For this month’s roundup I’m looking at recent research on boosting search engine optimization for local businesses. In the competitive world of online marketing local business are looking to leverage any advantage they can to land at the top of search results pages. If that describes you, I encourage you to review the recommendations of these two articles from Search Engine Land.

Six Business Types That Reap the Most Reward of Local SEO

Pratik Dholakiya explains in his article how six business types including Medical Services, Law Officers, Bars and Restaurants, Plumbers, Pet Services, and Real Estate offices can reap the rewards of strong local SEO strategy.  He discusses the importance of having a well optimized Google My Business profile and how reviews can improve search position.

Regarding reviews for bars and restaurants he points out:

Customer reviews play a vital role in a bar or restaurant’s local SEO. As you probably noticed in the screen shot, the reviews are displayed quite prominently in the listings. In a recent BrightLocal survey, 60 percent of respondents said they had read online reviews for restaurants, the highest of any business category.

Read the full article here >

Rise of ‘Things to Do Near Me’ Search Queries

Andrew Shotland explores the rise in the ‘near me’ search phenomenon and shares insightful data in how local businesses can rank for these queries. So, any business that is hoping to attract local customers should take a close look at what he’s uncovered.

rise of things to do near me searches

You can see from the chart above that search for ‘things to do near me’ has risen greatly since the end of 2014. It is no doubt mobile users are fueling this growth. These searches show intent to do or buy something and the growth arc is even more dramatic when a more focused search query is considered. Check out the chart below for the search history for ‘restaurants near me.’

rise of restaurants near me searches

Andrew suggests the following to take advantage of this trend:

So, what can you do to take advantage of “near me” today? Based on our study and our experience working on large and small locally-targeted sites around the world:

  1. Add “near me” to the title tags of your location pages.
  2. Add “near me” and popular keyword variants to the text of these pages.
  3. Add “near me” to the anchor text of the internal links to these pages, particularly on your store locator pages if you are a multi-location brand.
  4. Get backlinks to your location pages with geo-specific anchor text.

Read the full article for more data and recommendations for capturing near me search traffic.

Where there you go – two resources with well researched actionable strategies to help businesses attract local customers. If you need assistance implementing any of these strategies with your business, by all means, reach out to us.

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