Near me searches differ from local searches in that “near me” is used specifically within the search query – “lawyer near me”, “find a florist near me”, “what’s the nearest post office” etc. etc.
These terms are contingent on where Google thinks you’re searching from, and there are plenty of ways to optimize your website and landing pages to ensure you capture a larger share of these types of searches. I did the following podcast below “5 Tips for Ranking for Near Me Searches in 2019” which I assure you will carry into 2021 and beyond. The 5 ways are broken down below so you can skip to each section easier.
- Including relative and actual directions on your site
- Structured Data with a Local Emphasis
- Local Backlinks to Your Site
- Mentioning variations of “Near Me” on Your Website
- Embedding Maps on Your Landing Pages
This was transcribed using Rev.com – please excuse any errors in grammar and sentence structure.
Paul Warren: For all of our listeners out there, we actually have a really, really great podcast tonight. Tonight we’re going to be talking about how to rank For near me searches. If you’ve done any amount of research on the volume and the popularity of these terms, regardless of what industry that you’re in, just take whatever it is that you’re selling for your business. If you actually have a brick and mortar business, type in that and near me into Google Trends, and go ahead and take a look at that, and you’re going to see it be skyrocketing over the past couple of years. It’s so important. Google’s so much better now at knowing exactly where you are, and that is what we’re going to be covering today. So, this is our top five optimizations for ranking for near me searches.
Ryan Klein: That was a good intro, Paul. That was one thing you didn’t mention you were going to say prior to starting, is that you’re absolutely correct about the Google trend and the trend going up in near me. Is that something that we looked at together or is that something I did in a blog six months ago, and we didn’t talk about?
Paul Warren: I don’t know. I was recently looking at some of them, because I like to see where the trends are. I was looking at some a couple days ago and I was really amazed at the amount of increases for it and it’s still increasing now.
Ryan Klein: I think it kind of supports a little bit about what we’re even talking about as far as voice search, because I think that ties in pretty well. I mean, we’re not going to get too scatterbrained, we’re going to hone in on these five things. But you can kind of see that link. near me, Alexa, Siri, asking questions to a device.
Paul Warren: There’s several reasons that you want to rank for these terms, but the biggest is, hey, it’s going to make you money, but it’s going to be used across different devices for search. Without further ado, let’s break down into the five spot. Ryan, go ahead and tell us what that is.
Ryan Klein: We want to talk about structured data. If you want to reference of great podcast, a truly great podcast, when we talk about our structured data, we did have a fantastic podcast. Truly one of my favorites in a long time, and it included … Well, anytime we had an expert guest, it’s been a good podcast. But Jeff Atkinson was fantastic with Huckabuy, and that is a podcast dedicated strictly to structured data. But, structured data definitely comes in to play with what we’re talking now. We were reading multiple blogs and watching some videos. I wanted to get an idea or pulse for other people’s ideas were of trying to optimize for near me. I kind of surprised that people don’t talk about structured data that much, which is surprising because it’s just all this additional information you can give to Google.
Paul Warren: I think I saw it in just one blog post out there, and it was from like two years ago.
Ryan Klein: I find this alarming. We’ve been kind of gleaning this information from blogs that are really recent, because the near me is kind of a recent phenomenon. So-
Paul Warren: Yeah, but we also know how to do it.
Ryan Klein: Well, that’s good too. Yeah, of course we’re not reiterating or regurgitating anything. We were just reinforcing, I suppose, what our stance was.
Paul Warren: Yeah. We just wanted to see if there was anything new out there too. You got to stay up-to-date.
Ryan Klein: Structured data, it’s surprising a lot of people don’t talk about it. I’d say probably one reason is people don’t really get it still until this day. But structured data has entire fields and parts of the overall code that it kicks out coordinates. They don’t do that for their health. Google doesn’t do anything implicit unless there’s a real reason. Depending on the category or the type of structured data you’re using, I believe that there’s an entire structure dedicated to locations solely. I’m not sure if you necessarily have to use that one. But depending on your kind of business, you’re going to fill out your business name, URL, hours, some of those general things. Then there’s definitely dedicated fields specifically to latitude and longitude, so have to surmise that it’s for a reason.
Paul Warren: That’s right. There’s also some things you can do that maybe are a little outside of the box than what your thinking. It’s not always, hey, marking up latitude, longitude, putting in WiFi coordinates, or whatever. Some of it is like, hey, if you’re hosting a local event, that’s one more thing you can tell Google, that you’re a local business and you’re in this area. That’s another thing you can take advantage of, that a lot of people really don’t.
Ryan Klein: Yeah. We were both looking at the particular example. Can you walk through real briefly, what you see and what people can be looking out for when they think about this future event schema or structured data markup?
Paul Warren: Yeah. It’s like any other one where if it’s a person and you put in their name, it kind of leads you through it. What’s the name of the event, where the location is at, the time of it, if you have a registration link, things like that. It’s pretty straightforward. But it’s the fact that you go in and do it, putting the work in to do it. A lot of people just don’t even have an event they can think of. But a lot places we’ve worked, especially in law firms and stuff, always have something going on where they’re hosting whether it’s for a charity or who knows. There’s tons of opportunity to take advantage of this. You really don’t even need people to come to the event.
