How to Rank for Local SEO "Near Me" Searches: A Foolproof Guide
Local SEO "near me" searches are among the most common ways customers search for businesses. Whether it's "dentists near me" or "cafes near me," you need to rank for these keywords. In fact, Google's local "near me" searches on mobile increased by more than 250% between 2017 to 2019.
Too many businesses (and SEO experts) assume getting ranked for local SEO "near me" searches means heavy-handedly putting these keywords throughout their content. It's not. It reads badly, e.g., "if you're looking for cafes near me…", and it's completely unnecessary.
Below I'll explain why you don't need to include "near me" keywords and what you must do to get ranked for these critical searches.
Why local SEO "near me" keywords are silly
Do you ever read website content only to get perplexed by an incomprehensible sentence? You're not alone. Whenever you find some bizarre word choice, you can bet it's a keyword a content writer has lazily shoved into their writing.
"Near me " searches are a cardinal sin of local SEO content writing.
"We're the best café near me," the content reads. It's odd, and it's silly. It also presumes Google is stuck in 2005. To begin with, the algorithm understands the difference between "me" and "you." Just because you use correct grammar and syntax doesn't mean you'll get penalised in the ranking – quite the opposite!
It also misunderstands how Google's search algorithm interprets the result. Google deems there to be a "local intent" for certain search terms. Because they're local, Google includes proximity as a factor in its search results.
It's more important to include your location (and nearby locations) than to include silly "near me" keywords. Google deduces the rest.
How to rank for local SEO "near me" searches
In a nutshell – nail the local SEO basics. Because Google is smart enough to equate a "near me" search with your location, you should focus on all the other factors involved in Google's local search ranking criteria:
For distance: you can include a footer on every page, including your name, address, and phone number. If your business functions across multiple sites, create multiple landing pages for your locations – including a keyword like "[service] in [location]" on the relevant pages.
Here are some steps to improve your relevance and prominence:
Claim your Google Business Profile. Your Google Business Profile is how Google uses information about your business. It's where you can list your name, phone number, a brief description, opening times, reviews, and even your location on Google Maps. If you run multiple sites, create and manage multiple listings.
Be mobile-friendly. Most "near me" searches occur on mobiles. Your site should be optimised for the mobile experience. Ensure it loads quickly and is easy to navigate using a smartphone. It'll significantly boost your ranking.
Add schema markup. Launched by search engine giants like Google and Bing, Schema helps search engines understand your business, services/products, location, and more. Add a schema to your webpage, and test it using Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
Build positive reviews. Positive reviews on Google, Yelp, or other sites boost your ranking. You can prompt customers to leave a review – and even ask your followers on social media. Google prioritises businesses with more reviews and higher scores.
Write content and get backlinks. Become a pillar of your community by writing informative and engaging local content about your product and location. Consider creating content local news outlets and communities will link to – increasing your brand's prominence. Backlinks are critical to improving your Google ranking.
Get ranked for local SEO "near me" searches
Forget about sprinkling "near me" keywords into your content – it's a lost cause. Focus, instead, on the local SEO basics: Google Business Profile, local SEO keywords (including your location), building positive reviews, and generating backlinks.
Do that, and you'll outcompete the chumps using "near me" keywords every simple time.
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Book a free consultation with our experts today and learn how we can help you dominate your local market. Don't wait, schedule now and watch your rankings soar!