How To Optimize & Rank For Near Me Searches on Google (2020 Guide)

on SEO May 18th, 2020

If you’re a local business, it is important that people in your surrounding area can easily find you online whenever they need the products and services that you offer.

What you need to do is to optimize your site with local SEO strategies. And part of these strategies is optimizing your site with SEO “near me” searches.

The “near me” search term is important since more and more people are using it to find a local business.

Here are proven steps to follow if you want your business to show up on the top local search results.

5 Crucial Steps to Rank for Near Me Searches in 2020

1. Complete Your Google My Business (GMB) Listings Profile

Every business that has a physical location needs to have their Google My business profile.

Google uses the GMB listings to decide which businesses they serve to internet users for location-based searches. There’s a high chance your business won’t show up on Google’s local search results if you’re not on the GMB listings.

To register, open an account on the Google My Business page and provide your business name and address. That’s all you need to do if you want your business to show up on local SEO “near me” searches.

Here are key points to consider when filling out your GMB profile:

  • Ensure your business is Google-verified
  • Your display name should match your business name
  • Refrain from using legal terms in your business name such as “LLC” or “inc.”
  • Double-check if you provided the correct URL
  • Use your own custom photo
  • Use your local phone number

2. Ensure the Correct NAP is on Your Site

NAP stands for name (of your business), address, and phone number. You have to make sure your website has the NAP and not just on GMB listings.

Consistency is key if you want your business to always show up in SEO “near me” searches. For instance, if your address is registered as “300 Main Street” in the GMB, you should also use it on your website and nothing else.

Inconsistency would only confuse Google and could affect your visibility in the local SEO “near me” search.

3. Use the Correct Schema Markup in Every Webpage

The proper use of schema markup on your site can make your business stand out from your competitors.

Schema is code embedded into your site. The code helps Google retrieve more information from your webpages. The retrieved information is then served to internet users in the form of snippets.

The location pages that your business serves should have a schema markup. The schema data should include contact information, hours of operation, and business address.

Also, you can add schema markup for your website’s homepage, which allows your business to be featured in a Knowledge Graph. This type of schema helps ensure your business information is accurately served to internet users.

4. Make Sure Your Visitors Stay on Your Site Longer

The bounce rate is one of the factors that affect your website’s ranking in the search results. Visitors immediately abandoning your site without even checking your other pages is a bad indication in terms of bounce rate.

As a result, your rankings in the search results will drop dramatically.

So how do you make people stay on your site longer?

Responsiveness

Videos and images greatly affect your webpage’s loading time. Therefore, make sure to compress whatever visuals you have with image and video compression software.

Your website design should be clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Good website navigation means you don’t leave your visitors with too many choices when they’re browsing your site.

Mobile-friendly

The continuing rise in Google near me searches only meant one thing — every business should also have a mobile-friendly version of their website. This is because a majority of SEO near me search queries come from mobile devices.

Here’s a checklist to ensure a mobile-friendly website.

  • Have you leverage browser caching to improve site speed?
  • Are there AMP versions of your webpages?
  • Have you compressed the whole site using Gzip?
  • Are the button sizes large enough that they are easy to click on?
  • Have you turned on the “auto-correct’” function in the search bar and in filling up forms?
  • Is there a search bar on every webpage that makes it easy for visitors to look for information?
  • Have you removed render-blocking JavaScript and reduced the number of redirects?

5. Create a Blog to Rank for SEO “near me” keywords

Acquiring backlinks for your site is still an important ranking factor in SEO. Creating a blog is essential for your local SEO and “near me” search optimization efforts.

How to get more local links

  • Turn the interview you had with local influencers of your niche into a blog. Try to persuade those influencers to link to your blog in return.
  • Conduct local surveys regularly and turn the reports into blogs.
  • Create blog posts that provide answers to specific SEO “near me” search queries of your visitors.

How to get backlinks using geographic anchor text

For local SEO near me, you need to get backlinks using the geographic anchor text. This means your anchor text should contain the name of the city and state where your business is located.

Here are anchor text variations for a specific category(bakery) and location(Los Angeles).

  • “LA bakery 3rd street”
  • “best bakery in Los Angeles
  •  “cakes in 3rd street LA”
  • “Los Angeles bakery 3rd street”

Final Thoughts

There you go, the top 5 basic steps should help you slowly gain traction in terms of local search.

Need help with optimizing for “near me” searches? Reach out to us and we’d be glad to discuss it with you.