Does Optimizing Content for “Near Me” Work for Local SEO?

Posted by Joy Hawkins

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.