Ryan Klein: I was kind of thinking the same thing.
Paul Warren: [crosstalk 00:07:59] like crawl it and know you’re in that location, you have this event. So, keep that in mind.
Ryan Klein: We’re talking about it right now and this is good because we’re getting in the swing of things. Because honestly, we haven’t done podcast in three weeks. What is this, officially season two of SEO is Dead and Other Lies?
Paul Warren: Yeah. Season two, we’re back, bitches.
Ryan Klein: I’m not going to say we’re rusty by any means, but we’re getting back in the swing. It’s been kind of the biggest gap we’ve had in a bit and we’re going to get right back into it. Don’t even worry about it, guys. But anyway, the way I look at schema and structured data and what’s available out there that people aren’t taking advantage of, the way I look at is almost how people abuse AdWords. Where it’s like you can go in and you’re like, “Cool, I can do side links. I’m going to add A, B, C. I’m going to do location extensions. I’m going to do call extensions. I’m going to do all these things.” Before you know it, you have a Google AdWords position that has 50 things going on and you’re just dominating the top of AdWords. You know what I mean?
Paul Warren: Yeah.
Ryan Klein: I’m not saying you’re exploiting it or abusing it, but it’s all available, so [crosstalk 00:09:07]-
Paul Warren: Just fill it out. Capacity, yeah.
Ryan Klein: So it’s like, you’re just filling it out. You’re just going to have more opportunities for very unique and eye-catching visibility in search. There’s a review schema specifically that stands out when you start to do these events, that stands out. It’s every opportunity. It 100% ties into the near me too. I think that you’d be completely remiss not to look into this.
Paul Warren: Absolutely. Okay. Let’s talk about one of my favorites and that I’ve just recently started doing. I got to tell you, it’s worked pretty well. That’s discussing landmarks and streets, or really giving detailed directions. I’ll even add in putting in areas served on your local landing pages. That’s what we did. It was pretty manual process, so if you have a lot of locations, it can take a lot of work. But I think it just gives you like a little more reach. The one thing I really liked is writing out really specific directions from major roads. Just start from whatever major highway is closest to your business location and map out the directions to get there and post that.
Ryan Klein: That’s interesting. We’ve talked about this in the past. I think that was a little eye-opening for us in the beginning where it’s like, here are actual directions. Here are relative directions. Naturally, when you’re writing about relative directions, you’re talking about a lot of things that are tied into a very specific geography like streets, and highways, and landmarks. We talked about that before a little bit, but specifically, this landmark and neighborhood angle is new to me.
Paul Warren: Yeah. Because you get to write out a lot of streets in the area on the path from whatever that main road is to you. Also, here’s the reality of today. There was a time where you could rank throughout an entire city for your Google My Business listing. Right? You could be in the rankings anywhere in Orlando, whatever. But Google’s so much better at knowing where you are. You really are looking at dominating street areas and not at an entire city anymore unless there is no other … The only way you can do this is if there’s no competition in your city for whatever you’re trying to rank for. In which case, good for you. I don’t know if you need to even listen to this podcast. You’ll probably just rank in the top spot anyways.
Ryan Klein: If you follow our directions, yeah. Yeah.
Paul Warren: Congrats.
Ryan Klein: [crosstalk 00:11:43] our directions or advice [crosstalk 00:11:45].
Paul Warren: You don’t even have to verify you’re listening. You’re probably just good to go. But in most places, you have to beat out competition and you have to beat out whatever local SEO agency is trying to push people up to the top there. Really, what you can expect is a radius around your business and street areas and neighborhoods to dominate. That’s just how it works now. So, I think anytime you can expand the level of streets and neighborhood areas that you can cover, write that stuff up and put it on your site.
Ryan Klein: Yeah, did you say that you started doing this?
Paul Warren: Yeah, yeah. We started doing basically within the major subdivisions, and neighborhoods, and areas around our locations. We put that on each of our local landing pages.
Ryan Klein: When are you going to know that it’s officially making a positive impact.
Paul Warren: Oh, we did it months back and we’ve already seen a real positive growth in-
Ryan Klein: [crosstalk 00:12:41] your first.
Paul Warren: Yeah.
Ryan Klein: This is prime example of great advice and [crosstalk 00:12:45]
Paul Warren: Actually, I stole it from one of those businesses that are franchises for oil changes, you know?
Ryan Klein: Oh, yeah.
Paul Warren: When I saw it, I was like, “That’s a really good idea.”
Ryan Klein: No, Paul, you come up with this on your own.
Paul Warren: No, no. I took it from someone else, but I just did it a little better then them, actually.
Ryan Klein: Oh, okay. You’re on SEO Island all the time. We don’t even know what’s going on. We just imagine this is how it works and than [crosstalk 00:13:07]
Paul Warren: But, I haven’t written detailed directions like what we’re giving you advice to do here. Almost think back to when MapQuest was a thing and you could print out the map version or print out the text version of how to get there. Think about the text version. That’s what you want.
