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The Power of “Near Me” Search

Searching online using Google to find businesses has become a way of life. While at one time people turned to the Yellow Pages to find businesses that were near their location, that approach was quickly replaced with Google. Today nine out of every 10 consumers search online for local businesses.

Zip codes used to be often used in search engines to narrow down businesses to those closest to the searcher’s location. More recently, people input the phrase “near me” into Google, while the use of a zip code as part of a search is declining. For marketers who want to attract local prospects, targeting the phrase “near me” is a great way to attract people who want to shop locally.

Exponential Growth of “Near Me” Searches

Over the past two years, “near me” searches have experienced extremely rapid growth. Searches using the term “shopping near me” or “open now near me” have more than doubled. Other examples of growth in this type of search include:

  • Over 200% growth in searches related to purchasing cars, such as “car dealer near me”
  • Over 150% increase in searches for local businesses using the phrase “near me” compared to searches that don’t
  • Searches for businesses “near me” using mobile has more than tripled
  • Mobile searches for “near me today” or “near me tonight” have grown more than 900%.
  • Mobile searches using “to buy” or “can I buy” have grown more than 500%

Attracting local prospects to your business is the first benefit of optimizing for phrases using “near me”. But it’s not the only benefit. Searchers using this phrase have a high intent of visiting the store and making a purchase. More than half of all “near me” searches result in an in-store visit and almost one-third of these visits result in a purchase.

Improving Results From “Near Me” Searches

A combination of factors can help you to rank for “near me” searches. If your business wants to attract local customers, be sure to set up a Google My Business profile. This is an important step for your business to be recognized by Google. Use on-site SEO on your site and on your Google My Business page along with link building as part of your strategy.

Your business info on Google My Business needs to always be accurate and up to date. Include the hours of your business and your contact information on your profile. Also include reviews from current customers and any amenities you offer such as free parking.

Ranking in the local 3-pack can make a huge difference for your business. Businesses that appear in the 3-pack get almost half of the clicks on the search engine results page. Keyword stuffing doesn’t work but it’s a good idea to include location-related phrases referencing your city or neighborhood.

For more tips on optimizing your website for your location, get in touch with the experts at Softline Solutions. We want to help you grow your business both locally and online so you can realize your online potential. Reach out to Softline Solutions today.