Never has the saying ‘a world of information at our fingertips’ ever been more true. Gone are the days where we find local information by typing in your address, town or even city. And could you imagine the youth of today using the Yellow Pages or a good old-fashioned A to Z paper map?
Now, if you’re looking for restaurants, bars, shops or practically anything nearby, Google can use your exact location to find those closest to you. The wonderful ‘near me’ function is appeasing our laziness and improving user experience for all.
Local Convenience in Facts and Figures
According to Google, searches containing a location qualifier have doubled in the past year, and 80% of these searches came from mobile devices.
- ‘Nearby’, ‘closest’ and ‘near me’ are taking over the world, so it’s no surprise that they now frequently appear as part of auto-suggest.
- Google states 69% of consumers expect businesses to be within five miles of their location.
- It also reveals that 89% of people search for a local business on their smartphone once a week or more, with 58% searching at least daily.
- Search Engine Watch recently reported that 50% of local smartphone searchers visit a store within 24 hours. And 18% of searches lead to a purchase within a day.
Searches containing ‘near me’
Searches containing ‘nearby’
Searches containing ‘closest’
Unsurprisingly, Saturday night appears the most likely time people search for local restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars. Whereas during Saturday daytime, searches for retail shops are more likely, and Sunday is dominated by searches for requests for services, such as doctors or dentists, that would usually be closed.
So, What Does This Mean?
Google’s Small Business blog says ‘more searches happen on mobile than on desktop computers’ and that ‘32% of consumers say that location-based search ads have led them to visit a store or make a purchase.’ Therefore, local ads and listings are more important than ever for small businesses.
If a person is searching ‘nearby, ‘near me’ or ‘closest’ from a mobile device, it is extremely likely that they will be heading to the chosen location very soon… if not immediately.
The Next Steps for Digital Marketers and Brands?
Improve User Experience with Live Inventory Info
Customers want more. And perhaps, not so lucky for your workload, the customer is always right. So, what exactly do they want? Well, in a December 2014 Google AdWords blog post it was revealed that 74% of shoppers would like to see how much inventory a store has.
Some stores, such as Topshop, have already started doing this …
The Crux of the Situation
We’re passionate about all aspects of SEO and could talk for hours about the vast possibilities there are for businesses big and small on a local scale. Check out how we helped Benefit Cosmetics enhance their local SEO to attract more people to their stores.
In the meantime, if you have a question at the tip of your tongue that you need sorting yesterday, get in contact with us here.