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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.

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006. She writes for publications such as Search Engine Land and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

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