Anyone doing keyword research is bound to eventually discover a few keywords which people when searching for nearby businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, hotels, grocery stores and even law firms such as “Near Me”, “Nearby” and “Closest”.
Armed with this knowledge many people set out to craft the perfect “Near Me” content page. It sounds like an amazing idea. Is it?
Can My Business Rank for “Near Me” Keywords?
With voice search and mobile use increasing, Google recognized the “near me” searches were occurring, and that users would best be served be displaying businesses in paid, local and organic search results which are geographically close to the user. Google calls these micromoments.
We can see business’s attempts to rank for this key phrase by searching google with “near me” in quotes. Let’s try it with pizza:
As you can see, Papa John’s gave it a shot. But since nobody is going to add quotation marks to “near me” let’s see what happens if I just search for Pizza Near Me. I get results for pizza restaurants which are near me based on my geographic location. NOTE the results are changed for both the local results AND the organic results, which is pretty cool:
You can also take this a step further to understand how Google is focusing on user intent by doing a search for “Restaurants Open Now”.
In this case, the local results (aka Maps Results / Local Pack) reflect eateries which are both near me AND open right now. The organic results are not yet there and indeed show local businesses.
As I always say, search is still in its infancy.
New searches in the future will be better at helping users discover restaurants with outdoor seating, hotels with vacancies and theaters playing movies at certain times. Fun times are ahead.
Optimizing for “Near Me”
There are many articles on the web about optimizing for “near me”. How is that done? To make a long story short, your site should rank well organically and your Google My Business page should be properly set up and you should actually be in a close proximity to the user who is conducting the search. Sure, there is more to it, but that’s about 90% of it. And remember, ranking organically is done by having great backlinks.
Have you seen a page ranking organically for “near me”?
I am on the hunt for pages which rank in organic search with the key word “Near Me” in the title. If you have seen this in search please let me know as I am interested. I would expect that some pages DO show up well IF they’re on a powerful website and in a city where the competition is low, but that is a rare combination.