The Decline of ‘Near Me’ in Searches

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 01 Nov, 2017

How location-based searches are changing

The digital world is constantly changing. Every day, programs are updated, trends shift and Google edits its algorithms. With so many frequent changes, anyone who wants to maintain a successful online presence—like all digital marketers—has to keep up with the trends. Even the experts have to stay on top of their game if they don’t want to fall behind.

Several months ago, we published an article that explained why it’s crucial that your website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches. For example, instead of searching for “flower shop Cleveland, Ohio,” more searchers were replacing the location name with “flower shop near me.” It provided more accurate results based on the user’s physical location, rather than the broad location.

Even though the phrase ‘near me’ has been used less over the past two years , we still felt it was important for businesses to make their locations known on their website so search engines could pick up on it and show the business as a local result.

The good news is that all the information we wrote about locations being a crucial element on your website is still relevant. Google still takes your location into account when showing results for localized searches, whether the searcher types his or her location or it is implied. Therefore, it’s still just as important to specify the area(s) you serve. However, the way people are typing in those searches is starting to shift.

What’s Changing?

Location-based searches are continuing to grow, but more people are opting to search for a product or service without location indicators, while still expecting Google to provide local results.

VP of Marketing for the Americas Google, Lisa Gevelber, talks about how people now expect Google to interpret what they want.

“People increasingly assume they’ll receive relevant information with fewer explicit inputs. They expect a simple word or phrase to deliver the results they’re after when they search. In essence, people are saying ‘don’t make me exert extra effort when you should already know exactly what I want.’”

Basically, we’re relying on technology to read our minds.

Why is it Changing?

Although the amount of local searches is continuing to grow, less people are using terms like ‘near me’ or ZIP codes in their searches. Instead of searching for “flower shop near me,” people are simply searching for “flower shop.”

Why?

Searchers know Google will automatically generate results based on their location, even if they don’t indicate where they are at. Thanks to the growth of mobile devices that rely on GPS capabilities, Google doesn’t need any other location indicators to recognize where you are looking for results. And it assumes that when you search for something specific like “flower shop,” you want local results.

Mindstream Media writer Chelsea Weidauer explains this drop in location-based search terms . “While some searchers still include modifiers, the declining use of qualifiers like ZIP codes, neighborhoods and ‘near me’ shows that users now expect Google to deliver local content based on their location and assume Google knows when a search has local intent.”

Search engines are still providing localized results, knowing it’s what people want. Just because users aren’t searching with location-specific terms doesn’t mean location is any less important for businesses, or that people are no longer looking for local results.

As our phones get smarter, we get lazier and expect Google to pick up the slack—which it does, thankfully.

What Does this Mean for Businesses?

For businesses who want to make sure their websites still show up in localized searches, not much needs to change from previous digital marketing strategies. In fact, everything in our blog about ‘near me’ searches is still relevant, even though people are leaving out the words ‘near me.’

Indicating your business’s location on your website is still just as important as it has always been.

You should continue to utilize a variety of approaches in your digital marketing strategy. Adding location-based landing pages, managing local listings pages and creating localized PPC campaigns will all help increase your local presence. Customers may not be using localized search terms, but Google still recognizes your location based on these items and ranks you accordingly.

You should also make sure your website has a responsive design, making it mobile-friendly . Since most searches for local businesses are performed on mobile devices, your website needs to work on a mobile device, or you may drive visitors away .

Although the way  people are searching for local businesses has changed, what  they want has stayed the same. The importance of optimizing your website locally is just as important as ever to a successfully ranking website.

Keep it Local

The more technologically advanced we become, the more we expect maximum results from minimum effort, and this trend is a testament to that. What hasn’t changed, though, is that business owners need to focus on localized content for Google to recognize their location and list them as a result when people are searching for nearby services like theirs.

The shift we saw in implied local searches shows how quickly things change, even if it’s just a change in how we arrive at the same destination. As long as the Internet is still a widely-used medium, we’ll continue to stay on top of these trends, learning how we can adapt with them.

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 17 Nov, 2017

If you’ve ever read content on the Internet—a blog, product pages on Amazon, instructions on how to tie a tie—you know that visuals are essential to keeping you on the page.

So as the manager of your website, you realize just how important images are to keeping your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to offer. For product- or service-based businesses in particular, quality images can be the difference in total success or total failure of your site.

But did you know that images can do a lot more for your webpage than just supplement your content?

That’s right. Your images, just like your content, can be optimized for SEO benefits, making them more search-engine friendly. Optimizing your images for SEO benefits will give your page an added boost by including more keywords and giving Google more content to rank in searches.

By Jackie Petre 10 Nov, 2017

Getting customers to leave you reviews is one of the most important marketing strategies you can use. You know it. We know it. Let’s move forward.