Ryan Klein: I still use MapQuest.
Paul Warren: Well, I don’t know, man. Do you have a BlackBerry too?
Ryan Klein: Nah, I don’t do that. I’m just joking. Cool. I like the new iteration of taking directions to the next level and including some of those landmarks. I think about Orlando and I think about Lake Eola being this third step of every direction ever. It’s always a right or a left, or up or down at Lake Eola.
Paul Warren: Yeah, you take full lefts from Lake Eola. Oh, you’re back at Lake Eola. Bang.
Ryan Klein: Oh my goodness. Watch out for the swan, it’s about to bite you.
Paul Warren: That was our fourth, if anyone’s keeping track of the countdown here. [crosstalk 00:14:08]
Ryan Klein: What was our second one? It’s number four.
Paul Warren: It’s no particular order. Just do the five things, whatever. Our next one is actually optimizing photos.
Ryan Klein: Yeah.
Paul Warren: If you know a moderate level about SEO, you probably learned about optimizing for your ALT text on your images. But we’re going to take this a little step further than that. Ryan, why don’t you walk us through it?
Ryan Klein: Yeah, you wanted to put me on it because we definitely discussed prior to the podcast commencing that I didn’t exactly know exactly the thing you had to do the photo.
Paul Warren: No, I just wanted detailed instructions. [crosstalk 00:14:46]
Ryan Klein: How about this? I’m not going to be able to tell you right off the bat verbatim how to do it this moment, but what you’re going to be able to do is use your trustee buddy name Google and look up how to add geo coordinates to photos because that works. [crosstalk 00:15:01]
Paul Warren: I’ll tell you how to do it, fine.
Ryan Klein: So, you put it in this thing and you right click and there’s 18 fields you didn’t even know existed and you un-hide them and then you do this and that.
Paul Warren: Yeah. That’s a thing that you can do, yeah. Or you can use a GPS-enabled camera and then when you take pictures … I think iPhones are GPS enabled, actually.
Ryan Klein: I believe so too.
Paul Warren: Yeah.
Ryan Klein: Well, you know why? Because that’s the same reason when you take pictures and then you upload it to Instagram, it’s already asking you … There’s some instances where it tries to pull in a suggested place of where you were based off of your actual GPS location, but sometimes it pulls it in based off of the images you just featured. And it’s because of that reason.
Paul Warren: What we’re getting at, though, is that if you have a GPS-enabled camera, which most phone cameras today on a smartphone are, that’s just the first step. What you want to do next is you want to find someplace to upload this. Any free image sharing site will work. Flickr is a pretty good example. There’s tons of websites really you can just post free photography that’s fair use to whoever. When you actually upload that stuff, it’s going to give you the ability to write anchor text or even link back to your site, stuff like that. Those are all just opportunities to build links to your site.
Ryan Klein: Yeah, so you’re saying it’s kind of like a twofold or [crosstalk 00:16:28] do it.
Paul Warren: Yeah. Another thing you can do is you can make a folder in your Google Drive and then you can publicly share it. Then you got some citations working from your images that way, too.
Ryan Klein: Paul, always just stuff to add, you know?
Paul Warren: I know.
Ryan Klein: It’s like, I just can’t do one task and get one result. I have to do one task and get three, four, eight results.
Paul Warren: I want all the results. The one through three results in the rankings. That’s me.
Ryan Klein: I will definitely confirm this is something we started doing for our clients in the past few months and there’s been this correlation with them being featured in three-pack more often. There’s just something about this optimization of photos, the concept of optimizing photos, taking this up further, and then it just seems to add to I guess the whole geographic presence of you. [crosstalk 00:17:23]
Paul Warren: I don’t think anything that we’re going to tell you is going to be the silver magic bullet here. You got to do all of them. I would do all of them and then expect to do well. I wouldn’t just do one of these things and think that you’re going to be at the top. You know what I mean?
Ryan Klein: Agreed. That’s one thing we’re really good at saying, too. Anything we say, it’s not one thing; it’s always going to be multiple things, but they’re all going to lead you to that point where you’re [crosstalk 00:17:48].
Paul Warren: With the exception of buying really good links.
Ryan Klein: Well, that just could actually just put you in three-pack right away.
Paul Warren: That’s about the only thing that’s a magic bullet to get you to the top of the rankings.
Ryan Klein: I like the magic bullet. Every time we say that, it makes me think of small cups of smoothies.
Paul Warren: That’s weird. That’s a weird thing, man.
Ryan Klein: Isn’t that what it is? Silver’s the new kind. It’s even nicer, but it’s definitely worth looking into optimizing photos, seeing what’s available nowadays. It’s kind of like structured data. It’s a thing where people do it a little bit. That was the whole Huckabuy conversation was [crosstalk 00:18:26]
Paul Warren: People don’t do it.
