Users are increasingly turning to their phones to find local businesses.
When it comes to search, consumers are thinking local.
Search queries that contain a location qualifier such as “nearby” or “near me” have doubled in the past year, according to Google Trends data from March. Eighty percent of those searches come from mobile devices.
Google says that while a few brand names show up in near me searches, most local searches are generic—”breakfast near me,” “coffee near me” and so on.
“It seems that convenience often trumps brand loyalty in the moment,” writes Google direct of search ads marketing Matt Lawson, in a post for the company. “So, simply being there isn’t enough, brands also need to provide useful, relevant, frictionless experiences.”
Lawson goes on to say that consumers are making big decisions in small moments. “Today’s consumers are increasingly looking for things that are specific to where they are. While the most popular “near me” searches are for things you might expect—gyms, tailors, jewelers, shoe stores, furniture stores, appliances—there are some you may not. People have started to search for “dermatologists near me,” “plumbers near me,” “jobs near me”… Today, this in-depth research doesn’t require a desktop—it’s happening in stolen moments throughout the day.”