Wouldn’t it be great if locals found your business close to your own locality? “Near me” searchers usually type in phrases like “barber shop near me” or “web design company near me” to look for services and businesses in an around their localities. Google will usually respond by returning a list of relevant businesses near the person who performed the search.
By the way, if you have a close look at the data from the Google Trends chart, you’ll see that “near me” searches have really hit the road over the last few years which also keeps SEO agencies like Just SEO on top of the list.
Let’s explore some of the ways you can optimize your local SEO and make best use of the “near me” searches for your customers and clients.
Running a local ad campaign on Google ads
Let’s start with a straightforward shortcut. Setting up Google ads is easy and convenient even if you are just starting out with your local SEO drive, and you can usually begin your campaign for $10 per day. Following that, you can set up your target audience range surrounding your zip code.
You will be able to identify your advert by the word “AD” appearing on your listing. Google places ads on top of its rankings.
The added benefit you get with Google ads is that they automatically cover for the “near me” searches.
Fill up Your Google My Business Profile for Improved Local Search SEO
For startups and new business owners, it’s is a no-brainer to make a Google My business Profile (GMB). Google pulls location information from businesses when they are looked up online by searchers. If you don’t have a listing, you are missing out on a sure advantage! You will probably not be seen at all and that’s kind of heartbreaking.
So, fill out your business name and address completely, this is how Google identifies the physical location of your business.
It also makes sense to perform a test to see if your location is identified in Google’s search results. Check out the listings that come after search results and you’ll see popup that shows enough about the place or the business.
Some points worth considering are:
- Your display name matches up with your business name.
- Always use a custom image for your business.
- Double check if the URL was entered correctly.
- Its better to not use legal terms (such as “Inc.” or “LLC”) in your business name
- Add your local phone number instead of 0800 numbers.
- Make sure your business has been verified by Google.
Positive reviews for increased search engine visibility
Google uses positive reviews to figure out if your business deserves to be at or near the top of the search pack.
And so, Google makes it super easy for customers to write a review. All they need to do is find you on Google Maps, and write a review about how they think and feel about your product/service while leaving a star rating.
Remember: Google will prioritize ranking businesses by the number of positive reviews they get. So, greater the number of your positive reviews, the higher your business would rank.
4. NAP on your Site for superior local SEO results
Google My Business isn’t the only place you need to fill out complete information in, you better do that on your own website too.
It’s a good idea to showcase your business name, address and phone number throughout the site. Doing this should significantly enhance your local SEO “near me” ranking.
Schema markup is your friend in this regard. It’s easy to get accustomed to the Local Business markup. Your phone number as well as your area code will also help Google determine the location of your business.
Another useful tip: Make sure your address is spelled the same as in other areas on the web.
For discovering how to rank well for “near me” searches, uniformity is key. For example, if your address is “320 Marion Road”, then avoid writing is as “320 Marion Rd.”, else you can get Google confused.
5. Cataloging Local Events on your Site
Another effective way to let Google know you are around locally is by cataloging local events that you sponsor, on your website.
You’ll be needing Schema markup to do that. Check out the Event markup. Pay close attention to the location aspect because that is what you need for nail down correctly for your local SEO.
6. Geocode Images
What Geocoding does is associate images with your business location, ensuring a super way to rank higher for “near me” searches and pushing your nose ahead of your competition at the same time.
To Geocode your image, you can a use photo sharing service like Flickr by uploading your photos there.
7. A responsive and a user-friendly website for high local SEO rankings
One of the reasons “near me” searches have gone up a notch is because of the mobile technology, which is precisely why your website should look cool on a mobile platform.
If someone must horizontally scroll around to navigate your site or has to “tweak” and “cram” because the text is hardly visible, the user could simply ignore your website and look for another one which is more user friendly. Eventually, Google will take note of that and your rank would take a hit. Considering local SEO specially, it is imperative your site is interactive on all platforms.
8. Backlink Profile with Geographic Anchor Text
For “normal SEO”, you are probably already aware about the significance of building up a healthy backlink profile. For local SEO however, you would need a backlink profile including geographic anchor text.
The geographic anchor text could include your business city and state. For example: “Digitally Up, Adelaide, South Australia.”
Once Google identifies with your business location, this can only help with your local SEO.
Another way to get backlinks to your site is to look out for broken backlinks on other local business websites and reaching out to the webmaster to see if you can replace them with yours. Doing this can direct traffic from other business sites to yours, helping you boost your local SEO “near me” ranking.
9. Landmarks and Neighborhood Names on Your Site for local SEO
An effective way to “tell” Google about your location is to use names of landmarks and neighborhoods surrounding your business.
Adding proper nouns that identify your location is a smart thing to do as well. In the address section, write this to your home page: “We’re located at Unit 7, 320 Marion Road, which is at the walking distance from Coles Supermarket and adjacent to the Adelaide Automatics.”
You can also inform Google on where your usually customers come from. For example: “We serve people coming from Adelaide CBD and surrounding areas.”
10. Driving Directions for Local Search SEO
You can provide directions from different points in your area. Once again, you’re dropping more clues about your location and you will be rewarded by Google, as it will boost your rating in “near me” search results.
11. Make sure your site creates that all-important “hook”!
As I emphasized earlier in point # 7 that you need to make your website “sticky”, meaning when people visit your site, they should be engaged for a while at least.
If Google senses visitors are leaving your site shortly after landing on it, it is a sure sign that you have been unable to create the “hook” for your customers – and so Google will drop your rank.
12. Get Local Links
Your local chamber of commerce probably has a website. How about registering with them to find out more about local networking opportunities?
It would help to look for opportunities from trade organizations and other local web directories.