Optimizing your website for “near me” searches and voice search is more important than ever. Due to the recent outbreak, the number of voice-assistant users is increasing in America. According to National Public Media’s study in April 2020, more than half of their respondents say that they are using them nearly every day. Almost 40% of all U.S. adult smart speaker owners use voice assistant programs for music, entertainment, news, and information during the outbreak.
With that in mind, businesses should jump into investing in being on top of voice searches. Doing this will help you as a business owner as it will strengthen your SEO strategy and rank for “near me” searches.
Today, you will learn how to optimize for “near me” searches and voice searches. This will be followed by four of the most common voice command programs. After that, there will be ten tips that you can use to optimize your website for “near me” searches and any local search results.
What is Local SEO?
Whether you own a family restaurant or a small apparel shop in your community, investing in local SEO is one of the best strategies to attract your target audience.
Local SEO is a search engine optimization strategy that makes sure that your local business is visible in local search results and maps. This is especially true for people who want to look for places near them through local search and “near me” searches. For businesses, investing in this is the first step to appear on “near me” searches.
Google’s algorithm has its proximity factor, which takes the searcher’s location when they search. This means that wherever you search on Google, it will change the search results. Let’s say anyone tries to search for a pizza restaurant around your neighborhood. If you own one yourself, it will show up in their results.
Benefits of optimizing for local SEO and “Near Me” Searches
There are various benefits when it comes to ranking your business information in search results for local SEO. They are the following:
- Gain snack pack traffic. This feature is available on Google. It is defined as a boxed area that displays the top 3 local business listings that are the most relevant in a search. Getting a spot here will help your website get 33% clicks from these results.
- Legitimize your presence as a business. It has been found that 71% of people who visit a local business for the first time look them up online to make sure of their address and phone number. This means that if you put your website up with information about your business, this will jumpstart your relationship with your customers and clients.
- Increase your chances of selling a product. Half of those who do a local search on their phone will head to a physical store within the day, according to the Search Engine Journal. With that in mind, keeping your website active through “near me” searches can help you get to your target sales goal for the day, month, and year.
How to optimize for “near me” searches
This section will then help you create a “near me” SEO strategy to help promote yourself among voice programs and “near me” searches.
List down possible voice searches and answer them
Usually, people make use of these voice programs to look up basic information about a person, item, or business. With that in mind, you should list your business information on your website. Doing this will make sure “near me” Google searches such as “Where is the nearest pizza restaurant,” “what time does it open,” and “call their phone number.”
Write down possible searches in a casual tone
A strategy on how to target “near me” keywords is to rank towards natural questions. There is a difference between how people enter through their phones or PCs compared to what they want to search from a search engine. Creating content that answers straightforward and natural questions, such as learning the name, address, and opening hours of your business, will be a stepping stone towards how to rank for “near me” searches.
Have your business listed on digital maps
Appearing in Google “near me” searches can start from listing information about your business onto various digital maps. For example, if you know a local listing or app that compiles all the local shops in your area, make sure to add your name, address, and business page to it.
Reorganize your website’s links efficiently
Voice assistants find the information their users want through sifting through search engines for the closest answer to the question. However, if your website contains broken links, unused pages, and outdated information, they will be used as their search results. These should be reorganized as often as possible to keep your website relevant and increase your ranking while making sure that your most popular pages are linked in the top-level navigation.
Pro Tip: Speaking of including pages in top-level navigation, include your FAQ page with the FAQ schema in this navigation. Doing this will help make your website easy for crawlers to discover.
Optimize for a local audience
Ranking for “near me” searches includes being visible on various local search results, including Yelp, local bloggers, local social media pages, and local influencer instagrams. This can be done by simply posting your business name, address, and phone number on your web pages. Make sure to have your business address in the footer of your website so that it shows up on every page, and also in the body of your contact us page. Aside from that, you should create content about your local neighborhood and add “near me” inside the article for a rank boost.
Pro Tip: Use Local Business Schema Markup to markup your business address for added power and likelihood in attaining voice search and “near me” search traffic.
Include a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page on your website
A frequently asked questions (FAQ) page is defined as a page that contains information about a company that its usual visitors might ask. Creating one will also help various voice command programs to retrieve valuable information from your website.
