The use of ‘near me’ searches has seen a rapid increase in the past few years and reflect the increase in mobile searches, as well as voice search. These searches are now a key part of local search marketing and since most mobile users will have location or GPS enabled on their devices, this allows Google to automatically detect the searcher’s current location and present the most relevant and localised search results to them, with ‘near me’ options also being presented as a common search suggestion.
The search intent for these ‘near me’ searches indicate that users want to find or visit a location now or soon, and therefore these are important terms to target as part of a Google Ads or SEO campaign. However, location is also the key factor here, so how can these terms be targeted effectively?
Firstly it’s important to have your business listing on Google My Business and to have this optimised as best as possible, by adding as much relevant content or adding updates to the listing, including building the number of reviews from happy customers. It can also be useful to have your business listing on other business directories as well, with the same information around business name, address and phone number (such as Yellow Pages, Bing Places and Yelp).
Schema markup for the business details on your website’s location pages can also be important and helps Google confirm and present the location information for a business in the local area to the searcher. This schema markup should include the business address, hours of operation, and contact information. Of course, if your business has multiple locations there should be pages for each, optimised with the appropriate common search terms and location information.
As with most SEO, backlinks from other pages or websites can also help, particularly where the anchor text for the links include the relevant search term and location name, which can help Google optimise the target page for the relevant searches.
Ultimately, however, the search rankings for these search terms will be determined by the users location and how Google can match local businesses to that location, based on the signals being provided from a website or business listing. Whenever you search on Google, you can see the location that Google has determined for your internet connection at the bottom of the first search page, and so the results will be driven by the accuracy of this information – sometimes it may be a specific post code or suburb, or sometimes as wider, less defined area.
It can be useful to check the Performance report in Search Console to see what ‘near me’ searches are being listed for your website, as this reflects where your site may currently be ranking for terms used on Google, and where you could target some further optimisation to improve these ranking positions.