There are billions of Google searches around the word each day. In today’s day and age, most of them will be coming from mobile users. These people rely on their phones for immediate answers to their problems, something known as a “micro-moment” of need. When searching for local goods and services, users will usual signal their intent to visit a physical location by searching for a specific business, product, or service “near me,” such as the “plumber near me.”
These “near me” searches have rapidly increased in recent years, and five times more of them happen on mobile devices compared to desktop computers. This means people are already in their cars or on-the-go when they search. Only a small percentage of these searches result in clicks, but they can easily translate to an in-store visit and a customer transaction. The “near me” search trend is a great opportunity for local business revenue, one that means small businesses must have local SEO strategies in place if they want to compete and stay afloat.
What Occurs When Someone Searches for a Local Business
When looking for a local business, not many customers need to see a full website. What they actually want is the most important information such as store hours, location, and products/services. As an example of specific service, someone may not be just searching for “pizza near me,” but may also add the qualifier “gluten-free pizza near me.” This query can absolutely pull up a pizzeria that is 100 percent gluten-free, but smaller pizzerias (and places like grocery stores that sell some baked goods) can still rank for these searches if they include the relevant keywords on their website.
After searching for something like “gluten free pizza near me,” the search user will be looking for a few things:
- Whether the store will be open during their intended time to visit
- A phone number to possibly contact the location
- An indication that the location can fulfill their specific need, in this case some indication in the page’s title tag, meta description or text snippet that they offer gluten-free baked goods of some sort
- Google reviews, indicating the quality of the business
- Whether any of the business listings stand out from others, especially in terms of reviews
Many times, someone will be able to get all of this information from the search engine results page and then close out the tab or go to a phone call without ever clicking on the business’s website. However, these businesses need to optimize their website in order to make their local SEO strategy work. Optimized websites will allow Google to present all of the information a customer needs and help that business win a customer over their competition. So, even if few people click on your website, how you optimize it can win you local business directly from the SERP.
How Your Business Can Rank for “Near Me Searches” Using Local SEO
Ranking for “near me” searches requires a few SEO practices:
- The proper schema markup on your “About Us” page, which can allow Google to quickly and accurately fetch your business name, address and phone number information
- An updated, accurate Google My Business profile with your main business website listed
- Keyword optimized, locally focused pages (or even separate websites) for each of your locations; try to use the specific neighborhood for each location rather than a general region.
- An online review strategy in place to increase the quantity and quality of customer reviews
- Consistent content publishing using optimized keywords, such as “gluten-free pizzeria in New Brunswick”
- Diligent monitoring of your key digital marketing metrics as well as your current ranking compared to competition
Do You Need Expert Local SEO for Your Business?
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