“Near me” Searches?
“Near me” searches have increased by over 130% within the past couple of years. It’s almost a natural instinct for society to search things like, “Auto Repair Shop Near me” or “Coffee Shop Near Me” to find services that are most convenient to them, So as business owners it’s important to capitalize on society’s tendencies. Now you’re probably wondering how to rank higher on near me searches? Well by following these steps you’ll be able to be on the same playing field as big brand companies like Goodyear or Starbucks.
Tips for Ranking Higher in “Near Me” Searches
Update Your Google My Business(GMB) Listing!
Google My Business is an important tool for Local SEO. I see a lot of companies that don’t take advantage of this feature by Google. By filling this out accurately consumers will have accessible information to the companies address, phone number, hours of operation, popular times and even directions from their location. Not only that, but by filling this out fully it helps Google identify your listing which will help with the ranking process.
Make sure you take the time to upload unique information. Use this checklist to avoid mistakes:
- Custom profile image used instead of stock photos
- Display name matches listed name
- URL does not get redirected
- Characters are not all capitalized
- Legal terms, like LLC and Inc. are omitted
- P.O. box and mailbox identification numbers are not included
- No 1-800 numbers are listed
- Local number featured instead of toll-free number
- Business is verified with Google
- Business has minimum of five Google reviews
Have your Customer Feedback Visible with Reviews
Over 60% of people trust reviews on websites like Yelp for destinations they have never been to. It’s common sense that a successful business wants to have great reviews, but did you know having customer reviews is one of the most influential factors to impact near me searches? This means an emphasis on getting regulars to leave a review for your establishment will help in the ranking process for Google and “near me” searches. Google makes it easy for customers to review a business. They simply have to open Google Maps, find your business, select “write a review,” and score it out of five stars.
By having more positive reviews not only on a rating of five stars, but by leaving meaningful and quality reviews will have a positive effect on the local search. This is especially true on Google Reviews, because Google has a greater emphasis on Google Reviews rather than other websites such as Yelp. So it is possible to rank higher than other business on local search if they have a high amount of Yelp reviews, but lack in Google Reviews.
Make sure the Business Name, Address & Phone Number (NAP) are clearly visible
Speed and efficiency is a top quality for Google. In order to optimize your site for local search it’s important to display the Business Name, Address & Phone Number on every page of the website. Not only is this essential for Google, but consider this in a consumer approach… By having the NAP readily available and easy to find the consumer is more likely to remember the establishment. Use schema markup for this information as well. For example, the schema markup for a local business in LA, Los Angeles SEO Services, includes data, like its address, region, postal code, and country.
Optimize Photos For Location
With social media being such a powerful tool by optimizing photos to include the location will significantly effect the presence of the business in “Near Me” searches.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
With over 70% of searches being via mobile device, it’s important to have your website optimized for mobile devices. That includes such things as the website speed, having a search bar, NAP is easily identifiable and just making sure that the transition from the website views on a desktop device to mobile scales correctly.
Get Backlinks with Geographic Anchor Text
Another factor that influences near me search results is the number of backlinks to your site that include the city name in the anchor text of the link, according to a study from Local SEO Guide. Ex. Virginia Beach’s Top Eats would be a great anchor text for a restaurant trying to rank in Virginia Beach.
A site that links back to you and includes your business’ state and city in the anchor text can be very advantageous. Google analyzes these backlinks to check your business’ authority, similar to the algorithms they use for global search.
For SEO, this also means that acquiring good backlinks may be even more important than we previously thought.
By: Matt Ventura
“Near Me” Searches can be difficult to rank for. Ensuring the correct digital marketing strategies have been implemented for content marketing can be even more difficult. In that case, you will probably need the service of an SEO expert.
Contact MetaLinkd SEO & Digital Marketing (https://metalinkd.com) and schedule a free consultation to determine whether your website is helping or hurting you. Co-Founders Matt Ventura and Isaac Jeong will personally analyze your website and your SEO strategy. Fill out the discovery page to get the information you need to drive more traffic to your website.
If you would like to learn more useful SEO techniques check out our Google+ (Top Rockville SEO Expert).