Ryan Klein: People don’t do it, like optimizing photos. People are quick to do some meta, they do title description, some onsite photos. They think that really the extent of that is an ALT tag or text and that’s it, but now photos are really going beyond. For sure, they probably have for some time too. Because when you think about it, if there’s a whole Google images, what, are they going just going to pull the title of it and ALT? There has to be more to it.
Paul Warren: Yeah. All right, so good advice on that. Make sure you’re doing it. Check it out. There’s tons of resources out there for free image sharing websites. We’re not going to list them all. We already talked about it.
Ryan Klein: You can’t think of any off top your head anyway.
Paul Warren: No, just Flickr. That’s it.
Ryan Klein: Flickr.
Paul Warren: All right. Let’s get into in my opinion, which will probably have the biggest influence of anything we’re listing on here, and that is acquiring local back links. There’s a millions ways to do it. I’m going to talk about the low-hanging fruit ones that anyone can do. First one is the very first place that you start. Search whatever that thing is you’re selling, if you’re a criminal lawyer near me, whatever, and see what directories are showing up on the first page of the search for that term. Do that and make sure that you are on that directory. That’s the first way to get a local back link. Because Google is already telling you that it values that website for those terms.
Ryan Klein: It told you.
Paul Warren: Yeah. It literally-
Ryan Klein: [crosstalk 00:20:04] In its weird cryptic Google language.
Paul Warren: Yeah, of rankings. That’s where I would start for sure. Now, I think it’s a pretty known fact that there’s a hierarchy of links here in the world. Usually, the .edus and the .govs sit atop that hierarchy because frankly, they’re hard to get and they’re very trusted websites. My little strategy of getting some .edu ones is if you own a business or whoever you work for owns their business. They could be considered successful to some people. Usually, to the college that you went to. So, you just reach out to whatever college that you’re at and you see if you can get a link from an alumni page, or who knows. There’s a millions things like that on those sites. They’re usually pretty easy to find. They usually give you a back link, do a little story about you, do blog post, or whatever. That’s a good way to get a solid .edu back link that’ll live there for a long time.
Ryan Klein: Did you get your UCF back link yet?
Paul Warren: No, they’ve disowned me.
Ryan Klein: Did you get your [severuis 00:21:15] .hs.com back link yet?
Paul Warren: Oh, I’ve got some many of those.
Ryan Klein: One thing I’ll say about of course .edu and .gov, the closer proximity to where you business is I would imagine the better. But they’re not always exactly proximate. What are some approaches for local businesses to be able to link to other local business. I’m talking maybe hyper local at this point.
Paul Warren: Hyper. So, if you’re a local business, you probably do business with another local business. Maybe it’s a lawn company. Maybe it’s the people that deliver your paper. There’s a ton of different opportunities for you to reach to out to people that you partner with monetarily and see if they’ll give you a back link or something like that.
Ryan Klein: Straight up. We can do a really quick refresher, some things that made sense in the past. Any events that are local. We’ve talked a little bit extensively about 5Ks.
Paul Warren: Yeah. Sponsor-
Ryan Klein: [crosstalk 00:22:13] talk about sponsoring.
Paul Warren: Sponsor-
Ryan Klein: You could get 20, 50 local links. I mean, imagine that.
Paul Warren: Those are super easy to get. Sponsor something in your city. They almost always link back to your site from there. It’s really, really easy to do. We totally recommend doing that. Then the piece of the resistance of .edu links is for $500 a semester, you can offer a scholarship and you can get links on any of the community colleges in your area, state colleges, big time universities. What you want to do is make sure they’re in your city or at least close to your city, something like that. If it’s in your city, that’s ideally what you want.
Ryan Klein: Oh, man. Breaking out the scholarships. There is an alternative, if you don’t want a sensationalize and get that big, gigantic check with the student’s name on it. If you’re not about the giant check-
Paul Warren: Actually, if you’re not doing that, then forget that we said anything. Okay? You can’t-
Ryan Klein: No, there’s an alternative. The alternative that we’ve done a couple of times, which makes me feel a little bit better than doing this whole … You know how I feel about it, is doing an essay contest is cool, too. It’s a little bit more low-key, but it can still result in the same thing.
Paul Warren: And then also don’t forget about maybe doing a PR with your local information in the PR. So, your name, address and phone number and link to your GMB profile. That’s what I always do.
Ryan Klein: So giddy about that. One thing I always thought was important as far as really local links, besides the facts the websites are saying they’re local, address wise, this is obviously a business that’s very close to this one is linking to it. But it’s also important consideration for the server itself, in my opinion. People that are hosting their websites locally and link to another website that’s also hosted locally, I think is … I don’t want it to sound like too convoluted or complicated, but think that’s important. And that goes a little hand-in-hand with getting links from websites that are hosted overseas. Because there’s a reason that it’s really far away could also come into play when it’s close by, if that makes sense.
Paul Warren: I think there could be some upside to doing it, but I also think that I see some of the examples where, especially like with franchises where everything is hosted in one place. You know? [crosstalk 00:24:46]
Ryan Klein: Yeah. That’s just me trying to connect the dots here and there. Not like in a conspiracy theory way, but just like, how do we get the edge way?
