Thousands of customers are relying on Google to find local businesses near them. Customers who don’t know the location of a business typically Google the service plus the phrase “near me.”
For example, if a person is interested in businesses that offer plumbing services in his or her area, they typically will type “plumber near me” into Google, and click on one of the top results provided.
Amazingly, Google is able to figure out the exact location of a searcher and provide a relevant list of businesses that are closest to him or her.
“Near me” Google searches have grown in popularity as more and more people are turning to Google to give them what they truly are looking for. Although “near me” searches are not replacing location-based searches like “Baltimore SEO,” searches like “mover near me” are increasing at a staggering rate.
We live in a world of immediate outcomes. If two day shipping from Amazon.com isn’t quick enough for you, you can sign up for “Amazon Now” and have products in hours.
Similarly, most consumers want Google to tell them the easiest and quickest location they can travel to for whatever need they might have in order for them to save time.
Consequently, optimizing your business’s website for “near me” Google searches can be extremely lucrative.
What You Need to Know About “Near Me” Google Searches
Most “near me” Google searches are performed by customers who are on the go. They’re sitting in their car, traveling in a cab, strolling around town, or walking out the door to do an errand.
With a simple tap on their smartphones, they can find local businesses like yours with very little hassle. Also, it is estimated that 4 out of 5 “near me” Google searches done on mobile devices lead to a sale after only a few hours.
As you can imagine, being the business that shows up for these kinds of searches can help you grow your business and improve your bottom line exponentially.
How to Rank Your Business for “Near Me” Google Searches
If you want your business to be discovered online by a local customer, you really need to get serious about local SEO and “near me” optimization.
There is no set formula or software that you can implement to immediately optimize your website, but there are tried-and-true methods that work across all niches.
Today, we’re going to show you some of the best strategies you can immediately use to rank well for “near me” Google searches.
Get Google My Business
If your business is not yet listed on Google My Business, you will not rank in the Map Pack for any search queries and will have a very tough time even ranking organically for “near me” searches.
Before doing anything, sign up for Google My Business.
After you sign up, fully fill out your business profile and be as detailed as possible.
View it as a free billboard advertisement that has the potential to be seen by thousands of potential customers.
Needless to say, use it to make your business look as attractive, enticing, and relevant as possible. It’s great to be in Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s list. However, without Google My Business, your near me optimization can’t even get off the ground.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
We live in a fast paced digital world where your potential customers expect to get information they are looking for in seconds. The easiest way for them to do that is using their smartphone, which they carry everywhere they go.
Believe it or not, 60% of all online searches come from mobile devices – and this figure is steadily climbing.
If your website looks a little funky when viewed on a smartphone, you need to change that ASAP.
Failing to do so not only will ruin your SEO efforts, but it also will hold you back from earning more customers. After all, even if you did manage to rank well, customers would immediately navigate away from your site because it would either be incredibly slow, look strange on their phones, or both.
Not only that, but Google gives priority in their search engine results to websites that are mobile friendly. If your site is not mobile friendly, you are unquestionably missing out on potential customers who are searching for your business on mobile devices.
The best way to make your website mobile friendly is to use a responsive design. This creates one version of your website that is seamlessly optimized for desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Get Plenty of 5 Star Google Reviews
In addition to being great for local SEO, getting a lot of 5 star Google reviews will greatly improve your visibility for “near me” searches.
Google has really simplified the process of getting reviews. All your customers need to do is Google your business name, click the “Write a review” button on your Google My Business listing that appears to the right of the search results, and start typing.
Not only do reviews make your business look more appealing to those searching, reviews are a crucial ranking factor for “near me” searches. Without enough of them, you’ll get decimated by your competition.
One of the easiest ways to get 5 star Google reviews is by emailing your customers immediately after a positive point of sale.
For instance, if you’re a roofer and you know that the family you just serviced is thrilled with your work, send them an emailing letting them know that you would love to hear from them on Google about the job you did.
Also, reach out to past customers that were really happy with your business. You’d be surprised just how many reviews you can get in one month simply by emailing happy customers.
Use Your City and State
Make sure to include your city and state in the content of the page you want to rank for “near me” searches. Without doing this, Google will have no idea where you are located, let alone how close or far away you are from the person using “near me” in their search.
Do not do this in a spammy way. Just do it enough times for Google to recognize where your business is geographically located.
Aside from including your city and state in the actual content of the page you are trying to rank for the “near me” result, also try to make sure that several of your links have the city or state in the anchor text.
Word to the wise: do not go overboard. Doing so could land you a penguin penalty and cause your site to get buried in the rankings.
Remember, having a small handful of high-quality and high-authority backlinks that include your city or state in the anchor text along with other important words or phrases will go very far.
Ensure Your Business Information is Correct and Consistent
When it comes to “near me” Google searches, another crucial ranking factor is having correct and consistent business information.
This means having your business name, address, phone number, and website URL appear the same way everywhere you have a presence online.
If you have a citation on Yelp, the address you use better be the same as what you used for your Google My Business listing. Inconsistent information is usually the number one culprit for low rankings when it comes to local SEO, so be on the lookout for this.
We barely scratched the surface of “near me” optimization, but these are a few of the best things you can do right now to rank better in Google for “near me” searches.
If you’re looking for more information or want an expert to help you with this, sign up for a breakthrough strategy session with us today.