We are often asked to add the words “near me” to keywords on our clients websites. Unfortunately, those key words are irrelevant to Google search engines as they base “near me” on maps and GPS locations. However, as a small business owner, you need to capitalize on people who might look up your type of business with “near me” in the search query. For example, they might search “sporting goods stores near me” or “hair salons near me” to get local results. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to incorporate the keywords “near me” into your site copy, but we’ve outlined ways below to increase the chances of consumers visiting your store via this search query.
Make Your Website Mobile and User-Friendly
The first step is to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. As of April 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would become a key component of page ranking for Google search results. Google Developers released a tool to test whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, so this is a good place to start. Moreover, if customers can’t view your website on their mobile devices, they’re less likely to visit your brick-and-mortar location.
Second, ensure your website is kept up to date—old websites are less likely to show up in search results. Third, make sure your website includes useful information so customers can immediately see your store hours/location/phone number on your landing page—the page consumers are brought to when they click a link to your site. Include information that is hyperlocal such as a particular region of that town you’re located in. Make sure this landing page is clear, easy to read, and current.
Use Google’s Tools for Mobile Advertising
You can also sign up for Google’s Local Inventory Ads so when customers search for a particular brand or product near them, they can tell if you have any in stock. They can also tell immediately what your hours are and get directions to your store. With Local Inventory Ads, you can also use Google’s measurement solutions to see how your ads have affected foot traffic and in-store sales.
There are other Google tools you should have in your arsenal. Besides Google’s ads, you can use ad extensions to enhance your search advertising performance. Location extensions include a link with directions to your store, and call extensions enable customers to call you directly from your mobile ad. Google Maps is an important resource for mobile consumers searching for local businesses. Make sure your store details are correct on Google My Business so that customers have no trouble finding you on Maps or listings.
Ensure You’re Listed on Review Sites
Lastly, make sure you’re listed on review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and FourSquare. Consumers still turn to those sites when making purchasing decisions. The more information they can find about you online—including these sites—the better. With Connectivity, you can keep track of all the online reviews customers share about your business, and find common keywords in those reviews that can help your business’ standing in online searches and keep those customers coming in the door.