“Near Me” Optimization for Your Small Business in 4 Steps
The importance of local search engine optimization (local SEO) has grown exponentially in the past five years. Users are searching for the best local services near them and they quickly make purchasing and hiring decisions based off information they see there, like reviews and proximity. (The fact that Google produced your business as a top result is also a tacit endorsement from Google that your business is legitimate and popular.)
Also impacting the growth of these searches is the increasing popularity of mobile and at-home virtual assistants. More than 80 percent of smartphone users conduct “near me” searches, with more than 90 percent of those users likely to click on the first set of results.
As a locally operated small businesses or franchise, earning a top position in local search is more important than ever. This is especially true for small businesses in bigger cities and tourist towns that have large numbers of visitors searching for services near them. National brands like to compete for these audiences, which is why it’s important for local franchise and small business owners to make an effort with local SEO.
So how does your business optimize for “near me” searches? Check out these four easy steps to get started:
4 Steps for “Near Me” Optimization: Ranking in Local Google Search
1. Optimize/create your website – Even as of 2019, more than 25 percent of local franchises and small businesses don’t have a website. If you’re one, build a website stat, as Google favors businesses that have websites. By having a useful, well-optimized website, users are more likely to take interest in your business and stay on your website longer. It’s also incredibly important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile to increase usability for those mobile searches. Additionally, if you have multiple franchise or small business locations, creating a web page or landing page with location-specific information and keywords can positively impact your search ranking. By taking the time to optimize for each location, you can become the go-to business in that neighborhood/area and gain new customers. Schema markup is also incredibly important in your “near me” optimization. Through schema markup you add tags or microdata to your HTML to improve how search engines read your page.
2. Google My Business optimization – Google likes it when users are spending quality time on Google, so making sure your business is verified by Google and has a Google My Business (GMB) page gives your business real estate on Google, which can positively impact your ranking quickly. Not creating a Google My Business page or not checking to make sure it’s optimized can lead to incorrect information and a negative user experience for users searching for your products or services, which can quickly negatively impact your ranking. In your GMB listing, upload your logo along with images that are consistent with your brand and unique to you. Make sure your link and local information are all correct and you follow all Google My Business optimization tips. By making sure you have a local number and local landing page, local users will be more likely to find and choose your business over competitors.
3. Show your business off – If your business is earning great reviews, put them on display! Online reviews are just as influential and impactful as personal recommendations, so the more recommendations and positive reviews the better. Allow these positive reviews to be shown on your website or Google My Business page. If you’re looking to earn more reviews, encourage new users to submit reviews. You can encourage reviews through emails and one-on-one conversations. After receiving these reviews, make sure to respond back and flag the reviews as useful.
4. Consistency is key – make sure to quadruple-check your information across all sites and platforms (website, Google My Business and social media pages) to make sure your business name, hours, address, phone and other basic information is all correct. By ensuring your messaging is consistent, you are positively impacting the user experience and improving your ranking chances. If you end up publishing key pieces of information here or there that are incorrect or inconsistent, you could greatly confuse your users (and Google), which can negatively impact your ranking in local search results.
Choose PointA for “Near Me” Optimization Services
If you’re ready to rank locally, PointA is ready to help! Our team will optimize your “near me” searchability to help get you to point B. Give us a call at (231) 882-1100 or fill out the form on the Contact Us page to get started.
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