Paul Warren: But also this is … I have a couple pretty cool ones too that no one’s doing, right?
Ryan Klein: Ooh. [crosstalk 00:25:08]
Paul Warren: [crosstalk 00:25:08] doing these, okay? So, you know what geocaching is?
Ryan Klein: Oh, sure.
Paul Warren: You know what you can do? You can put a geocache at your location and then tag it, and then you get a link from the geocache websites.
Ryan Klein: Oh really? But do people still walk in and put love letters and baseball cards in it.
Paul Warren: Yeah. I mean, you got to put a really small one but it’s just the whole thing that you can literally geo tag the coordinates and your local information and stuff, and get a free link.
Ryan Klein: That’s pretty cool. Wish we could just sit around and just think of other things right now.
Paul Warren: Then the last thing I want to mention because it’s so easy, and such low-hanging fruit is there’s so many websites where you can list like your free WiFi and then you actually get to list the actual coordinates of your location. And so that’s a thing that you can just really easily do multiple times and it’s usually pretty good authoritative sites.
Ryan Klein: Oh, one interesting thing that I thought was going to work … This is a big time experiment I did I think about a few years ago and being that it didn’t really work, I don’t really know why I’m mentioned it because it didn’t work, but I want to get people thinking.
Paul Warren: Maybe don’t do it, [crosstalk 00:26:13]
Ryan Klein: Well, how about I’m going to mention it and it’s going to sound like a good idea and it doesn’t sound like there would be a reason for it to not work, but it just doesn’t, but there are reasons why it may not work. So, embedding the map of your business on other websites as opposed to a link itself, is something I haven’t really seen work, but there may have been reasons why it didn’t.
Paul Warren: Oh, man. I am just the opposite. Anytime I’ve ever done a map embed with the map info, I’ve seen it increase in ratings.
Ryan Klein: Okay, so let’s talk about this for a little bit because that’s important to discuss this if it’s something working. I think that the reason … I’ll just preface real quick. I think the reason that it didn’t work is because they were going up on websites and it was an app. It was embedded, and it’s was done properly but I think that wherever it was being done, I can’t recall right now, it just simply was not being indexed at all.
Paul Warren: Well, then there’s your problem right there.
Ryan Klein: I mean, I’m guessing it wasn’t but there was a strong feeling of it not being indexed.
Paul Warren: Yeah. I mean, if that’s the issue then obviously it not being indexed is you’re not going to get any juice from that. But anytime I’ve done this, I’ve honestly seen big increases in my local rankings.
Ryan Klein: Would you say it’s one of the bigger [crosstalk 00:27:40] that you have?
Paul Warren: I always suggest that you embed your map on your landing page for whatever you’re using on your website.
Ryan Klein: Oh, yeah. That’s obvious. People don’t do that, they’re stupid. No, I’m joking. But yeah, you definitely should. [crosstalk 00:27:54]-
Paul Warren: But you [crosstalk 00:27:55] on other local sites to you, I think it works [inaudible 00:28:00] well.
Ryan Klein: So, like I said, I think one of the reasons in retrospect was because I purchased links or I purchased these opportunities to embed in other websites and it didn’t index. Let’s just talk real quick to the listeners. I think there maybe a lot of listeners that are like, “Well, I’ve built links and I’ve bought links and I’ve done all this, but what? I have to take another step to index that? How do I know if it’s indexing? Am I wasting my time?” I don’t think we’ve really talked about this before.
Paul Warren: Well-
Ryan Klein: So, let’s just talk real quick about ensuring that your links that are valuable are definitely being indexed.
Paul Warren: Well, the first thing that you want to do is you want to see if that URL is indexed in Google. Right?
Ryan Klein: Okay, so-
Paul Warren: If you know the page that it’s on, you just do a site call and whatever the domain is, the www and then the URL, right? For that link and put that in Google and search it and it’ll give you the results for that in the search. If it’s not showing up in the search, it’s not being indexed.
Ryan Klein: Sure. Alternatively, you should be able to put it in quotations too. Correct?
Paul Warren: Yeah, you should be able to do that.
Ryan Klein: So if it doesn’t show up, it’s a pretty good indication it’s not indexed. [crosstalk 00:29:13]
Paul Warren: If it doesn’t show up in search, it’s probably definitely not indexed. So, you know what you want to do if that’s the case. It’s either maybe there’s a technical issue. Just depends on how you got this link, how the website that it has it on is structured. There’s a lot of ways to get something crawled, generally, if traffic is coming to it from other sources. Think about it like Google then has to jump from something to crawl it, so if it’s not crawling it from that website that it’s on, you got to get it to crawl it from something else. I like to link out to that article from a blog post or something that I have and then do a nice in search console. Get that, do index request, and then it usually will crawl it pretty quickly.
Ryan Klein: Yep. I like that one. There’s some services that all they do is simply drip like indexing. That’s something you could just look into.
