Mobile location matters

Recent trends in Google searches showcase why it is essential for businesses to list their location on Google Maps.

Let me show you directly: grab your phone.

Next, open your browser, go to Google’s home page, and search “hair salons near me”.

What are the first results that show up? Probably a Google Maps search of nearby hair salons.

People are adapting to mobile searches by using their phones to find nearby services. Smartphone users, which is pretty much all of us, are no longer typing location indicators and keywords in their searches such as zip codes, cities, and streets. Instead, they make their phone’s location settings do the heavy lifting. Location settings are essentially the new location keywords.

New Google data shows that mobile searches with the keywords “near me”, paired with “can I buy” or “to buy”, grew by 500+ percent from 2015 to 2017. These numbers will continue to climb.

New Google data shows that mobile searches with the keywords “near me”, paired with “can I buy” or “to buy”, grew by 500+ percent from 2015 to 2017. These numbers will continue to climb. Click to Tweet

As our online patience dwindles, users are expecting quick and correct content in shorter amounts of time. People are becoming less and less likely to try additional searches, meaning that it’s becoming increasingly vital for businesses and marketers to get it right on a user’s first search.

These trends also highlight the dire need for a fast, effective, and easy-to-navigate mobile site. Users want fast and correct answers. Not just fast in the number of searches needed to find content, but load speed too. The longer your website loads, the less likely users are to stay on it. In addition, users are even more likely to exit your website if it’s not easy to navigate on their mobile device since that’s what they’re most likely searching from.

This is a great opportunity to capitalize on a relatively new trend. If users receive the quick answers they’re looking for, they will reward you.

Any business that provides quick services should aim to capitalize on this growing trend in Google searches. Businesses such as towing services, restaurants, any business that deliver goods, movie theaters, hardware stores, auto repair shops, etc., must take note.

Google’s data also showed a 200+ percent increase in mobile search for “open now” type searches and a 900+ percent growth in mobile searches for “near me today/tonight.” So in addition to location information, providing business hours to Google is vital as well. Users are less likely to visit your business if a competing company’s hours are listed directly next to your link. Why would they take a chance on a business that might not be open if they can drive a few extra blocks to the store they know is?

A great way to capitalize on this, especially for service providers, is to follow your own trends throughout the years. Marketing via location services is certain to help hotels during the holidays, or repair shops during the winter months.

Moral of the story: provide as much information as you can to Google.

How to add your location to Google

Follow this link to Google Business:

Enter the name and address of your business in the search box

Click “add your business” and provide as much information as you can. Remember, doing the research for the Google searchers is rewarding-. Plus, you only have to do it once.

Verify your business.

Wait Google to send you a postcard with the verification PIN and further instructions. This should take roughly 1 to 2 weeks.

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