‘Near me’ keywords have become extremely important as well as popular in local searches. For example, gyms near me, coffee shops near me, etc. So, optimizing a website for local searches is vital to be found online by local searchers as your business primarily depends on local customers.
You may wonder how to use near me keywords and how to rank for near me searches. While there is no exact algorithm of Google, there are some key factors that influence the search results for ‘near me’. This article highlights nine steps that will improve the ranking of the website for local searches. Let’s have a look.
1. List Your Business on Google My Business
To rank on the first page of Google for local searches, you need to enlist your business in Google My Business and cite it in Google Maps for map-based listings. First, you need to set up your profile in GMB and then optimize it.
To set up your profile in GMB,
- You must include complete and accurate information about your business such as name, address, contact details, and business hours,
- You must choose relevant business categories for your business.
- You need to list your product or services and add some images related to that and
- You need to ask your existing customers to post online reviews or feedback about your business.
Don’t forget to regularly check your GMB profile to check whether the information is updated and accurate. Make sure you respond quickly and properly to online reviews.
2. Create and Optimize Web Pages for Each Business Location
If your business has more than one location for ‘near me’ searches, you need to create different web pages as well as a Google My Business profile for each location so that your web page can be optimized for each near me search.
You need to keep in mind that,
- The URL of your web page should clearly indicate the location,
- The title and meta tags of your web page should be optimized for your target keywords and location.
- Images of the website should have proper titles and alt tags.
- The description of the location should be specified with the proper address, services offered, and business hours on the web page.
3. Use Appropriate Schema Markup
Schema data allows search engines like Google to collect the right information about your business and present it in front of searchers in a helpful way through rich snippets. So, schema markup can be a great way for your business to reach local customers through local search. Schema markup can be used for your business hours, contact information, and business address.
4. Get Backlinks with Geographical Anchor Text
Acquiring backlinks has been an effective SEO strategy. For local SEO, you need to get high authority and relevant backlinks with the right geographical anchor text. The number of backlinks in your site that includes the appropriate location like the city name in the anchor text of the link is an excellent factor that influences near-me searches.
A site that includes the state and city of your business and at the same time links back to you can be very beneficial as Google reviews these backlinks to check your business authority and present your site in local searches.
5. Mobile-Friendly Website
Google pays special attention to user experience while ranking a website. It is also an important SEO strategy. Making a website adjustable to mobile is one of the factors that enhance user experience.
As most ‘near me’ searches are conducted through mobile devices, it is very important to make your website mobile-friendly. So, make sure your website is responsive that works smoothly on any device. Also, ensure that the loading speed of your website is fast.
6. Make Customer Feedback Visible
Customer reviews are also a very important factor that influences near-me searches. An increasing number of positive reviews can have a positive effect on local searches, especially if reviews are on Google.
Google offers the facility to post a review for a business. Reviewers can simply open Google Maps, find the business and select ‘write a review’ to leave a comment.
Responding to the reviews is another way to improve local search result ranking as it shows that you care for your customers’ concerns and want that they have a good experience. Reviews on other sites also work well. You need to use the schema markup tool.
These above-mentioned best practices can work well for any business website that targets local customers. You can improve the online visibility and conversion rates for your business by using these tips. However local SEO is one of the components of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You need to focus on other factors like social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, on-page SEO, and online advertising to promote your business and improve visibility. Hiring a professional digital marketing consultant or agency can save a lot of time and energy.