The results from search engine queries are ever evolving and present a far more intelligent and personalised response than ever before. This is thanks to the demands of users. There is no longer any need to type in a long question and scroll through a long list of potential options; users now search using their voice and expect search engines to know what they’re looking for after just one or two words.
Near Me Searches
The increase in ‘near me’ queries has risen out of this trend, with a 130% year on year increase in these types of searches being reported by Google.
88% of ‘near me’ searches come through mobile devices and it’s no surprise, considering our ever-increasing reliance on smartphones and electronic assistants. These devices already know our location – even when we don’t – so ‘near me’ searches can be produced almost instantaneously.
The rise in voice searches also lends itself well to these types of queries, with no requirement to specifically name a place. As an extension, ‘near me open late tonight’ searches have increased 10 times on mobile in recent years. With a trend towards less conventional working patterns and 24/7 online shopping, consumers no longer want to wait for traditional opening hours and businesses would be wise to offer extended shopping times where possible.
Where to Buy Searches
‘Where to buy’ searches have also seen an increase, with a report from Think With Google stating that they grew on mobile search by 85% in the years 2015 to 2017.
In a similar vein to the rise in ‘near me’ searches, users want quick search results without having to type in an advanced query and the trend increases at peak shopping times during the year, such as Christmas, Halloween and Easter.
With the abundance of choice in stores and on online, shoppers are ever more impatient. They don’t want to be spending hours researching where it is best to buy what they have chosen and if you can be at the top of a quick, effective search for where to buy your premium products, you will see a great advantage.
What does this mean for SEO?
From an SEO perspective, the rise in ‘near me’ and ‘where to buy’ searches cannot be ignored.
There are two key points that should be considered. Firstly, ensuring that your locations are adequately referenced on your website so that their data appears correctly in local search. Then, making sure that location keywords for your relevant locations are included within the page title text and also on the page.
This will support ranking for the combination of that particular location and the services offered.
Additionally, concentrating on service-based terms will hedge against future algorithm advancements, where results will be further fine-tuned. ‘Near me’ could also be included as a keyword in any AdWords campaigns to capitalise on the popularity of these searches.
Although online retail is booming, consumers still favour real-life locations for certain products and services, especially to gain the personalised experience of shopping with a luxury brand. It is vitally important to concentrate on the online nature of your physical locations, to cover both angles and maintain a competitive advantage. It is not enough for actual stores to look sensational, their online location data should be just as appealing and accessible.
If you need any advice on optimising your SEO strategy to adopt these changes, we can help! Please get in touch with us at email@example.com.