What Does Google “Near Me” Mean for Your Business?

What Does Google “Near Me” Mean for Your Business?

Your Customers are Looking for Things Nearby – Make It Easy for Them to Find You


Having a smartphone or voice assistant can often translate to behavior we can all identify with – tracking down an easy, convenient destination to scratch a quick consumer itch. How many times have you consulted Google search for “pharmacies near me,” “gas stations near me,” “ice cream near me” or a “wifi café near me?” When it comes to local businesses – above all, restaurants – your customers are doing the same.

Recent reports tell us that location-based “near me” searches have doubled since 2015. Google is paying attention – and SEO-savvy businesses can get a leg up on how to respond to location queries to increase traffic and respond smoothly to customers’ eager, specific desires.

I’ve written about the importance of establishing an authoritative local brand presence in a prior post – this holds true more and more as location-based searches highlight key details, such as a business’ hours of operation, map details, reviews and more via Google My Business. Without strategic management of your establishment’s Google My Business profile, you risk sinking in page rankings. Another way for restaurants specifically to raise their profiles is to provide things like menus and price lists in plain text rather than – or in addition to – linking to a printable PDF. Sure, this requires additional design efforts for a mobile-friendly, accessible site – but plain text that can be crawled by Google Search’s bots will give your business better visibility and a higher ranking on the back end.

Finally, and crucially, include the right keywords to drive the most appropriate customers to your business. This means tagging your headings, your images and your links with specific keywords (“vegetarian,” “late night,” “craft beer,” etc., for restaurants), which signals Google’s algorithm and users with specific needs that you have exactly what they’re looking for – not just that you happen to be nearby. Offering both convenience and relevance at the same time is a sure way to satisfy new customers.

If you’re a local business looking for ways to boost your location-based web presence, ASTRALCOM can help with comprehensive SEO, marketing and digital strategy. Get in touch today.