Discover 5 strategies that can help your company show up in local search results.
In days gone by, finding the best cup of coffee, the nearest grocery store, or the closest auto locksmith in an unfamiliar area was a daunting proposition. But with the rise of the smartphone—and the “near me” search—consumers have a wealth of information right at their fingertips.
According to Google, search queries containing terms like “near me,” “closest,” and “nearby” have increased by a factor of 34 since 2011. These types of searches nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015, with over 80 percent of the growth coming from mobile searches. With people continuing to upgrade to newer and better smartphones, we can expect the “near me” search to continue to be extremely popular.
How to Take Advantage of “Near Me” Searches
With so many consumers depending on “near me” searches to find the local products and services they need, it is absolutely essential that your local business appear in local search results. Here are 5 strategies that can help you achieve this:
- Use Google AdWords Location Extension. If you want your ad to be really useful to someone running a “near me” search, you should make sure the Google AdWords location extension is enabled. This will turn your address into a map link that can easily be plugged into a GPS app.
- Optimize Your Website for Local Search. There all kinds of places where location data can be added to your website markup to help boost your position in local search results. At bare minimum, you should have your business name, address, and phone number on every page.
- Leverage Your Business Directory Listings. Consumers sometimes do their “near me” searches within a directory such as Yelp, YellowPages, HomeAdvisor, TripAdvisor, etc. rather than in a search engine. You need to claim and verify your company’s listings on any relevant directory sites to make sure consumers can find you. On some sites, you can also enhance your listings with additional information about your business, reviews, coupons, and more.
- Get More Reviews. When consumers do a “near me” search on Google, it returns a map with pins showing the locations of the top 3 results based on those companies’ Google Reviews. If you want to be in the top 3, you need to get more and better reviews. Bing does a very similar thing using Yelp reviews.
- Get Involved in Your Local Community. When you participate in your local community in ways that leave an online footprint, it can help your local search results position. Specifically, what you are looking for are “citations” or mentions of your business on other sites such as news sites, community sites, social media sites, etc. Consider sponsoring a local charity, advertising on local classified sites, or joining local networking groups.
Don’t Forget Your Mobile Site!
With so many “near me” searches coming from mobile devices, you need to make sure mobile users can view your website easily. This can be done either by optimizing your current site or creating a separate mobile site specifically designed for smartphones and tablets.
Need help? Webstract Marketing is here to make seemingly complicated matters like mastering local search simple. Contact us to learn more about our services.