Are You Taking Advantage of ‘Near Me’?
If you know anything about technology you will know that these phones that you carry around in your pocket and the technology on them has come on a long way in the past few years. If you remember “Quantum Leap” and “Ziggy” the handheld computer that Al the Hologram carried with him, then you know that technology. Maybe not as high tech as Ziggy but you can now ask your smart phone a question and get an answer.
If you use Apple it is called Siri and if you use Android it is called “Now Google”, even Windows phones have Cortana software which you can ask a question of the phone and it will search and find you an answer. So what is the ‘Near Me’ thing all about I hear you cry. Well to put it simply people have started talking to their devices as they would talk to you and I, so this means that you need to be thinking like your target audience in order to get them to your site.
So How Can You Take Advantage?
There are a number of things you can do in order to take advantage of the near me technology so when someone who is looking for your service asks their phone “Find a pub near me” you are top of the list. Remember there are not many people doing this properly in the UK so if you get in early you will be leading the pack as it grows (and it has seen a 500% growth since 2014).
- Setup a Google Adwords Campaign and use Local Extensions to take advantage of the Directions and Call tabs which show in these ads. The ads also have “Nearby Businesses” above them to alert people to local businesses for their search. So even if someone doesn’t say the magic phrase “Pubs Near Me” into their phone, the search for “Pubs” will show your advert above all other results.
- Make sure you are fully optimised for local search. You need to have your name, address and phone number exactly the same on every page on your website (normally in the footer works very well). Also when you are adding your website to other websites you will notice that you get better results if you ensure that all the details of your business are the same across the board. This also goes for adding in hours of operations, products and services.
- Make sure your website is Mobile friendly. You won’t show up in the local search results if you do not get your website looking healthy on a mobile phone and tablet. More than 50% of searches now come from mobile devices, this means you will be missing out on 50% of the potential search visitors to your site if you do not get on the ball and get your website made mobile friendly. IGNORE THIS AT YOUR PERIL IF YOU WANT YOUR WEBSITE TO BE A SUCCESS! (Google are updating their calculations in January 2017 to include even more mobile specific search factors).
- As we mentioned earlier you need to make sure your name, address and phone number is the same across the board, make sure you do this on all directories and citation websites (such as Trip Advisor). This information correlates with that on your website.
- This is where most businesses have an issue, they don’t ask people for enough feedback. A simple blackboard with “Are you enjoying your pint? Why not tell others http://bit.ly/nicepint?” and link across to your review page. This will increase your rankings naturally.
These steps will help you show on the map higher for local search. No one is really using Adwords to push their business locally in the UK so this is a relatively low cost option for bringing in extremely targeted traffic to your site right now. For more information and tips don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
Steve Hooper – www.sitegeek.co.uk