The search trends influence any SEO strategy. If more population is searching for a particular phrase, you will benefit by achieving a higher rank for that phrase. Similarly, if a new SEO trend has become important, then you have to adjust your SEO strategy accordingly so that you can stand the maximum benefit. This theory is even the primary reason why Google is considered at the forefront of any SEO related planning as most of the population use Google than other search engines, so Google is most important to us.
The introduction of wearable technologies and mobile has had a massive impact on the Local SEO trends, and one trend above all is to catch the attention of search marketers anywhere. If you wish to gain a competitive edge over others and position your website at the top for more visibility, it is essential to check the SEO trends for ‘Near Me Searches.’
‘Near Me,’ although a tiny phrase, but has gained high momentum over the searches made in past few months. It is this small phrase that millions of searches are targeting within their search query to reach out desired results. Sometimes the researchers use it at the suggestion of Google’s expected search, but large numbers of users are finding it helpful to pursue such sorts of searches on their own. Whether it is finding a nearby salon or a restaurant in your area, ‘Near Me’ titled has gained popularity.
Important ‘Near Me Local SEO Stats’ to Consider
While we would definitely provide you an answer to why there is a massive increase in this sort of searches, first have a look at the latest SEO stats for near me searches.
• Keyword searches comprising ‘Near Me’ have doubled last year, and continue to increase in 2017.
• Numbers of people searching on mobiles have increased tremendously as compared to searches made on desktops, and as per the latest projection by 2018, use of mobile devices will overtake use of any other form of search device.
• The ‘Near Me’ search tag has hit across all devices, and the population is searching for the address, directions, and other vital info about services and products available close to their location.
• 91% of consumers confirm their buying decisions are based on online reviews. It is an essential consideration for ‘local search engine optimization’ as the ratings and reviews are showcased on Google map listings and also in organic results.
Reasons for Such a High Splurge!
Search capabilities of Google are continuously evolving
Whenever there is an ‘algorithm update’ the search marketers is first one to flinch, but there is no doubt in the fact that Google is so dedicated to enhancing its core algorithm. Google now uses artificial intelligence processes to recognize semantic clues in various types of search queries to deliver more appropriate results, recognize patterns in verbal language and most vitally, and employ geographic cues to generate end-results that are location-specific. Since these sorts of ‘proximity-based’ search results have become more advanced and more popular, it makes sense that more numbers of people would seek this option in the coming time.
Mobile Devices have become an important item for daily life
Mobile devices are no more luxury items and rather have become a basic necessity of regular lifestyle. Almost every adult across the world has a mobile phone, and most of them have a smartphone, and they use them to a good extent. Mobile devices being handy and compact tend to be used more for conducting searches based on logical impulsive desires or the need for instant information when one is on the way. The reason that more numbers of people carry around cell phones implies that the total number of expected proximity-based ‘near me’ searches have increased and would increase respectively.
The Way Internet is being used is Transforming
In the past, access to the Internet was possible only at a specific location, but with Wi-Fi connections and mobile networks, it has now become possible to use internet from anywhere and even when you are moving. Now there is rarely a stance when we do not have easy access to the Internet connection, no matter in which place of the world we are. The internet has become an integral part of our life, and we tend to browse it at any time of the day. We are using it for fewer thought desires and one that needs instant results or points of reference. The demanding lifestyle has made the ‘near me’ searches a major necessity for the majority of the population.
‘Near Me Searches’ – Importance for the Future
Entrenchment of the internet in the virtual world has increased massively, and so does the SEO trends! While there was a time when just placing the right keywords was sufficient to avail relevant search results, now, you have to pay focus to your physical location as it would create an impact on how you appear on the search pages.
Local searches were always on priority, but now it is the ‘near me’ searches that would offer you with more accurate proximity-based functionality. If you are not in a location where individuals are searching for your sort of business, you will eventually get less online visibility and less volume of traffic. Also, Google will come into action and may intervene in the services or products you are offering. So you can win only if you are close to results suited to the near me searches.
As predicted by experts, the future of search would be more dynamic as it would continue to evolve and serve the changing needs of the modern users. ‘Near me’ searches are the end-results of two major trends, which would likely stay indefinitely.
1. Use of internet would become even more intuitive in the future era.
2. There will still be a blurring line between the digital and real world. Wearable devices such as smart watches, earphones, are enhancing such trends with hardware, while the personal digital assistants, such as Siri, would advance such trends with algorithms and software.
