Search has been evolving over the past few years, with numerous updates and new applications that helped enhance the experience and provide users with the best results. 2018 is another year of many changes, with Google shifting its focus to mobile and voice search and testing out new AI technology in the form of Google Duplex.
These Google updates aim to not only optimize search results but also make search more accessible across all devices. With the development of AI technology, voice search will also be optimized, which means that we will be seeing more exact and phrased search terms that enables AI assistants to look for the best results on search engines.
One of the most popular voice search terms that people use is “Near Me” or “Near my area”, which allows voice search to look for the places near your immediate vicinity. When it comes to using voice search and AI assistants, this is one of the most convenient ways to receive the best local results.
When using Google Assistant on the Allo app, I gave the command to search for the best Japanese restaurant near my area. Upon inputting the command, I was able to view a detailed list of results of the best Japanese restaurants, along with reviews and even articles that mention these restaurants. When it comes to local SEO, one of the most important elements that you need to optimize if you have a business is your Google My Business account.
Having an account means that your Business is recognized on Google and that people would be able to look for it on Google Maps. Users would also be informed about important details such as contact number, address, and business hours. With the improved services of Google Maps, users now have the ability to look for places they want to go instantly, which makes local SEO even more important.
Optimizing for “Near Me”
Along with optimizing your Google My Business account, it is equally important to show up on “near me” search results as well. There are many ways to do this, and here are some of the most effective techniques:
Localized Content and Keywords
When it comes to local SEO, one of the best ways for search engines to have an idea of where your business is located is by creating content related to the area that your business is located. This not only helps with identifying the location of your business but also provide some free promotion as well. Some great examples of local content that helps promote your business include “Best Restaurants Near (City Name)” or “Best Places to go Near (Business Location)”.
When it comes to keywords, It is best to use geo-targeted keywords that specify the location, as these would help people find your business in search engines much faster. In fact, some of our clients request a number of geo-targeted keywords for their businesses, which has definitely helped increase their traffic and target their intended audience. Here are some keyword examples that are local SEO-friendly:
- Health Care Service Near Me
- Italian Restaurant Near My Area
- Business School (City Name)
These samples might seem straightforward and simple, but this helps generate the best local search results and help target your intended audience.
When it comes to looking for businesses and establishments near your area, Google takes into account the review scores for these places to asses which results are of the best quality. It is best to observe proper online reputation management in order to show up in search results more often. Reviews are a great indicator of what a business offers, and a good review makes your business a much more attractive option for users. If you are looking for a guide for proper Online Reputation Management, we got you covered.
Business Directory and Link Building
One of the best places to look for different kinds of establishments is online business directories, which provides you with a list of various businesses within a specific area. This is a great opportunity to provide outbound links to your businesses. Most websites, like city and tourist websites, provide a list of recommended places that people can visit, which is a nice link building opportunity that brings in traffic to your website.
Another way to bring in traffic to your website is to guest blogging, which allows you to build more links from different websites, which helps increase your visibility while generating quality content that is helpful. You can also directly contact different websites and ask their owners if they can post your website link to their website. Social media is another tool you should use, as there have been numerous businesses that have become famous after being constantly recommended by social media users. Social media platforms have millions of registered users and tapping into the right audience help generate a lot of buzz and traffic that helps your business grow.
With the increasing accessibility of the internet over the past few years, the use of mobile devices has now become more prominent. With that in mind, more users now look for the nearest businesses using their mobile devices, and it is best to help optimize their experience.
Mobile optimization is one of the standard practices that you should do for your business, as more and more people are accessing the internet using their portable devices. A great starting point would be applying responsive design and AMP to your website, which allows it to become more mobile friendly as the size and layout of your website adjust accordingly while retaining the same functionality. If you have applied these and want to asses your website’s performance, you can use tools such as Google Lighthouse and Woorank to identify the best steps to help improve your website.
With the rise of voice search and mobile usage, the use of exact and phrased search terms have now become more important than ever. By optimizing your “Near my area” keywords, your audience would be able to discover your business much better and generate traffic that helps your brand grow.
If you have questions and inquiries about voice search and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.