In the last 5 years the ‘near me’ search has exploded in the world of search engine terms.
What is it?
The ‘near me’ search term is pretty self-explanatory; it is anything typed into a search engine that contains the phrases, ‘near me’, ‘nearby’ or ‘nearest’ etc.
Reportedly, since 2013 the ‘near me’ search term has grown almost 15-fold, with the terms doubling in the last year alone. So the question presents itself, how do you optimise for ‘near me’ searches?
SEO BEST PRACTICES
Make your website code clean, technically optimised, and designed so it is easily navigable and the user experience is rewarding. Get all your content to be appealing and optimised for search engines, and social media.
ONLINE BUSINESS INFORMATION
Google sources information about your company from around the web, to place in their local business listings. So, make it all a little easier from them. Be sure to have up to date contact information, an embedded map (a Google map is always good), opening hours, name of contact, company email addresses, customer reviews etc. Search Engine Watch recommends a ‘schema markup’ for extra ‘brownie points’.
LOCAL BUSINESS LISTINGS
Signing up to relevant directories online can be very helpful, as is the Moz Local resource. However, be careful, Google considers most directories spam.
This is a funny little phenomenon that garners serious clout in the world of today’s increasingly cynical online users.
One of the biggest avenues to spread the word is Social Media!
One Search Engine blogger described it as a restaurant in Disneyland Florida. To be brief, if you saw a restaurant in a crowded place that was empty, you might assume that the food was rather bad (or something health related had gone awry there), either way, you would probably follow the crowd to the other restaurants that looked ‘good’ i.e. had more people frequenting it.
Your website is no different, don’t forget to gather positive testimonials, ratings, reviews, Google Reviews, endorsements from the right sources and logos from affiliates to give your web presence credibility in your local area.
High social media stats play a role in this idea of online efficacy, from your connections to your shares; the online community will judge you based on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest rankings. Although this doesn’t link directly to the ‘near me’ search term, the importance of this in Local SEO and the overall effects for your business is detrimental.
Communicating with the new digital generation is key!
Reach out to local businesses and make connections with them online. Anything goes: events, awards, schools, non-competing companies and maybe even your competitors.
It’s about being a community.
THE NEAR ME COPY
Now, for the most obvious part, adding the phrase ‘near me’, ‘nearby’ or ‘nearest’ to you website’s content. It works so don’t forget it.