As search becomes increasingly more mobile, not only are local searches on the rise but so are “hyper-local” or “near me” searches. In fact, as Google has noted, “near me” searches have doubled in 2015, making them one of the most rapidly growing local searches. But what does this mean for businesses with multiple locations?
Local search can be time-consuming and complicated for local businesses, and can be even more difficult for businesses with multiple locations. But, the increase in “near me” searches could prove to be beneficial to multi-location businesses.
Ranking on the first page of ‘local search’ is already difficult with only 3 spots available to rank in the local map pack. If you have more than one location in the same region it will be difficult to have more than one of your locations appearing in the local results.
Search Engine Land columnist Jason Decker uses pizza delivery as an example to help explain why “near me” searches is important to multi-location business. If a customer in Boston searches for “Boston Pizza Delivery” Google will deliver the top results for the entire city. Your potential customer may find one of your locations in the city but soon find out they do not deliver to your location. This can be frustrating to a potential customer. Google may surface the results it believes are most relevant to the city’s name without regard to the searcher’s exact location.
But if a customer’s searches “pizza delivery near me” Google is able to determine a searcher’s exact location and then provide results to the closest business. This way if the same customer is searching “pizza delivery near me” they could have potentially found a closer location that does, in fact, deliver to your area at the top of the search results.
Businesses with multiple locations in a city can benefit from “near me” searches with a greater chance of ranking for nearby customers than with a general city-wide search query. When someone searches for “near me” Google’s algorithm increases the importance of distance from the searcher’s location.
Some things to keep in mind when optimizing for “near me” searches is to make sure that the business name, address, and phone number are clearly displayed on your website in an easy to index format. Also, use schema markup on your NAP, as well as making sure you have a Google My Business for each of your locations.