Introduction to “Near Me” searches?
When referring to “near me” searches we are talking about the location-based search queries that consumers increasingly rely on to find the most suitable and reputable service or product in their local area at the point at which they are ready to purchase. This makes it an incredibly important concern for all local business owners. If you are not fully optimised for local searches you will undoubtedly miss out on a large percentage of your potential customer base.
Near Me searches in 2022
While the pandemic shifted a lot of sales online, it also led to more local shopping for both products and services. With the climate also on the agenda and in the forefront of the minds of many, people are increasingly looking to carry out their shopping locally. Google’s own research shows that “near me” searches have grown around 100% in a calendar year. So, how to best take advantage of this? Well, the answer lies in understanding your potential customers and implementing successful local SEO strategies.
Optimising your site for “near me” searches
Set up your Google My Business Page
As with most local SEO conundrums, your quest for boosting your site for “near me” searches should begin with your Google My Business (GMB) page. Your GMB page will be displayed when someone searches for your business. They will be able to see your key information such as opening times, name, address and any reviews and ratings you’ve been given. Making sure that your GMB page is pristine, attractive and informative is essential, as is encouraging positive feedback from your customers.
Optimise your site for mobile
Back in summer 2019 Google rolled out their very first mobile-first ranking strategy, paying heed to the overwhelming evidence of mobile being the device of choice for browsing among almost every demographic. This mobile-first indexing bias has only increased since then, making it imperative that your business’ site is fully optimised for mobile. You should not use separate URLs for your desktop and mobile sites either as in that case Google will prefer the mobile URL for indexing. Everything needs to be fully optimised under one URL.
Create and Optimise Individual Pages for all Business Locations
Granted, this is specific to companies with multiple locations, but even if you only have two premises, it is vital that you create two distinct web pages and GMB profiles – one for each location. Likewise, your approach to optimising them for “near me” searches should focus on each premises. This involves ensuring that the URLs are user friendly and indicate the distinct locations; your titles and meta tags are fully optimised for target locations and key words and each site has the specific information such as opening hours and services that refer to its specific location.
Finally, it is amazing how many businesses fail to do this, but make sure you have an accurate postcode for your premises listed on your GMB page along with a telephone number for all enquiries.