The Importance of the ‘Near Me’ Search
The growth of the ‘near me’ search has been significant over the last several years. In fact, according to Google this way of searching has grown by more than 130% year on year. Google has said formally and informally at different points that ‘local intent’ searches account for 30, 40 and even 50 percent of mobile queries. Currently, the official figure from Google stands at roughly 30 percent.
Earlier this year, marketing solutions company Uberall released findings from its ‘Near Me Shopping Report’, carried out on more than 1,000 smart phone users in the US. The report found that 69% of smart phone owners use their device to help them shop. Of that group, 82% had carried out ‘near me’ searches. The survey also revealed that 60% of mobile users were “very likely” to click on the “first two to three search results they saw.”
With an increase in smart device usage that has the ability to extract and present information to you promptly with voice instructions. Smart home assistants such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home and other personal assistants such as Cortana and Siri have revolutionised both the way in which we are delivered information, as well as the way we request it. If you would like to read more about the effects voice search is having on SEO, I have explored the various factors in another blog post. Essentially, users want results that are more relevant to them, and faster.
Google is attempting to deliver this to users with a more sophisticated location tracking operation. This ultimately generates more defined location based results. For businesses, it will be more effective to try and rank for the location terms relating to the services they offer. Marketers are expecting that service-based terms will become even more competitive as algorithms could end up only providing one or two results back to the user.
In the not so distant future, it is expected that a user will ask their voice-based assistant for a ‘hairdresser near me’ for example. The response is not going to be a list of 10 different hairdressers, but instead the hairdresser it believes will be best for the user. Search engines are ultimately going to learn more about us the more we search. From the data it has on search activity, to ads clicked, to location to determine which results would suit the user best. There is no doubt that as we become more demanding for instant information that is relevant, more learning behaviours will be released by Google and its competitors.
If you are looking to develop your SEO or paid search strategy, at MAXX we have a whole team who specialise in digital communications, myself being one them. We can work with you to determine what will improve your rankings and ultimately improve conversion. Send an email to [email protected] to start the conversation.