How to Rank for Near Me Searches
If you have a local business, you’d want to reach out to people in your surrounding areas and improve footfall in your outlet, increase sales, and improve brand awareness and visibility. Optimizing your local Google My Business listing is crucial to enjoying the perks of enhanced brand visibility and awareness. An unoptimized local listing results in the loss of potential customers.
After the unfortunate coronavirus outbreak, the customer’s buying behaviour was shifted from local stores to eCommerce platforms. Everyone wants to order their required products and services right from the comfort of their home and get safely delivered to their doorsteps. However, there is still a significant market segment that continues to buy from local and offline stores.
It is essential to optimize your local listing and respective websites to get maximized results in increased conversions.
Most people make the “near me” searches from their smartphones. As per reports, 82% of 1000 Google searches were done through smartphones.
Most of the “near me” searches were made for the following categories.
- Entertainment (56%)
- Food (84%)
- Banking (54%)
- Apparel (41%)
- Personal Care (38%)
The numbers look promising and depict the importance of having an optimized local listing.
Let us learn about the strategies you can use to rank higher for “near me” searches made.
Result Oriented Strategies To Help You Rank Higher For “Near Me Searches”
Optimizing your local listing with the help of Google My Business can bring you excellent results in the form of increased footfall, brand loyalty, brand advocates, brand visibility, awareness, and ultimately sky-rocketing revenues.
Here are a few strategies that you can adopt to master the game and rank higher for “near me” searches.
1- List Your Business on Google My Business & Optimize It
In order to get your brand to the top of “near me” searches, you first need to rank your business on the local business results pages with the help of a magnificent and completely free to use tool named Google My Business.
To list your business on Google My Business, you have to follow a systematic process to optimize it for the crawlers to crawl and start pushing your business profile higher on the SERPs.
Here are the steps that you need to follow.
- Visit this website https://www.google.com/business/.
- Click on start now.
- Enter the name and address of your business
- Provide complete directions to reach your business address with the help of Google Maps.
- Provide operational business information like working hours, website of business, and contact details, including active mobile numbers.
- Be mindful while selecting the category your business belongs to, and try to be as specific as possible.
- Include photos
- Ask your existing customers for reviews and share their experience with your services.
- Ensure that your business name, contact numbers, and address remain uniform on each business profile.
- Regularly update the information on your listing to stay in the eyes of the crawlers and answer questions that your potential customers might have.
2- Leverage The Power of Schema Markup
Schema markup is the best way to help your business stand out from the local competitors in the search results. Schema data aids search engines like Google in acquiring relevant information related to your business or brand and presenting them in rich snippets, helping the user immensely.
You must add schema markup to every location page of your business. It should contain the address of various operational locations of your business, operational hours, and contact information like active mobile numbers.
In addition to that, add the homepage schema markup that allows your business to show up in the knowledge graph. It also helps ensure that the information related to the company provided is accurate.
Remember to include information in your schema markup that you have mentioned on your web pages.
3- Get Backlinks With Geographic Anchor Text
Backlinks are the unsung heroes that work to improve your rankings on Google local. To push your business listing higher for “near me” searches, you must acquire high domain authority and relevant backlinks with geographically rich anchor text.
For instance, if you wish to rank for “near me” searches in Nairobi for the category of Pizza, you wouldn’t directly target the keyword Pizza near me” but like “pizza in Nairobi”, “best Pizza in parklands”, “vegetarian pizza in Ngara”, etc.
4- Build Pages Targeting Every Location of Your Business & Optimize It
If your business is operational in more than one location, you need to create separate pages for each site. For instance, if you run a vegetarian pizzeria in five cities of Kenya named Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nakuru, you’ll have to create individual listing pages for each location.
In addition to that, you have to optimize each of those pages to rank high for “near me” searches using the below-mentioned tactics.
- Keep the URL structure easy for each location for easy readability. For instance, if you are optimizing the pizza page for the Nairobi location, your URL structure should be “www.my site/NBOpizzeria“
- Optimizing the meta descriptions and title tags for each listing page is crucial.
- Add accurate title tags and alt tags to your images used in the respective web pages.
- Add a crisp description of your pizzeria along with your operational business hours, store directions, menu, and all other amenities offered (for instance, free wifi).
Lastly, leverage the power of internal linking to work in your favour.
5- Make Your Site Mobile-friendly
This one is a no-brainer. Google chooses to rank the listing the mobile-friendly web pages. Focus on making your site mobile responsive and improving the load speed as it works as some of the significant ranking factors to bag a high rank for “near me” searches.
Here are a few ways to make your site mobile-friendly.
- Build a responsive site that allows you to deliver the same content and experience to all your visitors despite the device they are using.
- Enhance the site speed and create AMP pages.
- Enable compression on your website with the help of Gzip.
- Leverage the search bar on the website, allowing the users to search for relevant information with ease.
- Eliminate the total number of redirects.
- Please refrain from using Flash as it degrades the overall user experience.
- Turn the auto-correct on for the search bar and forms.
- Keep the button size large, making it easily clickable.
- Use browser caching to improve your site loading time.
- Leverage the power of a CDN to distribute site load, allowing it to load relatively faster.
6- Build Blogs and Acquire Local Backlinks
Creating and maintaining a blog section is one of the best ways to connect with your potential customers and acquire local backlinks. The blogs help your potential customers make up their minds and convince them to buy the particular products while still in the “making their mind” phase of the buyer journey.
Here are a few types of blogs you can include on your website.
- End-to-end guides for using the particular product
- Interview with local influences related to your niche
Never forget to include the FAQ section in your blogs because it helps you address any queries your potential customers might have, allowing you to enhance your engagement.
Optimize The Listings For Voice Searches
In today’s modern world, where smart devices have taken charge, optimizing your local listings for voice searches is essential. It is crucial because most voice searches include the” near me” phrase. Some of the most popular voice searches include
- Alexa, which is the best Pizzeria “near me.”
- Alexa, which are the best bakeries “near me.”
- Okay, Google, find the best pizza outlet “near me.”
- Okay, Google which movies are running in theatres “near me.”
- Alexa, find the KCB ATMs “near me.”
All you need to do is prepare a list of queries that people will ask their smart devices (Amazon Echo or Google Dot). Post that, you need to optimize your Google My Business profile by leveraging the help of the six strategies mentioned above.
Optimizing your site and local listings will help you rank high on “near me” searches effortlessly. Ranking higher for “near me” searches will allow you to target the customers who love to shop offline and keep the fundamental essence of local SEO intact.