“Near me” searches have seen rapid growth in the past two years. In fact, for phrases like “near me now there has been a 150 percent raise.
“Near me” means that the user is searching for a location or product in their local area. They typically want to act quickly. Having your company at the top of these searches helps you improve the chances of getting an appointment.
Here’s how you can optimize for “near me” searches.
Create a Google My Business account
Google My Business (GMB) is a platform through which you can develop your Business Profile on Google to increase its visibility and effectiveness.
There are three ways that you can support your local SEO by using a GMB account:
Connect to your customers
Consumers can interact with your Business Profile in various ways, and you should use your Google My Business account to connect back. Reviews can be answered, questions answered, direct messaging activated, and associated alerts set up. As with Facebook and other social media sites, you can also use Google My Business to update your customers on the latest news.
Display essential business information
You should include hours, links to your website, goods, prices, characteristics, and other information that make your company unique via your Google My Business account dashboard.
A full business profile offers a comprehensive overview of your company, including its best features, right on the search engine results page.
Conduct local SEO
Just as Google has algorithms to rate its ads and websites, it also has one for ranking GMB business profiles. You should include keywords in your Business Profile through your Google My Business dashboard to help it rank in ‘near me’ searches.
Ensure your website is optimized for smartphones
It can be frustrating to use a desktop website on a mobile device, from tiny buttons and constant scrolling links.
This is not good news if this is your healthcare practice’s mobile experience. When a website user has to work harder to reach a goal than required, they experience friction. It makes them want to leave and try another website. The more friction a website causes, the less possible it becomes for your website visitor to stick around long enough to book an appointment with you.
Mobile optimization is a technique to make the website and other digital content compliant with mobile phones to better user experience.
It is in the best interest of Google and other search engines to have the best possible experience for their users, so they will, of course, provide results that are consistent with those objectives. You should adhere to google’s guidelines regarding mobile optimization if you want Google to deliver your content to its users. This means building a website that’s well-optimized for mobile.
Using consistent NAP information
NAP refers to the name, address, and phone number of your healthcare practice. For companies that want to rank well organically when a customer or potential prospect conducts a local search, a consistent NAP is critical.
To determine which listings to show in a local search, search engines use the name, address, and phone number information. If you do not have this information consistent on your website and social media accounts, search engines won’t know which version of your NAP show your business when someone performs a local search for your products or services.
Major search engines such as Google validate companies’ information by cross-referencing a company’s NAPs from several websites. Pages with conflicting information will be seen as less legitimate and won’t show up as high on n search results. For SEO and local search queries, NAPS is important because matching NAPs signals credibility and increases the probability that your company will rank well locally.
Optimize your website
There are many other things you can do to optimize your website, which will help you rank for ‘near me’ searches:
- Ask for reviews, and respond to them when you get them. You can do this with your Google My Business account.
- Gain relevant local backlinks to your site. Getting backlinks is not an easy task, so check out our previous post on building links if you’re unsure how to do this.
- Add your business to local citations. A local citation is any place online (usually a directory) that shows essential information about your business. While not as significant a ranking factor as they once were, it still affects your local SEO and organic rankings when you place your healthcare practice on these directories.