Most people use their smartphones to do everything nowadays, especially searches for businesses and services. And it is also no secret that many of these searches are for “near me” results. If you are a local business, you want to be certain you are getting your slice of the search engine pie.
How can you accomplish this? With a few key strategies. This guide will show you three ways to rank higher in “near me” searches so more customers can find your business!
1. Set Up Your Google My Business Profile
Setting up your Google My Business profile is a critical first step. If you haven’t already, set up an account, then complete the following steps:
- Verify that you’re the owner of this business by checking for ads in search results with your name or phone number on them (this can take about 48 hours)
- Claim and verify your location (i.e., where your business operates from). You can do so by clicking “Verify now” next to the address listed under Location information here. This will allow customers to see more accurate reviews and other details when they arrive at your page
- Add photos, videos, and additional details like operating hours, payment types accepted, etc. Don’t forget to add your business phone number!
Just like that, you should start noticing a boost in your “near me” search optimization.
2. Incorporate Local Keywords
The next step in how to rank for “near me” keywords is to ensure that those key phrases are woven into your content. Make sure customers can find you when they’re searching locally by incorporating local keywords in the following ways:
- Include city names or postcodes at the beginning of your company’s web address. For example, if you have a bike shop called Kona Bikes located in Toronto, your website might be torontokonabikes.com, not konabikes.com. Although Google is smart enough to figure out which one you mean, it helps with specificity for the algorithm.
- Use your city name in the title and meta description of important pages on your site (e.g., homepage, contact page, etc.). If you don’t yet have a website for your business but are considering one, Google provides some basic recommendations that will help with local rankings.
Remember to keep it specific! You want customers who type “near me” searches into their smartphone search engines to find YOUR business, not someone else’s, so make sure you’re using relevant keywords like location names or postcodes when possible.
3. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
Google has stated that they are “starting to use information from indexed mobile-friendly pages in the ranking of results,” so if you want your website to rank for local searches, it needs to be easy-to-use on smartphones. Just because it looks good on your laptop doesn’t mean it will even be readable on a phone.
For more information, read: Smart Local SEO Tips for Businesses.