Google “Near Me” – Why This Is A Huge Problem For Small Businesses
This Google problem pertains to local businesses
with just one mailing address.
Here’s your Google problem…..
- Let’s say I’m a potential customer doing a Google search for what your company offers.
- I’m at 143rd and Metcalf when I do the search. (see below)
- I type “Painters Near Me”.
- Can you see the problem in the image below if your single business office location is in Olathe, or it’s located North of 135th street? Your business is not showing on the map, even though you provide services where I’m located.
The real “Near Me” problem….
Google’s policies/algorithms have dramatically changed consumer behavior. Google’s policies have fundamentally changed how people shop for business services.
The shift in consumer behavior has happened almost overnight. The proof is in the numbers!!
- 2 years ago 5% of searches in Google contained the term “Near Me”.
- 1 year ago, about 20% of searches in Google contained the term “Near Me”.
- Today, 30% to 50% of searches in Google contain the term “Near Me”.
This is a dramatic shift in consumer behavior in a very short period of time. Google’s policies and algorithms are driving this train.
The solution for your business…..
Unfortunately, unless you make some dramatic changes to your business, or your business marketing strategy, your Local Google leads will dramatically shrink. Even if your business is not based on leads from Google, consumers are still thinking more and more. “Hey Google, find a painter near me.”
There are multiple solutions to this problem, but to be honest, they’re complicated, and they’re somewhat difficult to implement.
Step 1 – If you own a service business, with just one location, and you’re located in a big city with lots of suburbs, you have no choice but to take the time and immediately understand the “near me” problem. You have to figure out how this “near me” culture shift will impact your business. This problem isn’t going away, and it won’t get better if you ignore it.
Step 2 – Once you understand the scope of the problem as it relates to your business, you literally have to start now and do whatever it takes to get ahead of the problem. It’s not easy to resolve, and you have to continually work at it over a long period of time.
Some different options to get ahead of the “Near Me” Problem:
- Move your one office location to the suburb where most of your customer base is concentrated.
- Open a second/third/fourth office in the suburb cities where your customer base is concentrated.
- Amp up your Website’s local SEO efforts to be more location specific.
- Do Google Ads by location.
- Amp up your Google My Business page.
- Add tons of city pages to your Website and amp those city pages up with local SEO.
- Start doing short videos of the work you do in the different suburbs. Include in those videos talking points where you mention the city in which you are doing the work. Post these out on YouTube in your business YouTube channel.
- For businesses where the consumer comes to you, like Dentists – Do some videos about your practice, talk all about your “City” in those videos. Tell people how you’re located near landmarks in other parts of the city. For example, “We’re located just 5 miles from downtown Overland Park”, etc.
The fact is, if your business is not physically located near the person doing the search, you cannot make Google show your business on the map.
But there are many things you can do to your Website content, Website SEO, and the other Google Marketing tools to help your business be on the first page of Google for all these “Near Me” searches.
I mentioned above, that this problem is not easy to resolve, and it’s not going away. The numbers suggest it’s going to get harder and harder for service businesses with just one location.
Step 1 is to figure out how much of a problem this is for your business. If you own a service business, it more than likely is a problem, or is going to quickly turn into a problem.