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5 Ways to Get Your Business Ready for “Near Me” Searches

Friday, January 27, 2017

When it comes to SEO, the “near me” search is the next wave for mobile marketing in 2017.As your experts on the ground for online digital marketing in Denver, we’re seeing an explosion in this trend and in the growth of “near me” searches. And just like with voice searches 2016,we want to help you understand this latest online marketing tool and make the most out of it.

“Near me” or “nearby” searches are the newest ways consumers are finding businesses and services online, using their phones and mobile devices with voice assistants such as Siri or Android voice commands. These searches utilize OK Google or Google Voice, and apps such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, Yelp, Foursquare, and Facebook. For example, let’s say you are on vacation in downtown Denver and are looking for a local Italian restaurant within walking distance. You might ask Siri, “Find an Italian restaurant near me.”

These kinds of local searches are becoming commonplace everywhere. As a result, Google now considers the location the person is searching from to generate the most relevant results, and it presents them first. “Near me” searches can be beneficial for local businesses if you are prepared for them. Here are five ways that you can get your local business and local SEO ready.

  • 1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. Mobile website optimization will be very important in the future for voice-activated “near me” searches. Plus, Google currently favors website that are mobile friendly.
  • 2. Claim your business listing on Yelp (at biz.yelp.com) and Google My Business (www.google.com/MyBusiness‎) and optimize them there. This means making sure that all your business information is accurate and complete. This includes your name, address, hours of operation, directions, history, bios, and photos. Accuracy can affect your rankings.
  • 3. Optimize your local SEO. Local keywords and terms relevant to your industry will remain very important. Just because you have a Yelp listing or Google My Business listing doesn’t mean you can ignore the basics. SEO practice will still have a bearing on your rankings and you’ll want to keep up with solid and effective SEO practices.
  • 4. Respond to reviews about your business promptly.Whether you get a positive or negative review on Yelp or Google, you’ll want to respond to those customers immediately.As people use “near me” searches more often, you’ll be affected by these reviews more often and will need to stay on top of them. Remember that even a negative review is a chance to polish up your marketing and keep and attract more customers.
  • 5. Add geocoordinates, ratings, + relevant data to your Schema. Google currently wants you to mark up your site with schema. This includes geo coordinates, to ratings, to business hours for local business schema.

Voice searches coupled “near me” searches may present new challenges as they evolve, but we believe that they’ll bring exciting opportunities to local businesses and SEO in the future, and it will pay off to embrace them.

Don’t hesitate to contact The Great Online for more advice and strategies to make the most out of this newest online tool.We’re always here “nearby” to answer your questions.