So if you wish to retain or enhance your business’s online visibility, then you have to practice hard and prepare for this, no matter how complex it sounds. You need to optimize the presence of your website to cater multiple mediums and ensure all your data, including location, services, and other details are evident on third-party resources. As mobile device users and Google searches would continue to evolve, we present to you some Local SEO Trends that can help you optimize your site in this tricky race.
Local SEO Trends to Optimize Website for ‘Near Me’ Searches
1. Using Google AdWords Location Extensions
Google has already introduced a novel unit into its mobile-based searches that largely impacts the location-based searches. When people conduct searches using their mobile phone and including the term ‘nearby,’ then there are a couple of entries displayed by the ad unit. You can use Google AdWords location extensions to stand maximum benefit from the ad format. These location extensions will display your company details like phone number, address and even a map marking your precise location with your AdWords text. Searches made on mobile also use directional links to your business and a click-to-call feature. As per the prevailing stats, ads with location extensions witness a 10% increase in click-through rates.
2. Being Mobile-Friendly
Google now focuses more on searches made through mobile phone rather than from desktops, and this implies that you need to create a website platform that is not just user-friendly but is also mobile-friendly. Consumers are impatient! So if your website is not able to display relevant information on the mobile device, then the mobile searches will click away.
3. Optimizing Website for Local Search
It might not be that easy as it means placing NAP on every single page. It also comprises elements like special offers, hours of operation, discount schemes, reviews, customer ratings and consolidated list of services and products. The same is true for preparing location pages like review sites and directories. So it is time to focus on the local search.
4. Ensuring Website Holds Accurate and Up-to-date Business Data
Inaccurate information can cost lots of trouble to your local business, so make sure it is up-to-date and accurate on your website, apps, and directories. You may use directory listing service to send updated data on a variety of sources in just one go. Besides maintaining accuracy, make sure to enhance listings where possible by including photos, customer reviews, menus, working hours and discount coupons.
5. Creating a Strong Presence on Mobile Apps
According to latest studies, almost 87% of the smartphone time is spent on mobile apps, so it is for sure that if you want to win the race, then you have to create a strong presence through mobile apps. You can do this by:
Using ad networks for in-app advertising
Creating a business app using quality services like ShoutEm or Como
Verify your directory listings as numerous sites have apps linked to them
Advertising on Facebook under the ad unit section known as ‘local awareness ads’ that boost hyper-local targeting of potential clients who are close to your business location
Active participation in varied social networks, most of which are linked to mobiles like Foursquare and Instagram
6. Claim as well as Verify your Business Directory Listings
As per a report introduced recently, consumers prefer to find basic information about business, like a telephone number, timings, address and more, on online yellow pages and expect to find directions and maps on a local search site. This might be one major reason that yellow pages websites have the maximum share of searches for sole businesses. This directs to the importance of not just claiming, but even verifying your business listing on all sorts of directors, such as Google My Business, Yelp, CitySearch, Yp.com, and others.
7. Obtaining more numbers of Google Reviews
Positive reviews from customers can deliver you with increase chances of getting included in the top search engine rankings. Also, positive reviews can greatly influence the emotional content of potential customers.
8. Curating content that is relevant to customer’s needs
Customers searching with ‘near me’ approach expect more instant answers to their searches. They might conduct a search either to analyze their buying decision or to get familiar with the functionality of a product and to solve their problem. Creating content that is relevant and that could well address the needs can directly impact the buying decisions. You must, therefore, create content that delivers quality information and at the same time includes correct keywords in the posts.
9. Including structured data in the mobile version of your site
It is required not just because Google will ultimately use mobile-based indexing and these normally don’t have schema instigated, but also because structured data is one the basic tools Google employs for comprehending the meaning of a web-based document. In addition to this, Google is using push cards for mobile search, somehow substituting the planning employed in the past with quality snippets.
10. Look for Local Citations
Citations are small mentions of your business on other websites, like review sites, press releases, directories, blogs, and more that deliver authority to your website. You must attempt to capture as many as possible.
An avid learner and online marketing Expert @ITXITPro, a company that provides quality services of Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Campaigning. I am in the industry of Internet Marketing for 5+ years and specialize in Digital Marketing. You can find me on Twitter (@neerajgupta968).
I am an author for several major SEO publications, like as SocialPositives.com and BloggersBook.com.