near me searches

Near Me Searches: How to Optimize for that Keyphrase

One of the most ever consistent phrases in every keyword research has something to do with “near me” searches. It almost always has a high volume, and we think we can rank for that keyphrase using the exact match.  We think by adding “job search near me,” or “restaurant near me,” as an exact match in your content will make you rank in search engines, right?

Guess again!

You can optimize for near me searches by using local SEO rather than using that keyphrase. Meaning, Google will produce results within a local, particular radius, not by using those near me phrases in one’s content.

So when someone performs a Google search for “orthodontist near me,” Google will produce results within that searcher’s location. The results show as what is popularly known as a Google Local 3 Pack” or “Google 3 Pack”.

Near Me Searches Google 3 Pack


Also known as Google Snack Pack, it is that boxed area on top of the first page when a local online search is done.  The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings based on three main parameters: relevance, proximity, and prominence.

How important is it that a business ranks for this Snack Pack? Studies show that local searches account for 43 per cent of the total searches.  Being local in search means high intent.

So as a local business owner, especially a small business, you can win in local searches

How to Optimize for Near Me Searches

1. Optimize your Google My Business listing

1.1 Complete Contact Information

A lot of businesses do not complete their Google business profiles, such as this:

Google My business listing

Go to and create your listing. Make sure you only have one primary category.

Keep in mind that your listing should be consistent and complete. Most notably, ensure that your complete information about your business (Name, Address, and Phone Number or NAP) is correct and consistent throughout all local directories.

  • Name must be consistent all throughout your listings. For multiple locations though, it is okay to put (Name + location)
  • Use an actual address, not a P.O. Box.
  • Use your actual phone number not a toll-free 1-800-XXX-XXXX

Provide as much information as you can, including your website, your business hours, etc.

Once you have completed filling out the information in your Google My Business listing, wait till you receive (via post mail) a code consisting of numbers that you must input for verification that your business is indeed, physically located in that area.

1.2 Be active in your GMB listing

GMB is not a set-it-and-forget-it, one-time thing. Post images, events, add content every week.  You can even add offers.

Yes you can add content in GMB, but it is only good for 7 days, so update your listing weekly

1.3 Add FAQs

Gather the most commonly asked questions by your customers and put them there.

1.4 Add a Messenger and a Request a Quote Button

Sometimes, a potential client is one question away from conversion to a sale. To be able to answer the queries fast, you need to install the GMB app on your mobile device.

1.5 Encourage Your Clients to Leave a Google Review

Put a link to Google reviews on your website and encourage your website visitors to review you on Google.

2. Submit Your Businesses to Local Directories

Another way to rank for near me searches is to submit to local business directories such as Yelp, BBB, and make the listing consistent all throughout.

3. Add Pages to Areas You Service

Create a page for each of the areas you service and link this in a tab on your website or a section on your footer for your different locations or different areas you serve. Embed your Google maps such as in the Service Page that we created.

This is especially helpful when you are a  business provider for surrounding suburbs, not just your primary location. That way, you can rank for near me searches in those locations.

Take note that creating your city or suburb service pages will not let you rank in the Google Local 3-Pack. But yes, you can still rank in Google’s organic listing.

Service Pages for local SEO

Areas that are clickable links to individual suburb pages

5. Acquire backlinks wherein the anchor text is geo-specific.

When you have backlinks wherein the anchor text (that clickable word) is specific to your location, this tells Google of your prominence in your area.

6. Make sure your site is Mobile-Friendly

Mobile search makes up for 66% of total searches since years back, so when your site adjusts across all mobile devices, this will help significantly. Remember Google’s Mobile-First policy.

7. Make your website content work for you

Be mindful of the local market and local searches by way of keyword research and have that optimized content.  Post content regularly so that Google also knows you manage and update your site consistently.

Conclusion on Near Me Searches

As writers, a common situation we encounter is a client insisting we use that “near me” phrase, with the hope of ranking for that high search volume term.

While regularly posting optimized content with carefully-researched keywords will help, optimizing for near me searches can be done by those steps above rather than by using such key phrases. The magic formula is optimizing your GMB for local SEO and content on your website.