by Alan Rabinowitz
Ever wonder how businesses rank for their Keyword + Near Me searches?
It’s not something that you actually need to target, as Google will auto-suggest “near me” to save you time when you’re searching. Unfortunately, that is how “Near Me” terms became one of the misunderstood elements of Search Engine Optimization. So let’s clarify the myth…
It’s true that ‘Near Me’ keywords are crucial for businesses with a physical presence, such as retail stores, restaurants, and service-based companies. Any regionally focused business will feel these terms are essential. They are, but not the way most people think.
To clarify further, users often include a location in their search query when searching for a particular product or service. For instance, if someone is looking for a restaurant, they might search for “best restaurants near me” or “restaurants in [city name].” Google’s algorithm then uses the user’s location to provide them with relevant results. This is where “near me” keywords come into play. Near Me is a modifier used internally by Google. This means that it is geolocating you by device location and serving you local (nearby) results.
“Keyword” + Near me is best targeted by Keyword + Your Actual Region. So, SEO Company Near Me, should be targeted by “SEO Company + City Name” like SEO Company NYC.
So, target the way you did before you ever hear of “near me” results. Like “My Business in NYC” vs. “My Business Near Me”.
Does this mean you should add “near me” to your tile, urls, etc.? No!
No, that’s right, because your time and effort will be better focused on targeting local terms such as city names, town names, and state names + your keyword. Even My Keyword + City + State would be the better approach than spamming your content with the words “Near Me” or, worse, naming your business “Keyword + Near Me” that’s just outdated SEO and a Poor understanding of SEO.
By optimizing for local keywords, businesses can ensure that their website ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for local products or services. Additionally, optimizing your Google Business Profile becomes a key strategy.
Here are 6 tips for effectively targeting “near me” keywords for local SEO:
- Optimize Your Website for Local SEO
Before you can target “near me” keywords, you need to optimize your website for local SEO terms. This includes adding your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your website’s homepage and throughout your website. You should also create a Google My Business profile and add your business’s information there. Google uses this information to provide users with accurate and up-to-date information about your business, including its location, hours, and reviews. Optimizing the profile with related services and regions covered is also a good idea. Continue to get additional local business listings/citations in other local directories to help Google understand your information, as it will sometimes pull data from third parties.
- Conduct Keyword Research
Before you begin targeting keywords, you should spend some time researching to make sure targeted terms are actually searched by users. Identify the most relevant regional keyword noting that you will get “near me” data. Again, near me is automated, so focus on the regional terms that are displayed and not the near me term. There are several tools you can use for keyword research, including Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush.
When conducting keyword research, consider the following factors:
- Search volume: Choose keywords with a decent search volume to ensure that your content reaches a large audience.
- Relevance: Ensure that the keywords you choose are relevant to your business and the products or services you offer.
- Competition: Choose keywords with low competition to increase your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
- Optimize Your Content for “Near Me” Keywords
Once you have identified the most relevant local keywords for your business, it’s time to optimize your website’s content for these keywords. This includes adding the keywords to your website’s meta titles, meta descriptions, and page content. Also important is to consider adding your address to your home page, contact page and if you desire, your website footer.
When optimizing your content for “near me” keywords, consider the following best practices:
- Use the keywords naturally: Avoid stuffing your content with too many keywords, as this can harm your rankings. Instead, use the keywords naturally throughout your content.
- Include your location: Include your business’s location in your content to ensure that Google understands the location you’re targeting.
- Optimize your page titles and meta descriptions: Ensure that your page titles and meta descriptions include the targeted “near me” keywords to increase your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
- Build High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most important factors that Google considers when ranking websites. By building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, you can increase your website’s authority and improve its rankings in SERPs.
When building backlinks, consider the following best practices:
- Focus on quality over quantity: Focus on building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites rather than building a large number of low-quality backlinks.
- Use anchor text: Use anchor text that includes your targeted regional keywords when building backlinks. This helps Google understand the context of the link and the keywords you’re targeting. Avoid overusing as algorithms consider this spam. It’s more important to have this content in the anchor text on your own site when linking to yourself vs. external sites, as that will appear to Google as spam.
- Build local backlinks: Build backlinks from other local businesses and organizations to increase your website’s relevance to the local area.
- Get Listed in Local Directories
Getting listed in local directories is another effective way to improve your local SEO and target “near me” keywords. These directories provide users with local business listings also called business citations which can also include their own reviews, making them a valuable resource for those searching for local products and services.
When listing your business in local directories, consider the following best practices:
- Choose reputable directories: Choose reputable directories with high domain authority and a good reputation in your industry.
- Keep your information consistent: Ensure that your business’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across all directories to avoid confusion and improve your credibility.
- Encourage reviews: Encourage your customers to leave reviews on local directories to improve your local SEO and build trust with potential customers.
Targeting “near me” keywords is a crucial strategy for businesses looking to improve their local SEO and attract more local customers. Having the proper understanding of this as an algorithmic element vs actually using the words on the page is important!
By optimizing your website for local SEO terms, conducting keyword research, optimizing your content, building high-quality backlinks, and getting listed in local business directories, you can increase your website’s visibility in local search results and grow your business. You can even rank for the “near me” keywords with this strategy.
With the right strategy and a commitment to ongoing optimization, you can ensure that your business stands out in a crowded digital landscape and reaches its full potential. Call 888-736-2667 today if you’d like us to do the work for you. Our team has had tremendous success targeting local SEO terms, including “near me” keywords. Our clients typically rank in the Local 3 Page results on local searches.