The number of mobile and voice-based searches on search engines like Google continues to rise, with both types of searches predicted to drive a significant percentage of sales in the future. This points to an increasing number of people looking for products and services online, with many of these people looking for businesses providing these services located closest to them.
The Rise of “Near Me” Keywords
If you want to be found by mobile and voice search users, you need to optimize your website for “near me” keywords. This is part of what is known as near me marketing where a business does its content marketing and SEO aiming for people near the business to find it online.
The most common formats for these types of searches are:
- Near me now
- Near me today or tonight
- Now + near me – for example, shops open near me now
If you are not optimizing your website for near me keywords, you are missing out on a significant chunk of organic results and search engine users. This article will explore the importance of digital marketing near me optimizations, the importance of local SEO and how to optimize for it.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a digital marketing or SEO strategy that involves improving rankings in a specific geographic area. Most people now have GPS and location services enabled on their mobile devices which allows Google and other search engines to tailor search results depending on their geographic location.
Optimizing for near me keywords means that your business can be shown on search results or Google Maps results. These results are shown on the search page during moments when potential customers need your business or its products and services.
Why Local SEO is Important for Businesses
Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas, explained in 2018 that “near me” searches are incredibly useful in helping Google understand user intent. These types of searches, she added, are increasingly being used by people to “find a specific thing, in a specific area, at a specific time”. This shows there is a lot of purchase intent behind these keyword searches, especially in the instant someone is searching for them.
Perhaps the most important benefit of using a search term like “digital marketing near me” is how it helps businesses be discovered by searchers. As mentioned, having the right “near me” keywords/ strategy helps put your website on the Google Map that shows up when people search for a “near me” keyword related to your business.
Completing your Google My Business profile puts you in the best position to appear on the map, with other optimizations helping you appear first or very high on search engine result pages. If someone is in the vicinity of your business and you have optimized for these keywords, they can discover it and therefore be more likely to visit you if you provide the products or services they are looking for.
It Increases Foot Traffic
Many businesses that have an online presence still retain a physical one. Getting people through the door ensures sales revenue and profitability which keeps these businesses afloat. Location-based SEO is incredibly important for getting more foot traffic at physical locations.
This benefit is tied to the discoverability discussed above. Remember that you have to augment your “near me” efforts with other strategies such as having a professional website and having an onboarding process for those who decide to buy through the online store instead of visiting the physical one.
It Helps You Leverage Local Shopping Trends
We have seen many people move to support local businesses after the devastation caused by the pandemic. These people understand the importance of these small businesses to their communities and are therefore more likely to shop locally. Their searches start with “near me” keyword searches.
In some cases, you might be targeting the local community and benefit from those passing through looking for your products and services. For example, someone might be in town looking for somewhere to eat. If you have optimized for the keyword “restaurant near me”, they are likely to find you and therefore benefit your business.
Local SEO Can Help with Customer Acquisition and Retention
Local customers can find your business if you optimize for the right near me keywords, but that is not where your relationship should end. You should aim to provide the best experience so that they have a positive experience. This will make them more likely to leave you a positive review, recommend your business, or pick it the next time they perform a similar search.
Also, many people now look at reviews before picking a business to buy from. If you already have positive reviews when people search for similar businesses, you can increase the number of people who do business with you.
All of this is to say, optimizing for “near me” keywords can help with customer acquisition and retention if they have a great experience in and with your business.
How to Leverage “Near Me” Digital Marketing for Your Business
To ensure people in the surrounding area or those passing by can find your business when they perform these searches, you need to know how to leverage near me marketing. It all starts with completing your Google My Business profile. A complete profile provides users with as many details as possible, including where and how to find your business. This is critical for getting crucial foot traffic through the doors.
Second, use important anchors in your content. Important anchors such as a ‘neighborhood’ or ‘important landmark’ in your content can give context clues that help search engines know exactly where your business is located. Do not forget to add your contact details naturally within the content and somewhere on your website for added clarity.
Lastly, use geographic anchors in your backlink profile. The anchor text used to link your website should have geographic markers. For example, the anchor “bakery in Melbourne near me” works better than “bakery near me” when someone is in the vicinity.
Local SEO has become crucial for businesses in the age of mobile and voice searches. Businesses that want people in the vicinity or those passing through to find them must optimize for these keywords, especially if they have physical locations, they would like people to visit.
Learn more about how to take advantage of Location based SEO here.