A “near me” search is a search query used to find information about businesses, services, or points of interest close to the person searching. This search type is often performed on search engines or mapping applications and can help find nearby restaurants, gas stations, or attractions. For example, if you were looking for a place to eat, you might search for “restaurants near me” to find a list of restaurants in your area.

What kinds of people use “near me” searches?

People use “near me” searches to look for a nearby business or service. Think of people looking for a specific business, such as a restaurant or a retail store. Or people looking for a product or service, such as a haircut or a car repair. 

“Near me” searches are often used by people on the go and looking for a convenient option. Or by people trying to find a business in an unfamiliar area. “Near me” searches are also commonly happening on mobile devices while they are on the go. They are using their mobile devices to search for businesses while out – 82% of mobile shoppers are using ‘Near Me’ searches

Why do small businesses need to optimize for “near me” searches?

Optimizing your small business for “near me” searches can help increase your visibility and attract more local customers. When people search for “near me” results, they look for options within a certain radius of their current location. 

A small business that optimizes for these types of searches to rank high in local search results. If not, it’s possible people won’t even be aware of the location in search results, which results in potential customers not being aware of its existence. Small businesses that optimize for “near me” searches can improve their discoverability for what they sell. “Near me” searches can help to drive more foot traffic to the business and ultimately increase its revenue.

How does a small business optimize for “near me” searches?

A small business should ensure its online presence is up-to-date and accurate. How so? A well-designed, easy-to-use website and correct and consistent business information across all directories and local listings help. You should also ensure that your address, phone number, and other contact information are prominent on your website and online listings. Also, high-quality photos and customer reviews can help improve a business’s visibility in “near me” searches.

More specifically, there are several steps that a small business can take to optimize for “near me” searches, including:

  1. Claim and verify the business’s listing on Google My Business. A Google listing ensures that the business’s name, address, and contact information are accurate and up to date on Google. 91% of searches in Canada take place on Google.
  2. Use local keywords in the business’s website content and meta tags. Search engines need context to understand the location and relevance of the business’s website for “near me” searches. For example, applied to a bakery in Seattle, it could use keywords like “Seattle bakery” and “fresh bread in Seattle” to attract local customers.
  3. Encourage customers to leave reviews on the business’s Google My Business listing. Positive reviews help improve the business’s visibility and ranking in search results.
  4. Use local keywords in the business’s social media posts and profiles. Doing so increases visibility on social media and improves chances of showing up in “near me” search results.
  5. Consider using paid advertising on search engines and social media platforms. Paid advertising drives traffic to your website and social media content. More traffic online often translates to more foot traffic to your business.
What kinds of businesses should optimize for “near me” searches?

Businesses with a physical location and rely on local foot traffic, such as restaurants, retail stores, and service providers, are typically well-suited to optimize for “near me” searches. These businesses can benefit from being easily accessible to potential customers looking for a nearby option. Optimizing for “near me” searches can increase your visibility to nearby customers and drive more foot traffic to your location.

Overall, optimizing for “near me” searches is about making it easy for local customers to find the business online and provide them with the information they need to make a decision. A small business can increase its visibility to local customers by following the steps above. Then, take this approach and drive more traffic to your website and location.