schemas
Schemas help your content stand out on Google pages. The easier it is for readers to find your content, the more likely they’ll choose your business.
You can use schema for your articles, recipes, videos, address information, and more. If you have multiple locations, schemas are a great way to help them stand out. You can also use schemas to mention upcoming events for location-based queries that include “near me.”
5. Optimize Images
Add location-based images to your Google My Business listing and website. Make sure to optimize the name and alt tags of these images. Include location-based keywords to help you appear for image searches relevant to your business.
6. Add Location-Based Content
If you service multiple locations, make sure to create dedicated pages for each location on your website. You can create a page that groups each of your services with a location.
These location-based pages will help you appear for more “near me” searches.
7. Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly
Many location-based services occur on a smartphone instead of a desktop device. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, people will have a hard time exploring your content.
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure your site is mobile-optimized.
Google also uses mobile-first indexing to determine rankings. If your site isn’t optimized, your ranking will suffer for it.
8. Keep Creating Content
Continue creating location-based content for your website. Don’t forget to optimize it using the keywords locals are searching for.
Backlinks can also help boost your SEO “near me” rankings, too. Try using backlinks from local businesses paired with geographic anchor text. Together, these links will boost your ranking and help you attract local customers.
9. Optimize for Voice Search
35.6 million Americans are already using voice-activated devices. As a result, voice searches are expected to account for 50% of all searches by the end of the year. If you want to learn how to optimize for near me searches, you need to get ahead with this trend.
The best way to appeal to voice searches is to know your customers. What problems are they facing? What keywords are they using during a search?
Google’s latest algorithm update, BERT, uses machine learning to better understand the user’s search intent. This allows users to search with more conversational queries. As a result, your target keywords need to sound conversation, too.
Optimize your content for voice searches by phrasing your keywords the same way your customers do. You can use Google Trends, Keyword Planner, or SEMRush to determine what keywords they’re searching for.
Then, add these keywords within your content. The keywords should appear in the:
- Header tag
- Alt text for images
- Meta description
You should also try to rank for position zero. Google now displays featured snippets at the top of search pages. These snippets appear as summaries, bulleted lists, videos, and more.
To rank for position zero, summarize your content in the first paragraph of a post. Then, go into more depth. Make sure your target keyword appears within the first paragraph.
Optimizing for voice search and featured snippets will help you appear in front of more Google users. Check out this article to learn more about voice search.
Love Your Local SEO: How to Optimize for “Near Me” Searches
Now that you know how to optimize for “near me” searches, get to work! The sooner you start optimizing, the sooner you’ll draw in a crowd of locals.
Searching for more tips? Explore the Business section of the blog today!