JeffClevelandTN

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Looking for some feedback from others on ranking for "near me" searches. It would be great to hear what have been effective techniques to get your client webpages ranking well for "near me", both on Map/Local Pack, and Organic. Here's a numbered list of the things we do:
  1. selectively use the words in title, copy, citations, etc: near, nearby, near City Name, near landmark
  2. place written driving directions on selected pages
  3. create a Google directions URL
  4. embed a Google Map
I've got a couple of clients that I'm having a real difficult time getting them showing up for "near me" searches.

Client "A" in particular is baffling because they have an optimized GMB page with great reviews but fail to show up for a somewhat niche category on the Local Pack. They show up about #9 on the Map, but proximity-wise are #1 or #2 closest for a 20-mile radius, depending on where you are searching. However, they show up #1 or #2 organically for those same "near me" searches for the dedicated page we've carefully authored for that specific category of their business. Obviously no complaints with the organic ranking, but typically we find it easier with most of our clients to show up on the Local Pack, especially in cases of little competition and better proximity.

Any suggestions for GMB optimization for "near me" searches? In our experience, Client A's proximity, star rating, and lack of nearby competitors would typically lead to a local pack ranking.

@Colan Nielsen you had commented in an earlier thread back in January 2021, very similar topic, about your study that would dive deeper into proximity and the 3-pack: Does "near me" optimization bring more organic or GMB clicks?

Didn't know if you had posted any of these results yet.

Thanks in advance!
 

studentoflife

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selectively use the words in title, copy, citations, etc: near, nearby, near City Name, near landmark
Have you used the actual phrase “near me”?

Getting that on the homepage might help. I know it might seem hard to use it organically, but sometimes it’s a little easier if you use it in a question.
 

Colan Nielsen

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mikepcservice

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In the past I have had SEO content writers insist one should use those words with the kw's. Today, should we use those words since Google will naturally pull up local listings first wherever someone types a search?

I just got an article written and in it he put "type on google 'computer services near me' so you can find us", that makes absolutely no sense at all to me.
 
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cfazio

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Phrasing as a question or statement:

If you are searching for "____ near me"
Are you looking for "_____ near me"?

Also LSA keywords like local, close to, near by, next to etc.

Put it as image alt text and copyright / licensing information.

Does this work? Idk I do it on homepage and my money keyword + near me has been slowly increasing in ranks on a few sites. (~10 position)

Could it have nothing to do with "near me" efforts? Yea definitely.
 

mikepcservice

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Thank you, at least that sounds more natural and better but still I question any ranking advantage for it since Google will naturally display who they want closes to your location. Also, I have typed near me kw's and see other companies from another borough show up bypassing the multitude of others in my location.
 

JeffClevelandTN

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Does this work? Idk I do it on homepage and my money keyword + near me has been slowly increasing in ranks on a few sites. (~10 position)

Could it have nothing to do with "near me" efforts? Yea definitely.
Thanks for sharing your steps. It is interesting, there seems to be a lot of the same advice out there and your steps are pretty much the same as ours. The one exception is that we don't use "near me" in the alt-text as that seems to border a little on the darker side of gray for us. There just doesn't seem to be any studies demonstrating tested strategies that have a verified positive impact to "near me" searches. Lots of similar webpages with the same advice, spun in different ways, but not anything super authoritative. As you said "Does this work? IDK".
 

JoyHawkins

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This is the article I published on optimizing for near me (tldr: yes, it works). It impacts the organic section mainly, not the local pack results.

From the Google Ads perspective, it's disastrous to use near me as a Search Keyword. You'll end up paying for a whole lot of irrelevant Search Terms.

Curious if you could elaborate on this? Historically I have seen near me keywords convert really well with Google Ads.
 

JeffClevelandTN

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This is the article I published on optimizing for near me (tldr: yes, it works). It impacts the organic section mainly, not the local pack results.
Joy, you are the best! I forgot to look at your website :). This is exactly what I was looking for. However, still scratching my head on the local pack ranking :unsure:. Will keep plugging away at it and also put additional high quality images on their GMB listing for that specific category. Unfortunately, as their primary category is hotel related, I can't setup a Product for that specific sub-category that is not lodging related, which may be contributing to the issue.
 

JoyHawkins

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still scratching my head on the local pack ranking
I believe the reason why it doesn't impact local pack rankings is because Google has the physical location for every business there and they can literally return businesses that are located near the user. They don't have this for every website in the organic section.
 

JeffClevelandTN

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I believe the reason why it doesn't impact local pack rankings is because Google has the physical location for every business there and they can literally return businesses that are located near the user. They don't have this for every website in the organic section.
Yes, totally in agreement with you, I had assumed GMB would not be directly impacted by the SERP "near me" optimizations but wanted to hear that from someone like you :). As originally mentioned, they have a less common GMB secondary category, but other businesses in same category are showing higher on Map that are 15+ miles further from search location and 30+ minute further drive. This client has great reviews and quantity... I may post this on the Private Forum with additional info to get further assistance. Thanks Joy!
 

dgrunited

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This is the article I published on optimizing for near me (tldr: yes, it works). It impacts the organic section mainly, not the local pack results.



Curious if you could elaborate on this? Historically I have seen near me keywords convert really well with Google Ads.
Let's say you are an electrician. You add near me as a search keyword. Your ad will show up for hospital near me, lawyer near me, bus station near me, etc. And yes, people will click on your ad & you'll end up paying for it.
 

JeffClevelandTN

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Let's say you are an electrician. You add near me as a search keyword. Your ad will show up for hospital near me, lawyer near me, bus station near me, etc. And yes, people will click on your ad & you'll end up paying for it.
There are numerous ways in Adwords to use "near me" in keyword phrases and avoid the problem it sounds like you encountered with Adwords.

As the post was originally about "near me" optimization for local and organic searches, I don't want to stray too far off the original subect. However, we routinely include "near me" in our Adword keyword phrases without having the issues you described. I would not be surprised at all to see this issue occurring if one were to use "near me" with a Broad Match, but it is unlikely with Phrase Match and almost impossible with Exact Match.
 

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