Paul Warren: You can use that. I mean, I don’t know if anyone here is building dozens, and dozens, and dozens of links that aren’t getting indexed. If you’re in the link building business, [crosstalk 00:30:20] go ahead and use them. Some of them don’t really work anymore. Some of them do. But, you know, for the small business owner that’s not doing a whole bunch of spam link building out there, this is an easy and free way to do it.
Ryan Klein: Yeah. And if you buy links for any reason whatsoever or if you’ve got really great links in the past from doing the sponsorships or doing a white hat. We don’t call it white hat anymore, right? But-
Paul Warren: No, we just say hat.
Ryan Klein: … if you’ve got links and they haven’t indexed and you’re like, “Oh, crap. That’s lame. I spent a lot of time trying to get that link,” just shoot us a message and we’ll go into it farther. I don’t want to get hung up on it. Before we go into our last point, I think this is a decent point to reflect for a moment because just ranking locally, and coming up for local keywords is just so similar to the near me phenomenon. And still, even trying to extrapolate what the official differentiation is, you know? Because I’m saying that I half know but I’m half reflecting. It’s like, what about these optimization techniques is just really different from trying to rank local anyway?
Paul Warren: I mean honestly, really, they’re just to the extreme, right? So we’re going to end it on something that you can do that usually does kind of work.
Ryan Klein: I love it.
Paul Warren: Usually does work.
Ryan Klein: Like, it kind of works, I don’t know.
Paul Warren: Kind of works. So, a part of this is just good housekeeping, right? It’s just staying on top and making sure, you know, we didn’t really dive into like, “Hey, make sure your GMB is optimized.” [crosstalk 00:32:04]
Ryan Klein: Oh, yeah. We made a very specific point not to be like, let’s talk about reviews and filling out your profile because like [crosstalk 00:32:13].
Paul Warren: I think it’s a given for you, right? So-
Ryan Klein: And if it isn’t, it’s your first time listening, we’ve talked about it forever.
Paul Warren: Yeah.
Ryan Klein: Help yourself.
Paul Warren: We didn’t want to get into optimize for mobile, because you should already have done that. And there’s a lot of other reasons than trying to rank for near me searches that you would optimize for mobile. Right? Probably lower on the list is ranking for these searches. So the last thing I think is on page optimizations, and so we’re going to talk about this because we don’t want you to get too keyword stuffy spammy but I honestly think there’s plenty of opportunities to add this stuff to your pages whether it’s in the metadata, like your page titles, or if it’s maybe in H2, or somewhere within the text. I think there’s natural ways to add this information in there and not really look super spammy, and I think there’s internal linking opportunities from other pages that you can do this that a lot of people aren’t doing that at all. Most the pages that I ever look at that rank for near me searches, they do not have any actual text on their pages that have that. And I think this is one of those things that if you did it, you could be probably like beat these other guys out.
Ryan Klein: I think you can take this one a little bit with a grain of salt. I think that we’ve, straight up, joked about it in the past. But, there’s some truth in it. And yeah, let’s go into it. It’s pretty straight forward, right?
Paul Warren: Yeah, I mean, we’re just saying maybe in H2. Maybe it’s like, I don’t know, car repair near me instead of near you.
Ryan Klein: The way that I put it in the past, kind of sounds cheesy, but why not try it? Is like you’re like, have you ever just wondered is there a great dog setter near me? And [crosstalk 00:34:06]
Paul Warren: I’m like, I know it sounds stupid but you got to think that the majority of the content on your webpage, especially a local landing page, is probably not really read just depending on the type of niche that you’re in. There’s so much content on pages that isn’t read at all, that’s really just glanced over to get you to the point of sale or the point of conversion or whatever you’re trying to do anyways, and the person that’s reading it doesn’t care. So, a part of you has to be like, “I got to write for the search engines in a way,” but also don’t write like an asshole, I guess is what I want to say.
Ryan Klein: I’m thinking about it right now and there’s ways you can definitely do it that come off kind of naturally. Here’s an example that’s much better than my first one, is let’s take Orlando dentists for example because we love Orlando and we talk about it even though I’m in Seattle now. But imagine you had a classy H1 that was just like, when you think Orlando dentist near me, think the name of my dentist office. It could be almost like a tag line.
Paul Warren: Yeah. I think there’s opportunities and then from other pages on your site, or maybe you write a blog post that’s talking about something local, and you use that anchor text, like, “To find an attorney near you, click here.” You know? And you make that whole anchor text the link, and then you link to your page.
Ryan Klein: Paul, at least we’ve had them up to this point, right?
Paul Warren: Yeah.
Ryan Klein: Well, that’s why I left the … This is just kind of like food for thought. It’s just thinking creative ways to do it. You’ll figure it out. Don’t message us.
Paul Warren: I’m saying do it without looking like you’re keyword stuffing.
Ryan Klein: So the first four are on point. We’re confident in the fifth one. Just screw around with it and let us know if it works.
Paul Warren: That’s why they call it the art of SEO, Ryan. Okay?
Ryan Klein: It’s an art.
Paul Warren: It’s an art.
Ryan Klein: It’s a finesse and it takes panache, and it takes courage.
Paul Warren: It does. Lots of courage. Lots of keyboard warrior courage right there.
