Should You Add ‘Near Me’ to Your Business Name? Get the Lowdown on Google Search Rankings
- Adding 'near me' to a business name does not guarantee improved search rankings
- Google Business Profile is crucial for improving local search rankings
- Factors like relevance, distance, and prominence influence how businesses rank in local search results
- Building a strong online presence and optimizing for local keywords are effective strategies
- There are no shortcuts to improving search rankings - prioritize creating a visible, trustworthy and relevant brand.
590 words ~ 2.5 min read
Picture this: a hungry customer searches for the nearest Chinese food restaurant on Google. If you're the restaurant owner, how do you ensure that your business pops up in the customer’s search results? One popular SEO trend is to include the phrase 'near me' in your business name. But does it really work? In this article, we'll answer this question and highlight other proven methods to improve your Google search ranking.
Results Are Mixed
So, does adding 'near me' to your business name actually work? Research around SEO indicates mixed results. While some studies show that businesses with 'near me' in their name receive higher search rankings, other research suggests that it doesn't make a significant difference. Destination businesses that experience increased traffic from this naming method are often employing other strategies that boost their search rankings. And the downside of including ‘near me’ in your business name is that you may come across as spammy to both customers and search engines.
Proven SEO Strategies
If adding 'near me' to your business name isn't a surefire way to improve your search ranking, what should you do instead? SEO experts agree that having a Google Business Profile is crucial. This means creating a listing for your business on Google, which includes your business name, address, phone number, website, and hours. The more complete and accurate your GMB profile is, the more likely Google is to prioritize your business in search results.
When it comes to ranking businesses in local search results, Google takes into account three key factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. To boost your local ranking, Google advises businesses to provide comprehensive information on their profile. This goes beyond the basics like updated operating hours and accurate location details and also includes actively engaging with reviews, posting photos, and showcasing individual items on your Google page.
The prominence measure in Google Maps incorporates data from the web, such as links to the business, its ranking in traditional search results, and press coverage. This means that SEO plays a role in how a business appears in local search results, and factors like news articles and links help Google determine the relevance of a page.
Finally, focus on building a strong online presence overall. This includes having a mobile-friendly website, creating content that is relevant to your target audience, and getting backlinks from reputable sources. By building a brand that is both visible and trustworthy, you'll naturally climb the search rankings.
Of course, this is easier said than done. As a small business owner, you likely have limited time and resources to devote to SEO. That's why it's important to prioritize the strategies that are most likely to have a significant impact. In addition to creating a GMB profile and building a strong online presence, you may want to consider other tactics, such as optimizing your website for local keywords and getting listed in local directories.
In the end, the conversation around whether or not to add 'near me' to your business name is just a small piece of the larger SEO puzzle. While it may be tempting to try every trick in the book to improve your Google search ranking, the truth is that there are no shortcuts. Instead, focus on building a brand that is visible, trustworthy, and relevant to your target audience. By doing so, you'll not only climb the search rankings – you'll also build a stronger business overall.
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