In a typical 30-day period, Google Search may receive no less than 550 Million search queries that include the phrase “near me” in the search string. That volume continues to rise each time I find new data on Think with Google and through other resources. So that means we have to help Google, Bing and Voice Search applications (like Alexa & Siri) understand where we are located and the services we offer. You cannot play ignorant and assume that a search engine knows this information. It is our job to provide fully optimized information to all the outlets that are used to answer “Near Me” searches.
How To Show Up for Near Me Searches
People are using laptop computers, full feature smartphones, digital assistants at home and in the car these days to find what they seek. Think about the searchers you have done recently that included “Near Me” in the query. Not every keyword that is important to you would be appropriate for this type of optimization. Below are some of the phrases I found to help illustrate this point. The list is sorted by search volume and you can expand the list by clicking the chart.
I also highlighted the keyword phrases that cost advertisers over $5.00/click. Yes, Google is making a bundle on advertisers that don’t know how to optimize for near me searches. Lawyers for example are willing to pay Google over $300/click for some phrases (somebody is making too much money suing businesses) and some service professionals over $15.00/click.
So, I target relevant keywords in my client’s space that produce a blended search result that includes a Google Maps 3 Pack when used. Below I used the example for “tree service near me”. I have learned that categories within Google My Business for local service providers are often good candidates for Near Me search optimization.
Google let’s you choose up to 10 categories and 1 must be your primary category. The other digital assets have their limitations on the number of categories you can select.
How Do They Know Where The Searcher is Located?
Google & Bing can tell where the searcher is based upon:
- Location of the internet gateway at home, work, wherever
- Location Services on your smartphone
- GPS Coordinates of the device used to search (car, digital assistant)
What About Your Business Location?
Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Apple Maps and most valuable search assets understand where the business is located based upon the address a business owner adds to their digital profile. So that means you, as the business owner, need to add your business addresses and correct those that are wrong. If you have not done that yet, that is where you start. Either you can do that work or hire a local SEO marketing consultant to do that work. But it needs to be done for any of this to work for you.
Make sure that your proper website is listed on all these profiles. Your website and these local search profiles will need to work in harmony. It is wise to link from your Contact Us page to your Google My Business listing. Google and Bing will take notice of that Relationship. I also found it wise to add some keyword rich content to the Contact Us page. It is a MUST to add a well thought out description of your business that includes other top keywords to these local search profiles.
SEO for Mobile Search Includes JSON-LD
Why am I layering on an SEO technique for mobile search? Because the vast majority of “Near Me” searches start using a mobile device. Google and Bing are relying heavily on JSON-LD and Microdata to better understand local businesses. This is my secret sauce …where the sites I optimize get catapulted to page one…especially for “Near Me” and “Where to Buy” searches. I won’t give you the ingredients to my secret sauce but here is a decent Guide to Local Business Schema.
Google SEO Expert Shares Insights on GMB
As an SEO expert in Philadelphia, New Jersey and the Delaware Valley region for almost 20 years now, I have tested many techniques to help clients win new customers online. Google My Business is probably one of the most important digital assets a local business owner can take advantage of today. We optimize everything from picture file names, Posts, Business Reviews, Services, links, etc. and it often represents 30-40% of the calls a small business owner gets by the time we are done. I love the fact that Google uses the content found on the client’s website or reviews and uses it in the Local Search 3 Pack if I have optimized everything properly. Give us a call when you are ready to start optimizing!