Ryan Klein: Oh, man. So, yeah, I think that sums it up. I definitely … It’s been a few weeks. I’d love to recap a couple things real briefly.
Paul Warren: Go ahead.
Ryan Klein: If we’re done talking about that. Did you want to talk about anything else, any other takeaways?
Paul Warren: No. I think we can …
Ryan Klein: [crosstalk 00:36:34]
Paul Warren: I don’t even know what you’re about to bring up, man. This is like [crosstalk 00:36:36] our listeners [crosstalk 00:36:37].
Ryan Klein: Just a couple of interesting takeaways. I thought it was interesting in France that Bing doesn’t exist. And then Google usage there is over 90% and mobile usage is over 90% too. So, [crosstalk 00:36:48]-
Paul Warren: Man, Bing doesn’t exist in France? [crosstalk 00:36:51] France before till right now.
Ryan Klein: Well, when I say it doesn’t exist, just it doesn’t matter. I’m sure it’s there. No one uses it. I didn’t realize that, I guess is what I’m saying. I thought it was very interesting that it’s Google, Google, Google. Don’t talk about anything else, that’s it. That’s what’s up and that’s probably the case in a lot of places.
Paul Warren: How do they pronounce Google in France?
Ryan Klein: [Guigui 00:37:16].
Paul Warren: Guigui. I knew it.
Ryan Klein: They’re pretty cool. They asked me … Do you want to hear some of the questions they asked me? They’re good.
Paul Warren: Yes.
Ryan Klein: Very good questions. I was like …
Paul Warren: We’re going to have a podcast about this soon.
Ryan Klein: Yeah, so the questions I received when I was onstage, trying to get through an hour long presentation, just me, the questions were, “If I have a pop-up, does that affect my rankings?” Which has always been a good question. I said it depends on how the pop-up is programed and also how you’ve been able to see where the crawler approaches the pop-up and stops or if it just crawls the page as normal and then the person gets stopped by a pop-up. You know, more or less that kind of answer.
Paul Warren: Yeah.
Ryan Klein: You’re like, “Oh, that was your answer?”
Paul Warren: I actually have a real life issue that that happened literally today that we had to deal with.
Ryan Klein: Let’s just talk about it real quick.
Paul Warren: Yeah. I don’t want to give to many details about wherever I currently work whenever I do [crosstalk 00:38:19].
Ryan Klein: I’ll tell them. I’ll tell them when you’re done.
Paul Warren: But what we had was, I was noticing over a six month period that our mobile ranking started decreasing for certain pages, but our desktop rankings were increasing. Right? But our conversion stuff were staying flat and then I looked at these pages in Google Analytics and mobile, and the bounce rates were like twice what they were six months ago. So I’m thinking, well, whenever your mobile rankings go down and your desktop is going up, that’s got to be some sort of user problem, right? So, it’s either like, hey, you have really, really low load times in mobile or there’s some really bad experience or something like that.
Paul Warren: And so, they had changed the way people basically interacted and they made appointments, and they had this pop-up come up right as you clicked on the page. So we had all these pages that were ranking really well organically for certain terms and then when you’re on mobile, you click on it, this pop-up prompts you to tell it your location and you can’t see anything on it until you put in your location.
Ryan Klein: Oh, bummer, dude.
Paul Warren: So I had two theories. One was that Google wasn’t able to get past the pop-up and it wasn’t able to crawl the page with mobile first indexing. And so, the ranking were being hurt by that just because the mobile spiders were getting stuck right there.
Ryan Klein: [crosstalk 00:39:52]
Paul Warren: Then also, at the same time, the user statistics were way, way worse. So, it was dropping the rankings for that as well. So, that literally happened to me today.
Ryan Klein: Wow, so timely. So important.
Paul Warren: I know, right?
Ryan Klein: Breaking news. So those were the things that they were talking about. I thought that was interesting especially since they’re publishers that rely on popups to do great call to actions to encourage free trials. So, they’re like, the marketing team is trying to really convince the development team we have to have pop-ups. I need that. We need to increase conversions, and the development team slash SEO or tech, IT, whatever the hell you want to call it, are just like, “We don’t want to do it because Google doesn’t like it.” So, that was pretty interesting.
Ryan Klein: Got questioned about Google Trends. They said a lot of people really like Google Trends over there because you can definitely use it in France or France. And they said that they like it a lot but they just are really confused that it’s kind of like relative to zero to 100. And it’s just like it’s hard for them … I don’t want to generalize French people of course, but the person in particular that asked couldn’t get their head around how much it was trending because at the end of the day, it’s like a zero through 100 and it doesn’t quantify exactly how many people it is. So, that was kind of tough for them but I talked them through that.
