In the past two years, "Near me" searches have witnessed exponential growth, as highlighted in the stats below (Hubspot):
- There has been 150% growth for phrases like "near me now". For example "Pizza near me now".
- There has been a 900% growth for phrases like "near me tonight/today". For example "clubs near me tonight".
- There has been 200% growth for phrases like "now" + "near me". For example "stores open near me now".
Most users now have location or GPS enabled on their mobile devices and since most apps require this to be enabled, even users who previously had this turned off for privacy reasons now leave them on. This allows Google to automatically detect their current location and present the most relevant search results to the user.
"Near me" searches are critical for marketers, since it allows to reach the intended customers during moments when they most desire a specific service or product.
Adding "near me" searches at the end of a search query demonstrates the user's eagerness to take immediate action on the search results. The user at this stage intends on visiting a place to purchase a product immediately, or within the very near future.
Top 'near me' query categories
A survey conducted by Uberall tracked the responses of 1,000 smartphone owners and found around 82% of smartphone users had conducted a "near me" search between July 23 and July 27, 2018.
The hierarchy of the categories are given below:
- Food: 84%
- Entertainment: 56%
- Banking: 50%
- Apparel: 41%
- Persona care: 38%
How do you optimise for "near me" searches?
1. List your business on Google My Business and optimise it
Ensure that your business' name, address, phone number, opening times, contact details, menus, photos etc. are all updated and correct.
2. Acquire backlinks
Backlinks work well to improve your business rankings on Google local. In order to increase your business rankings for "near me" searches, you need to acquire high authority/relevant backlinks with geographically-rich anchor text.
3. Create pages targeting every location of your business
If your business serves several locations then you need to create different pages for different locations.
4. Make your site mobile-friendly
Making your site mobile-friendly and improving your overall site speed are some of the best ways to improve your site experience for users and rank higher for "near me" searches.
5. Create a blog and acquire local links
Creating and maintaining a blog is one of the best ways to acquire local links. A blog lets you share articles on a regular basis, which allows users to remain updated about your business services when they subscribe to it.
Business owners who get in early to the game of optimising their website for "near me" searches, will be able to defeat their competitors in the near future.