Once businesses began to notice the popularity of including the keywords “near me” in Google searches, they started add those words into their own site. For instance, a South American restaurant might title their page “empanadas near me.” Needless to say, that is a fruitless way to try to appear in “near me” searches. The core of the problem with this is that it’s irrelevant in ranking in “near me” searches and perhaps most importantly, it’s massively confusing to the customer. In fact, when trying to get the most out of “near me” searches, having a streamlined and easy to use mobile site is actually one of the most effective practices you should have in place.
Near Me searches are soaring
A survey conducted by Uberall really revved up the momentum behind optimizing mobile sites for local shopping searches. Released in late August, the data suggests that 69% of smartphone owners use their phones to shop on the go. Of that group, 82% used the keywords “near me” intentionally.
It’s not new news, research has pointed to the incredible growth of these types of searches for a few years. In fact, “near me” searches, with keywords ‘to buy’ have increased 500% in the past two years. That sort of growth is paradigm shifting.
Millennials chart the course
Of course, as with most technology habits, Millenials are charting the course of our journey. In terms of devices and the ways that they use the internet, smartphones are their primary tool. This extends beyond those 23-37-year-old, it’s the same for folks all the way up to 50.
What we can expect is for this habit to continue its path skyward. The “near me” shopping search, or as what Google has called it, “local intent,” constitutes around 30% of searches. For now, that is.
What does it mean for mobile?
This trend is huge. It’s really just the best sort of news a local business can get. It means that local customers are likely to be searching for you. And when you pop up as an option, you want to be the first option to pop up — the Uberall study found that 90% of users click the first link. The importance of keeping a living SEO strategy that is well executed remains crucial.
But that’s not the end of the story. The dominance of “near me” searches with an intent to buy further highlights the importance of having a mobile site. And not just any mobile site. It has to be clean, well designed, concise, fast loading and easy to navigate. It’s no small order!
Patience isn’t on the vocab list
The pressure to maintain a high level mobile site speaks to the way people are changing the way they shop. What we’re seeing is less planning done in advance. People are using their mobile device and the internet to fulfill on the go needs.
Our attention span is declining and we as a society have less patience when accessing information. We already know that users will leave a site if it takes more than a few seconds to load. All of this means your mobile site should be super user friendly and get people directly to where they want to be.
Specificity rules the game
People’s “near me” searches have also become much more focused. Rather than a general “food near me” the language is changing to “tacos near me.” Similarly, with non-food products, a previous search for “shoe stores near me” would now be “cowboy boots to buy near me.” The intent and specificity has become much more narrow, giving the retailer more responsibility in creating a mobile site that quickly answers these questions, so that they can get the prospective customer into their store.
How to appear in near me searches
At the very least, this means that business locations, hours and ratings need to be regularly monitored and updated. Because mobile searches show businesses closest to the customer doing the search that are open at the time of the search and highly rated, these things matter more. Having old or narrow business hours on your Google listing is like telling someone not to shop with you. This is akin to having your store open, the lights on, and employees inside at the ready to be of assistance…and then not unlocking the door for the customer outside.
Leave it to AuDSEO
You don’t have to search for “SEO help near me” because at AuDSEO, we’re constantly keeping every aspect of SEO in mind so that you don’t have to. Let us take care of all your SEO marketing needs while you attend to the important work of providing the best hearing health care.