Ryan Klein: Got a question about, oh, because they get so many different sources of traffic. You know, most business are used to direct, referral, organic, paid, social, maybe a newsletter and maybe a couple of other things. But for them it could be like, who even knows, right? They have a lot of difficulty with trafficking bundled together, and it’s hard for them to split it up. They might be running a bunch of campaigns and doing a bunch of things and then four different sources get pushed together into direct. And they’re like, “I don’t know what the hell to do.” So, that was pretty interesting. Because you know, these people get tens of thousands of visitors a day. It’s news. So that was interesting. And then the question I absolutely evaded completely in front of everyone because it would have been a lot of stammering because my background is AMO. They’re very interested in AMP.
Paul Warren: Interesting.
Ryan Klein: And that’s accelerated mobile something pages, probably. I just frankly don’t know enough on that, but I should research it.
Paul Warren: Yeah, AMP can be really big.
Ryan Klein: Yeah, AMP. Let’s do a little bit of research on AMP. I think that’ll be interesting. The only reason I don’t have a lot of background in that in particular is because we’ve failed to implement it correctly twice from work in my market and I’m like, F this for now until we figure it out.
Paul Warren: Yeah. It’s a pretty big deal right now, actually. I mean, [crosstalk 00:42:57]
Ryan Klein: Yeah, it is a big deal and I completely get it. But the issue is, you can do it absolutely incorrectly very easy.
Paul Warren: You heard it here first. Come back next week, guys, and listen to our episode on AMP.
Ryan Klein: Yeah. AMP, AMP, AMP.
Paul Warren: Accelerated mobile pages.
Ryan Klein: Amped. I’m Mountain Dew amped for that one.
Paul Warren: Amped on AMP. All right.
Ryan Klein: And then our last thing is we had a dude from Denmark that sent us a message on Facebook, and I’d like to answer it real quick.
Paul Warren: Okay.
Ryan Klein: All right. Do you want me to read the whole thing?
Paul Warren: Sure.
Ryan Klein: All right, absolutely. I’m going to message him back and say, “Hey, listen, the most recent podcast, I’m going to answer your question here.” Because that’s how we want to do things. So, “Hi Paul and Ryan. Just discovered your podcast the other day. It turns out, it’s pretty much the one podcast I’ve been looking for.” I’m not going to plug the rest. He basically says we’re awesome. Okay. “I have a question, and would also the free link.” Oh, I mentioned that. [crosstalk 00:43:51] free link.
Paul Warren: Oh.
Ryan Klein: All right. Kind of a background. “My business partner and I just closed a deal the other day on a huge company, departments all over the country. Basically, we’re building websites for that niche and we’re trying to rank for the 50 biggest cities in the country.” 50 biggest cities in Denmark. I didn’t even know there was 50 cities in Denmark. I’m joking, but I can’t imagine there’s …
Paul Warren: All right. 50 cities.
Ryan Klein: “How would you guys approach such a task? Would you just build the site separately and then maybe a link circle from the site to site, so kind of like a link wheel?”
Paul Warren: No.
Ryan Klein: Well, no. I mean, I absolutely disagree with link wheel. Okay, let’s just say that out of the question. Link wheels are not good ideas.
Paul Warren: Yeah.
Ryan Klein: “Or would it be more beneficial to create one website and make it individual sub-pages for each city?”
Paul Warren: That’s it.
Ryan Klein: Yeah, good one. I mean, based off all our podcasts, we’re huge, huge proponents of one highly authoritative website with sub-pages that are geographic. We are all about that. The micro-site strategies are kind of out the window. Plus, who wants to build 50 websites?
Paul Warren: Yeah. You don’t want to have to worry about driving authority to all those websites, to 50 websites. Right?
Ryan Klein: It’s maddening even thinking about it.
Paul Warren: Yeah. Have one authority website and then if you want to do link building and stuff to each of the individual landing pages. There’s also some of the cities that you’re in, the level of competition might not be that great anyways. You might not have to build a bunch of links to it. You’re going to get all of the benefit of the main authority of your main site. So, build out one legit website and then make sure that your directory structure for all those landing pages is really, really good. I don’t know if you guys have states or whatever it is over there. I don’t know how it works, but in America …
Ryan Klein: They have parishes like Louisiana.
Paul Warren: Parishes? Yeah. In America, we have states and then cities, and then [crosstalk 00:46:00].
Ryan Klein: You’re in America.
Paul Warren: But it works the same way, right? I guess the best way to look up a directory structure over there is go to an actual directory and see how they have things listed out for business in that area and just kind of copy that in a way. You know? But you’re kind of getting larger to smaller, to smaller is [crosstalk 00:46:19].
Ryan Klein: Yeah.
Paul Warren: … advice I could give to you. Because that in and of itself, it’s telling Google exactly where that location is. I think it does an even better job than just having a micro-site for that.
Ryan Klein: Oh yeah. Absolutely. 50’s daunting. Can you imagine all the URLs? It’s like blah, blah, blah this city. Blah, blah, blah this city. That’d be insane. The URL structure will be simple, .com or whatever. Dot whatever, forward slash locations or forward slash cities we serve or forward slash whatever you would call it in Danish, and then each individual city. That’s the way it works. You build authority to the main domain, it’ll definitely flow down into the sub-pages and you’ll be good.
Paul Warren: Yeah. That’s our advice. I absolutely would do that.