Does Optimizing Content for "Near Me" Work for Local SEO? Sterling Sky Blog

Does Optimizing for “Near Me” Work?

We asked this question at a LocalU Advanced event: “Does adding instances of “near me” terms onto a website increase its ranking for “near me” keywords”.  The vote was very divided with 44% of people saying no and 56% of people saying yes.

We have done a ton of testing on optimizing for “near me” terms (ex: “plumber near me”) and have found that adding instances of “near you”, “nearby” and “near me” to the content of a page (including meta tags) does have a positive impact on ranking. Here is an example of a client’s homepage traffic for near me terms after we added some instances of “near me” terms to the page.

Here is a ranking tracker for another client of ours that we did this for. 

We have found this optimization has a much more drastic positive impact on organic ranking and traffic for “near me” terms than it does for local ranking and traffic from the 3-pack.

We also see, contrary to popular belief, that the majority of near me searches are happening on desktop (not mobile).

While a lot of small businesses have yet to pick up on this strategy, a lot of the major local directory sites are doing a solid job of implementing it.

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And See These Other Articles By SEO Expert Joy Hawkins:

12 replies on "Does Optimizing for “Near Me” Work?"

  1. We’ve been doing this for years. It works best for organic rankings if you include city names as well. Not so sure about the GMB rankings though – mixed results. However, I believe it decreases the click through rates. In testing Google Search Ad headlines, adding “Plumber Near Me” (or …You”) to a headline has a significantly lower CTR than a headline like “Plumber Richmond VA”, even if “Richmond” is elsewhere in the ad.

  2. Hi Joy, great article, it has been a suspicion of mine for some time now. We are in Australia and I know that the “near me” modifier has been popular in search in the US for a number years. Now it is turning up in Google’s auto suggest a lot more, so people are getting educated to the idea of that type of search phrase – so it may be time to do some experimenting to see what comes of it.

    Thanks for putting your research out there – very generous of you. : )

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