SEO and the “near me” search tail. How to optimize.

Google has a very good way of understanding a user’s query intent. This is the foundation of all search results. If one were to search for “pizza rolls near me” while at their home as opposed to while they were in a Walmart, you should expect differing results.

If Google were to sense that a user were at home, Google’s understanding of the intent would be that the user is looking for a place to purchase pizza rolls. With this query, Google would most likely display a navigation result along with “pizza rolls” at nearby stores. Google may also include restaurants or other types of businesses that sell pepperoni rolls (a close relation).

So, what if Google senses that you are in a Walmart. This is a harder pull for a small business. Google would most likely not display a navigation link, but would show product and pricing information for Walmart. They may also show results for other close by results for pepperoni rolls as well as information Yelp, GrubHub, etc. results.

So how should we handle this “near me” based on your particular business.

  1. If your are a restaurant or other business that may want to sway the typical result, it is important to have a web friendly menu on your website. If you are a retail location, do your best to have your top selling products listed on your website. Think about synonyms or closely related names
  2. All businesses should have a Google My Business listing. This is the closest you’ll get to a free ad from Google that will allow you to post information on your business.

In closing, always consider what would be the closest query intent for your particular circumstance.