Pro tip: Make use of the FAQ schema markup on this page on your website. Doing this will help crawlers and voice assistant programs spot your business information faster. Read about how it works here.
Add your website to Google My Business
Google My Business is a listing program where business owners can list their business information for their past, present, and future customers. Regularly updating this entry will help your company rank high in local searches. This will also help people find your business for “near me” results as Google My Business is your Maps Pack results.
Invest in options that would load the website faster
This strategy is one of the best investments a company would have when it comes to how to optimize for “near me” searches. Page loading times in voice search results have an average of 4.8 seconds and usually come up with one answer to a voice command. With that in mind, business owners should perform SEO audits and update their websites regularly. Doing this will help optimize the website and make it mobile-friendly for all its viewers in the future.
Rank high in search engines
Aside from the tips mentioned earlier, there is an identifier for websites that rank high in search “near me” results. This is known as a domain score, which is based on its authority and quality. You should keep a high ranking in any search engine used by voice assistant programs for your company to show up in any “near me” search.
Invest in HTTPS
HTTPS is an acronym for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.” It is one of the latest website technologies that aims to create a secure, encrypted connection between your business website’s server to your visitors. Getting this for your website will encourage your visitors to visit it more often.
Let your business page be shown more often in social media searches
Voice assistant programs correlate high social media engagement when they search for their users. According to Backlinko’s study, the average search result has been shared 1,200 times over Facebook or 44 times over Twitter. This means that actively engaging through clients and customers over social media will increase the chance of the business being mentioned by any voice assistant program.
Mark your content using the speakable markup
Google recently launched a special markup that would enable various websites to be visible for voice assistant programs. This is called “speakable,” and it can be used repeatedly throughout the website to help your content reach voice assistant users. You can find out how to use it through Google’s guide here.
Put your products on Amazon’s Choice program
One of the many ways you can be noticed more through this voice assistant is to aim your company’s products to be featured on Amazon’s Choice program. They will choose it based on the product’s price, rating, reviews, and shipping speed. Aside from that, being on Amazon Prime or the Seller Fulfilled Prime program will give you a chance for it to be chosen.
List your business on Apple Maps Connect
Increasing your chance of being spotted on Siri involves listing your business onto Apple Maps Connect. Getting this listing requires you to have an Apple ID. If you have more than one branch, you can add these under the same ID. Aside from your name and address, you can list the working hours of each branch.
Be active on various review pages
Aside from that, make sure that your business is listed with lots of reviews on sites such as Yelp. Most voice assistant programs and search engines sift through them before referencing them on
Add your business in Bing Places
Being seen by Cortana involves listing your business in Bing Places. Doing this will help you gain a slice of the 20% market share for desktop web searches for your business.
Include several inbound and internal links
Inbound links are defined as other credible pages that are related to the topic of your webpage. Doing this will help any of your pages gain credibility while benefiting said links to rank higher on their search results. Meanwhile, internal links are other pages on your website. Combining these two in highly engaging, interesting content for your visitors will increase your rank.
Pro tip: Make sure to add geographical anchor text in each of your pages. For example, if you are a business located in California, add context cues to become listed under search results such as “restaurant in California,” “women’s apparel in California,” and “rest stops in California.”
Sell your products on Amazon
Aside from getting into the Amazon’s Choice program, you can list your products on Amazon under your own name. Being listed and sold on Amazon can increase your product’s visibility in the platform, search results, and voice assistant searches. This will also help your customers review it themselves on the platform, thus hitting two SEO goals in one.
Make use of an online lookup tool to check your progress
Being visible online means checking how you look to your customers. One way to do this is to set up alerts on search engines such as Google or third-party services. Using these tools can help you decide which part of your online presence you should fix next: your reputation through reviews or spreading information such as your name, address, and contact numbers.
We hope this article helped you understand the importance of how to rank for “near me” searches, business websites, and voice command programs. All in all, these can help you make your website mobile-friendly, alert your customers in “are near me” searches and encourage customer reviews. Investing in local search SEO will help you and your business grow. Like and share this article if you think it’s helpful.