One of the hottest topics in local search today is the rapidly increasing popularity of “near me” and “nearby” searches. This reality has made optimizing “near me” and “nearby” keywords a priority for local businesses. According to Google Trend data report, Search queries for “near me” has increased dramatically to approximately 100% since the last 5 years.




This report suggests that more people are looking for products and services in their vicinity and this has reflected in the upsurge of the use of this keywords. Getting a website/business listing to appear on the first page of Google for results on “near me” search queries is now one of the most coveted achievements for any small business owner as this means your business would get increased traffic in form of websites clicks, calls or physical visit.


Whether it’s a gym, restaurant, hotel, repair shop, mechanic, mall, plumber “near me”, “closest to me”, or “near by”,  billions of search queries are performed daily which can be leveraged upon by local businesses like yours and ultimately increase patronage and sales. According to a recent article by Search engine watch,  quoting a Google Trend report “50 percent of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day, and 18 percent of those searches lead to a purchase within a day. If they’re not sure where to eat, nearly half of people won’t search for a restaurant until within an hour of going”. Consumers who are using these types of search queries are further down the conversion funnel indicating they have already completed their research and are looking to take action.


Google’s Digital Skills For Africa recently published an infographics which gives

an apt and easy-to-understand summary on how to take advantage of the “near me” search queries for  business. The content of that infographics would give a befitting end to this article thereby helping local business owners leverage on this online opportunity.


  1. Have a mobile Friendly website:  A rise in mobile location based search queries means that if you are a local business you need to be taking advantage of this shift in user behaviour. You need to optimize your website to be mobile responsive as research has shown that more people use mobile to perform “near me” search queries


  1. Update Google Local Business Page Listing: A properly optimized Google My Business (GMB) page listing would increase your business visibility on Google search and Google map for “Near me” queries. Registering your business on Google’s Local Listing would show that you're ready for business. You can register via www.business.google.com or contact a Google partner to get a (GMB) verifier at your location.


  1. Display Business Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP): Google considers NAP seriously in it’s ranking of your website in local Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Your NAP should be displayed preferably at the bottom of your website and should be consistent throughout the web, as it role in search engine optimization (SEO) cannot be overemphasized.


  1. Ensure Business Data is Correct and Up-to-Date: All business data online must be up-to-date because this differentiates real businesses from spam entities. Your brick and mortar location must be up-to-date in all your activities. Trust is essential in online marketing and research has shown that correct information breeds trust in a brand, product or services.

It’s now up to you to make your business appear in “near me” search results. Register for a free Digital Skills for SMEs training near you to get professional skills on how to do this.





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