Why You Shouldn’t Sleep on “Near Me” Searches on Google

Think back to the last time you used your phone to search for something to do or something to eat nearby – did your search include the words “near me?” Chances are that it probably did, but it is becoming more common for the phrase to be left off with mobile searches.

While Google reported that searches using “near me” or “nearby” had doubled from 2014 to 2015, they are now seeing another shift in search habits. Users are now dropping location qualifiers, such as zip codes and “near me” phrasing in their local searches, because they’ve come to realize that those results will already apply to their location. This is something that Google considers “kind of magical.”

Google Data reports that from January to June 2017, search volume for local places without the qualifier “near me” have actually outgrown comparable searches that do include “near me.” Making the case even more compelling is the fact that over the last two years, comparable searches without “near me” have grown by 150 percent.

Have we outgrown the “near me” search phrase? No, but all signs and data are pointing towards the end of needing to include the phrase when using mobile searches. Location services have made it simple for your mobile device to know exactly where you are and what is nearby without the phrase even having to be used.

Once again, think back to the last time you used a mobile device to search for something – what exactly were you searching for? According to Google Internal Data, nearly a third of all mobile searches are related to location. One area that is popular for searches are local or nearby restaurants. It is normal for searches to include the type of cuisine being sought and a zip code, but while restaurant searches have grown by double-digits in the past two years, those using a zip code qualifier have declined by more than 30 percent.

So how does this information apply to marketing? It’s simple: people want to receive the same quality and relevant information without the use of direct inputs. They may be sharing less, but are still expecting a word or phrase to produce what they’re looking for in a search. For those willing to put in the time and effort to meet these new search standards, the payoff could be big, as nearly two-thirds of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location.

MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work with your business to come up with a strategy that will make your digital presence truly shine. Contact us today to get started.