Local SEO for Home Care: “Near Me” Searches

Review Stars In SERPs lift SEO RankingsFor companies that rely on local customers for their business, so-called “near me” searches are gold. Is your home health care site optimized for “near me” search? If not, the time is now. Google reports that “near me” searches doubled in 2015 alone, with this type of search becoming more and more popular with those on-the-go who need to find a particular business located as close as possible to their current location, says Search Engine Land. This need is even greater for those who are new to the area and may not know of the best pizza place, gym, hair salon, or in your case — home health care or elderly caregiver agency.

Search trends dictate SEO strategy, points out Forbes, so it stands to reason that if more people are searching for a specific phrase, such as home health care, you will benefit by getting ranked for that phrase. And with Google Trends data showing that searches with location-specific phrasing are rising dramatically (34 times more popular than in 2011 to be exact), then this trend is certainly worth watching. There are two reasons for this spike in popularity: the growth of mobile technology and Google’s advanced search sophistication.

Tips on Improving “Near Me” Search Results

“Near me” searches involve distance, to be sure, as the closer your agency is to a searcher, the better chance it has of popping up high in the rankings. But on the other side of the coin, immediacy and convenience are also factors in these types of searches. If, for example, two home care agencies pop up when someone performs a “near me” search and one is open while another closed, that person will probably go with the one that is open first because it meets their immediate needs. Thus, you could lose out on traffic if your search doesn’t serve a person’s needs in that moment — even though you are located close to them.

USA Today says that most local searches are generic over a specific company name. That means that it’s not enough to just be there, you have to provide relevant, useful, painless experiences for those who are looking for you. THAT’s the way you will stand out.

It’s tough to intentionally rank better with “near me” searches. Location is what it is. It can’t really be improved. But what you CAN do is make sure Google and other search engine giants have the information they need to ensure top placement.

  • Position your home care business favorably: Make sure your website clearly outlines what you do, what you offer, and what your niche is.
  • Work hard to garner positive reviews on watchdog and customer review sites.
  • Regularly update the information shown on local company directories. Make sure that information is correct and consistent across the board, including name, address, phone number, and hours of operation, as well as social media profiles.
  • Make your information readily accessible to Google’s web crawlers.
  • Reach out to local newspapers and magazines to get your name out there, with a URL link for people to gain more information on your web site.
  • Boost the quality of your web presence, customer experience, and accuracy of information that can be found around the Internet about your home health care agency.
  • Add fresh home care content to your website on a weekly basis. Break out of your standard content rut and diversify your offerings with videos, new landing pages, etc. to boost your index rate with the major search engines. Blogs are invaluable to this end: ideally, you should post daily, every other day, or at least once per week.
  • Add photos and videos that are useful, with appropriate markups for search indexing.
  • Add schema markup that clearly defines who you are, the area in which you serve, and the services you offer.
  • Attract links from local sites. Get on Medicare.gov for their Home Health Compare page.
  • Do some keyword research and optimize your home page for the most popular keyword.
  • Claim your Google My Business page. First, do a search for your home care agency on Google Maps. Is it already there? Great. Now go to “Manage This Page” within your Google My Business listing and make sure everything’s up to date.

Harness Those Micro-Moments

The rise of mobile is introducing new critical touch points that make up the consumer’s journey. People who are on the go all day are searching on their phones for what they need and want. These all represent micro-moments in their day that can be captured and used to your advantage. 91% of smartphone users seek ideas and insight when in the middle of a task, 90% don’t really know which company they want to partner with (they just know they need a particular service), and 65% look for the most relevant information to their query, regardless of the company providing the answer, according to Search Engine Watch. In a nutshell, mobile searchers are active and tend not to be brand loyal.

With A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing, we can help you be as visible as possible with “near me” searches to drive more traffic to your site. Get in touch today at (760) 227-2720 for a free SEO consultation.

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