May 1, 2015

A Convenient Truth: Google Local Search Surges

A blue pushpin sticking into a map of Washington D.C.

By Lauren C.

Quick and Easy Wins the Race

We live in an age of incredible convenience. No longer do we need to send signed documents and contracts through the mail, nor do we need to ship real photos to a loved one in another part of the country. Each of these actions can be completed within minutes by attaching files or pictures to an email and clicking send. Not only that, but you can even text those files from your smartphone or other mobile device.

Considering our modern day approach to retrieving and sending information in a way that is most convenient to us, it comes as no surprise that Google searches with the words “near me” have surged 34 times since 2011, according to a report by USA Today. Furthermore, since last year alone, local searches have actually doubled. These are stunning statistics, but what do they actually imply?

Mobilegeddon Makes Sense

According to the study, a whopping 80% of all local “near me” searches come from mobile devices. Google’s recent algorithm update that targets non-mobile friendly websites was considered harsh by many critics. However, given this statistic, Google’s targeting of non-mobile friendly entities makes perfect sense. With the overwhelming increase in local search through mobile devices, it seems likely that Google would accommodate those 80% of users.

It isn’t just Google making a fuss about making all content mobile-friendly, businesses big and small should want this shift to happen, too.  Statistics state that mobile-based payments are expected to surge to $142 billion by 2019. In turn, vendors should do everything they can to convince small businesses who don’t accept mobile payments to start doing so.

Most large companies and corporations already accept payments through mobile device, but smaller businesses often don’t have the resources to take this approach. However, considering the local search surge, the increase in mobile phone use, and rising amount of payments made through mobile devices-there’s never been a better time for small businesses to change how they let customers pay their bills.

When They Find it, They Will Come

The local search surge study also found that those who find what they need through local search- usually end up going to the company’s actual establishment, and buying something. In fact, nearly half of consumers, including 60% of millennials who search for a restaurant end up going within an hour. 18% of those who look for a local store will make an in-store purchase that same day.

Google also emphasizes that local searches increase when people are on the road, especially during the weekends. We will ignore the fact that people are probably breaking the law while doing a search query while driving, and consider that people are already in their cars and ready to go somewhere after they make that search. This means that their chances of arriving at their “near me” search online is more likely than not!

Go Mobile, Optimize Local, and Get Your Keywords Down Pat

If your business wants to be found on Google Maps and local search, take heed of the important information at hand. Follow the latest algorithm updates, including Mobilegeddon. Start using specific keywords to optimize local search results so users can find you. The keywords should clearly describe your business and avoid broad generalizations. Finally, read and study the trends and statistics in local search on a frequent basis, including Tek Shouts!, and update your business marketing plan accordingly. Good luck, brave business owners!

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