A coveted search result “Near Me”

When we ask clients what keywords they would like to see their site rank well for, one of the most common responses is “Service-they-provide near me.” Whether that is “plumber near me,” or “web designer near me,” or “lawyer near me,” that simple search is often a coveted spot to secure. While there are a great number of things that go into ranking for that search, there are 3 strategies that have shown to have the best results. 

What is this search term? 

Believe it or not, we have had some clients in the past who have wanted to actually rank for the term “plumber near me” or whatever their service might be. Their thought was if they rank for the exact phrase, “near me” and not “Green Bay” or “Appleton” or wherever they’re from, they’ll be able to gain such a large audience. This goes back to one of the key rules of search engine optimization: DON’T ATTEMPT TO TRICK THE SEARCH ENGINES! If your site attempts to trick a search engine by ranking for the two words “near” and “me,” the odds are they’ll remove your site from listings. The “near me” that people are searching for is the actual location they’re in (“Green Bay” or “Appleton” or “Wisconsin”). With the advanced technologies that Google has available to it, they will know what “near me” is to the user.

Three Strategies for Ranking “Near Me”

While we don’t want to use the actual “near me,” there are several strategies that can be used to help rank for that search. One of the great things about this, is that each step is ones you should be using in any search engine optimization campaign already. 

Optimize Google My Business (GMB) Profile

Claiming and fully optimizing your Google My Business listing is the first step to ranking in “near me” searches. Doing so ensures that your GMB profile is complete with accurate business information, including your business name, address, phone number (NAP), website URL, business hours, and categories. This is how Google will know what “near me” means for your business. You can update your profile to include multiple locations as well to help expand the “near me” area for your business. 

Along with the basic listing, you will also be able to gather reviews from your customers. Reviews and high ratings is a key for SEO success, and can help again to define what the “near me” is for your business. You can encourage customers to leave a review and to mention the city or area they are located in. Once they leave that review, you can follow up and say something like “It was our pleasure to help with your plumbing needs in Green Bay!” Doing so will again provide more indicators to search engines of the service you provide and the geographic area. 

Local Keyword Optimization

A second key strategy to rank for a keyword “near me” is to create a wealth of content related to the area that you’re looking to rank in. For Full Scope Creative, “near me” for us is in the greater Green Bay area. We have landing pages set up and established for all of the smaller towns and villages around Green Bay. Doing so helps ensure that Google will recognize those areas as part of the “near me” that we want to rank for. 

When we create these landing pages, we always include the city/village/town name in the meta tags, headings, URLs, and use them several times in the page content. While these landing pages will not show up in the main navigation of the site, we will link to them on other pages or in blog articles to help direct Google to what pages we have created. 

Another great strategy to help with ranking for keywords “near me” and SEO in general, is to sign up for as many reputable online directories, review sites, and industry-focused platforms. By doing so, you’ll be able to again enter information about what “near me” might be for your business. For Full Scope Creative, I’ve signed up for business directories in the Green Bay area, chambers of commerce in our area, and online groups that focus on business topics in the area.

By doing this, you’ll also be creating more backlinks to your website. If there was one silver bullet technique to ranking higher in search engines, it would be backlinks. Having backlinks for any reputable and authoritative site is always a great thing to have. Having one from a local source to your site, again takes it a step further to more identify what “near me” might mean for your business.

Improve Your Search Engine Results

Ranking for “service-you-provide near me” is obviously a great keyword to rank for. Ranking for that keyword really comes down to SEO basics, just with an emphasis on a geographic area. By prioritizing these three strategies—optimizing your Google My Business profile, using local keywords effectively, and building local citations and backlinks—you can significantly improve your website’s chances of ranking well for “near me” searches and attracting local customers.

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