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Is it worth using the phrase 'near me' in my SEO efforts?

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I asked internet marketing guru and SEO expert, Bill Douglass, of The Web Wise Guys, the question: "Is it worth using the phrase 'near me' in my SEO efforts?" His response:

The optimization for 'near me' is no different than the overall optimization for local search. It's doing the things we already do to clarify where a business is located. If Google knows where the business is located and is generally well optimized for local search, Google will display the business to people that are near it.

Google has gotten really smart and we really don't optimize for individual keywords these days. We want to optimize so we know Google can easily determine what the company does. When Google understands what the service or product is, Google also knows all the keywords that apply to the company. We don't need to have all of the keywords on the website or optimized.

These days reviews and content that illustrate the quality of the business and the knowledge of the people are the factors that count most. This is why there is a focus on quality inbound links, reviews, video, articles, blogs, press releases, increasing website traffic, directory citations, time on the website, number of pages visited in a session, bounce rates, returning visitors, etc. These things help the search engine evaluate the quality of the business. A quality business that tells its story well gets to the top of the search results. This is why it can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money to fully develop and implement the company's story.

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