how to optimize for near me google seo 1
Clint Sanchez
Clint Sanchez

Owner | Analyst | SEO Nerd

9 Tips on Optimizing for “Near Me” Searches on Google

Your Google Local Business Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) Strategy Guide

If you’re not optimizing your website’s content for local SEO, you’re missing out on ranking locally for over 46 percent of Google’s searches.

Having your website show up in the SERP for “near me” searches is vital to your potential customers’ ability to find out more information about your business.

If you’re not showing up in these searches, chances are your competition is.

Learn strategies on how you can use your website and Google My Business (GMB) page for a better local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy with our top 10 tips for optimizing for “near me” searches on Google.

Tip 1: Update Your Google My Business (GMB) page

blaksheep creative google my business gmb local seo

Be sure to include and update your business’s essential information in your GMB, including your address, store hours, contact information, location, and keywords of your business and industry.

Adding photos with names that match your chosen keywords can also better increase your rankings.

Pro Tip: Geotag your images to “help search engines see the association between that photo and a specific location.”

Adding geographical and keyword-rich metadata is vital to your business listing’s success.   

For more information on GMB, read our post on 5 Tips to Boost Your Google My Business Profile.

Tip 2: Make Sure Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are Consistent Throughout Your Website

name address and phone number nap local citations local seo.

Making sure that your business’s information is listed throughout your site helps your users reach you and helps search engines make a correlation between your website, your GMB, and your other properties online (profiles, social media, etc.)

Although having a standard “contact” page is a must, you should still include your company’s NAP and other contact information on all of your pages’ footer. Having your company information site-wide makes it easier for Google to make those connections we mentioned earlier.

Ensure that this information matches perfectly with your GMB listing.

Tip 3: Add Geographical Information Throughout Your Site

close up map of denham springs

Adding hyper-local content such as landmarks, neighborhoods, and cities in your site’s content can help prod the search engines to place you higher in local search results by seeing the correlation with your business location and searcher location and intent.

Tip 4: Add Textual Driving Locations on a Page

adding driving directions local seo baton rouge

While this may sound weird, it can help. Every little bit of optimizing will help. Something as simple as driving locations can help you land in the much-coveted “3 pack” section of Google’s SERP.

Sprinkling in directions based on local landmarks and neighborhoods can help you stand out from the competition.

Plus, not all of your websites visitors might be using GPS-enabled phones, and prefer to print and read written directions.

Tip 5: Add Schema Markup to Your Pages

example of a small business rich snippet from json ld schema

We’re huge fans of schema and JSON/LD – HTML markup on your pages that further help search engines understand a webpage’s content better.

Watch for a full tutorial on adding schema to your website in the future.

For now, we’ll focus on why you should.

Like we said earlier, properly structuring your data (and having it match your GMB) helps search engines understand and communicate with your website.  

Adding relevant and accurate schema will not only help you optimize your site for local SEO but will also increase the likelihood of your site showing up in rich snippets (position zero) in Google – right at the top!

Tip 6: Ensure that your pages load quickly and correctly on mobile devices.

blaksheep creative google mobile friendly responsive test

It’s been proven that the majority of mobile website visitors will bounce from (leave) a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds. So much so that Google factors in site speed in their top-secret algorithms.

Make sure your website is also mobile-friendly (responsive) and not only looks good on smart devices but is also fully-functional to keep potential customers from looking elsewhere.

Tip 7: Get as Many Reviews as you Can Throughout the Web (Especially GMB)

customer service and reviews for an seo company

What sets your business apart from your competition? Your customer service!

When competing without other local businesses in your area, reviews, and the quantity of high-rated reviews that you have across multiple locations online (especially on your Google My Business Page)  can increase your chances of landing customers’ business exponentially.

Why?

Eighty-four percent of users trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. By encouraging your customers to leave reviews, you build brand affinity, and Google will reward you in the search engine results.

Tip 8: Ensure That Your Listings Are Correct Elsewhere

Even though GMB is the most widely-used, we tell all of our clients to search the “near me” terms they wish to rank for and make sure that they have a profile listed on as many review sites appearing on page 1.

The more authority a business can generate on review sites such as Yelp or Clutch, the higher it will rank.

Tip 9: Don’t Focus on the Actual Term “Near Me.”

We’ve seen little evidence that the actual phrase “near me” has any SEO benefits. As a matter of fact we tell most of our affordable SEO for small business clients to over look the actual phrase.

Adding “near me” in your site’s content is difficult and doesn’t typically read naturally. So don’t stress over adding the phrase verbatim. Just follow the rest of our tips, and you’ll be poised to show up in those “near me” searches and see local SEO success.

Bonus Tip 1: Acquire backlinks with Geographic Anchor Text

anatomy of anchor text

Backlinks work wonders in improving your business’s rankings on Google local. To see more success with “near me” searches, get high authority and relevant backlinks that use geographically-rich anchor text.

For example, if you want to rank for “near me” searches for the location “Baton Rouge” and the category “cajun food,” then you’ll need to use location-rich variants of anchor text like “best cajun food in Baton Rouge” “cajun food Baton Rouge” “cajun food College Dr.” etc.

Which leads us to our final tip – your blog. (here’s our blog just in case you wanted to learn more about SEO, digital marketing, and web development)

Bonus Tip 2: Create a blog and acquire local links.

covid 19 business strategies blog post screenshot

Creating and regularly updating a blog is one of the best ways to acquire local links.

A blog is essential in your content marketing strategy because it lets you share articles and posts regularly, allowing your users to remain updated about your business’s services.

A well-maintained blog is also a great way to earn local links and can persuade users in the early stages of the customer journey to buy your services or products.

Consider conducting interviews with local influencers in your niche and publish them on your blog.

The influencer might link to your blog from theirs, which will help you acquire relevant backlinks.

You can also conduct local surveys and publish the results as a report on your blog. Again, this is another excellent way to earn high-authority backlinks.

Optimize for Local Searches with BlakSheep Creative

BlakSheep Creative is a top-rated SEO and Digital Marketing Company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that has helped dozens of brands rank higher in Google’s SERP.

Our SEO, Content Marketing, and Web Development Services can help your business establish a solid online presence and show up in local (and global) searches to drive more organic traffic to your site.

Interested in what we can do for your business? Contact Us.

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