"Near Me" Searches Help Consumers Decide What They Need and Where to Get It

By: Tehsin Daya, VP of Business Development, North America

Search queries that include “near me” have been growing rapidly in the last few years, making it a crucial keyword for your clients to target — whether big or small. A recent Think with Google post detailed how “near me” searches not only lead consumers where they want to go, but also help them decide on the goods and services they want in the first place. Search users are becoming more open to discovering new ideas, new products, and new locations.

According to a recent survey by Uberall, mobile “near me” searches have risen by 200%. Mobile search users are prioritizing proximity over brand loyalty, opting for what is closest to them, and 60% of survey respondents said they click on the first thing they see. The survey also explored that food-related “near me” searches are the most popular by far, which is no surprise to anyone who’s been a hungry traveler! Let’s take a deeper look at the ways that “near me” searches are changing, and why it’s more important than ever for you to orient your clients on these new trends.

Specificity in Search Queries

“Near me” searches are usually associated with general business terms like “supermarkets near me” or “gas stations near me.” However, it turns out that more specific local searches are on the rise, such as “best chocolate ice cream near me” or “sweater vest outlet near me.” This means that your clients can appeal to consumers in a more refined way, targeting very specific search queries. By carving out a search niche with terms that precisely cater to (and influence) the consumer’s desires, your clients can make a more direct connection with prospective customers.

This is an encouraging development for both your large and small clients, and even boutique or specialty businesses. When someone searches for “best apple pie near me,” they’re more likely to find that specialty pie shop than if they were to search “dessert near me” and be directed to a diner-style chain restaurant. Doing a single thing exceptionally well has been the backbone of countless businesses, and search user behavior is changing in a way that makes finding these types of companies easier and more efficient — optimizing the efforts you are making with their local marketing, and driving more business their way.

The Growth of Immediacy

Time is of the essence when it comes to mobile searches. There’s been a dramatic increase of the use of time-related words like “now” and “today” in search queries. Consumers want immediate gratification, including phrases like “open now” or “same day shipping” to ensure that their needs are met as soon as possible. Your clients will want to take advantage of this emphasis on “now” by keeping listings updated, promoting business hours and quick shipping offers, and optimizing content for these time- and place-related keywords.

Facebook Is Local, Too

Google isn’t alone in its drive for the “near me” market. Facebook has also entered the fray, using its Places algorithm to serve users local suggestions and sharpening the accuracy of its location-based services. The new City Guides feature provides travel ideas that are catered to tourists and connects them with local businesses. Though fewer people type “near me” searches into Facebook’s search function than with Google, on Facebook the “near me” is implied, and users are served up with advertisements and search results specifically catered to their location. For more information on how to optimize your business for Facebook’s local features, check out this blog post from Uberall.

Dominating “Near Me” Searches

Uberall brought the question of local search dominance to SMX East, the largest search engine conference in the world. The result was a list of suggestions that can help businesses improve search engine relevance, wherever they are. The goal is more foot traffic to client storefronts, whether it comes from Google My Business posts, Facebook Places results, or Waze navigation ads. By utilizing all of the available listing services, location marketing can optimize client brand visibility on a local level, but with a global perspective.

As you can see, search is changing. Now, mobile users are counting on search results to tell them where to go in the moment. Uberall is committed to understanding the evolution of mobile search so that your can help your clients stay relevant and reach new consumers. Our Location Marketing Cloud makes it easy to manage multi-site business information, all from a centralized platform. This means more local traffic across your entire business enterprise, and additional recurring revenue for you. When it comes to connecting the dots between prospective consumers and client sales, Uberall has the tools to help you make it happen.