Many businesses have reviews all over the Internet, from Yelp to Facebook and everything in between. But what’s the point of having an abundance of solid reviews if potential customers aren’t seeing them at the right time—when they’re on your site looking at your services? We fully believe that all business owners should display their reviews on their website in a way that proves your reviews are legitimate.

Our solution: an online review presenter.

By Jackie Petre 01 Nov, 2017

The digital world is constantly changing. Every day, programs are updated, trends shift and Google edits its algorithms. With so many frequent changes, anyone who wants to maintain a successful online presence—like all digital marketers—has to keep up with the trends. Even the experts have to stay on top of their game if they don’t want to fall behind.

Several months ago, we published an article that explained why it’s crucial that your website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches. For example, instead of searching for “flower shop Cleveland, Ohio,” more searchers were replacing the location name with “flower shop near me.” It provided more accurate results based on the user’s physical location, rather than the broad location.

By Jackie Petre 27 Oct, 2017

A lot of people fixate on being the number one result on Google. It’s easy to understand why; those number one results are often the first links we click on when doing a search. After all, Google puts those results at the top of the page for a reason, right?

Many times, Internet marketing performance is solely judged by rankings and how high you can get on Google. But contrary to belief, this is not the best way to measure your return on investment. There are other metrics that will tell you way more about the success of your campaign’s performance than just the average position.

By Jackie Petre 18 Oct, 2017

We’ve discussed how important it is to have reviews of your business on your website, and you know that reviews can have a positive effect on your business. But the more difficult part is figuring out how to get clients to leave reviews in the first place. Where do you start? How do you get people to only leave positive reviews? It might seem like a tricky business—and we’ll admit, there is a formula to it—but getting clients to write reviews isn’t as hard as it sounds.

Here are five easy steps you can follow to motivate your clients to leave a review of your business.

By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

When making any important decision, it’s important to weigh your options. In the case of creating a new website, the advantages that come with each option can be a major determinant in which website platform you decide to go with. In our two recent blogs detailing the Locallogy Rapid Platform , we’ve covered what exactly the service is and the functional features that you have access to as a user. Now, we want to tell you about the advantages to using our website platform.

In addition to having a cost-effective, customized website built by our team of professionals, you’ll experience a number of management advantages that help your website run faster, safer and smarter.
By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

We recently unveiled the Locallogy Rapid Platform , our newest web building service that allows you to have a cost-effective website created for you by our team of digital marketing experts. It’s the best way for your small business to quickly get a customized website without paying top dollar to have your site maintained by the professionals who are creating your site.

So how do we offer such a quality service for a low monthly price? We’ve built in a variety of great features that let you directly manage your website so you can quickly and easily make edits without crashing your own website.

Once your website is up and running, there are a number of helpful features that make editing and using your site easier on both the backend (what you can edit) and frontend (what visitors will see). From choosing your own color scheme to previewing capabilities, these features work together to create a flawless user experience.

These features all boil down to three specific functions that are crucial for any website platform: customization, usability and responsiveness .

By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

When it comes to building a website for your business, you typically have two options: invest in a high-end, custom-built website made by digital marketing experts, or go with the cheaper option by using a content management system like WordPress or Wix to personally manage your site on a template platform.

For some businesses, a website fully designed from scratch is the best option. It gives the business owner the ability to customize every last detail, down to the coding on each page. For others who don’t need a complex site, a simple CMS that allows content to be easily managed will suffice. But for many businesses, neither of these options are exactly what their looking for, which is something in the middle. Something that allows for a customized website built by professionals at a fraction of the cost of a full website design.

Something like the Locallogy Rapid Platform.

By Jackie Petre 26 Sep, 2017

Video content is taking over the Internet. Several years ago, the place you were most likely to find this kind of content was YouTube, where you could look up any kind of funny, instructional or music video imaginable. Today, you can find Internet videos everywhere you look: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and news network websites. And according to data, it’s a trend that’s not going away.

In a recent visual networking report done by Cisco , it is estimated that global “video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016.” So it’s no surprise that businesses have been jumping on board in an effort to keep their audiences’ attention and create content that has more share potential.

Incorporating videos onto your site might seem like something that doesn’t apply to a service-based business like yours. But visuals are a pretty powerful tool when it comes to getting (and keeping) the attention of your customers. Yes, images are crucial to a successful business website, but customized videos are a more engaging way to showcase your products or services. In fact, it’s something we use as a marketing tool for our customers.

By Jackie Petre 21 Sep, 2017

We’re all familiar with the concept of saving the best for last. But when it comes to the content on your website, your approach should be the exact opposite. You may not realize it, but the order of your content often determines the rate of conversion your website sees. This concept is known as content hierarchy. Whether you’re a business owner who is creating services pages on your website or you’re just running a personal blog on the Internet, content hierarchy is something that affects the success rate of your web page.

Let’s start at the beginning.

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