The way people adapt technology to their needs is continually surprising.
We previously discussed the use of the search phrase "near me" as it is important information for advertisers. It implies a strong signal of intent when people are searching for something nearby.
Last year, we noticed that smartphone users were dropping location qualifiers like ZIP codes and neighborhoods from local searches. This is because they assume that the results will be automatically relevant to their location due to their device's location tracking.
As technology advances, people continue to adapt their search habits. "Near me" mobile searches that include phrases such as "can I buy" or "to buy" have grown by over 500% in the last two years.
These searches include phrases like "where can I buy stamps near me", "places to buy scrubs near me," or "where to buy vinyl records near me." This is a clear indication of purchase intent.
The meaning of "near me" has evolved beyond just finding a location. It now encompasses finding a specific item, within a specific geographical area, and during a specific time frame.
In Search of What I Need: 'Near Me' as Local SEO
It's a common fact that when searching for something to buy, we usually have a specific item in mind. We might be searching for inspiration or to compare prices. Sometimes, we know what we want but we're unsure of where to find it.
Customers now expect search technology to help them find the places near them that have what they need. This makes it easier for them to find what they want without wasting time visiting multiple stores.
Typically, "near me" searches are associated with general searches like "restaurants near me" or "gas stations near me."
However, we're seeing an increase in specific item searches such as "cowboy boots near me," "where to get a facial near me," and "tarragon near me." This shows that customers are becoming more specific and informed in their searches.
Immediate Availability: 'Near Me'
Consumers today have a growing need for immediate gratification, whether it's finding a specific item or a place to eat. They want what they need, and they want it now.
In the past, I have written about this trend of impatience. From last-minute travel plans to businesses that are "open now" and same-day shipping, people are using search engines to find immediate solutions to their needs. This trend is becoming more and more prevalent when it comes to local searches as well.
According to Google, Over the last two years, there has been a significant increase in mobile searches for:
"___ near me now" (e.g. "food near me now," "gas station near me now," "delivery near me open now") with a growth of 150% or more.
"___ near me today/tonight" (e.g. "open houses near me today," "cheap hotels near me tonight," "movies playing near me today") with a growth of 900% or more.
"Open" + "now" + "near me" (e.g. "restaurants near me open now," "stores open near me right now," "pharmacy near me open now") with a growth of 200% or more.
This data shows that consumers are becoming increasingly time-sensitive and specifically looking for items or places that are available at the moment they need them.
Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding in their expectations for finding exactly what they want, exactly when they need it.
It's likely that you have done similar searches yourself. When searching for something like "open now near me," what you want is quick access to the hours of operation, the specific location, and the available inventory, not a slow-loading website with buried information.
The challenge for marketers is to provide consumers with the information they need as quickly as possible. By doing so, they can capture their attention and potentially make a sale.
How Konoom can help businesses optimize 'Near Me' Search
Konoom is a location management platform that helps businesses optimize their online presence for "near me" searches.
By using Konoom, businesses can ensure that their information is accurate and consistent across all online directories, search engines, and maps. This makes it easier for customers to find their business when searching for something nearby.
Here are a few ways Konoom can help businesses optimize 'Near Me' search:
Listing Management: Konoom allows businesses to easily update their information, such as hours, address, and phone number, all from one central dashboard. This ensures that customers always have the most accurate information when searching for your business.
Search Engine Optimization: Konoom helps businesses to improve their visibility in local search results by optimizing their website, social media profiles and online directories for local keywords, such as the business name, address, and phone number.
Reputation Management: Konoom enables businesses to manage their online reputation by monitoring and responding to customer reviews. This helps to increase the visibility of the business and attract more customers.
Real-time analytics: Konoom provides real-time analytics, which help businesses understand how their customers are interacting with their online listings. This can give them valuable insights into how to improve their online presence and drive more customers to their business.
Mobile Optimization: Konoom provides mobile optimization and helps businesses to boost their visibility in mobile search results. This can help businesses to attract more customers who are searching for nearby businesses using their smartphones.
In summary, Konoom allows businesses to improve their online presence and optimize their 'Near Me' search, which can lead to increased visibility, more leads, and surely to more customers.