GOOGLE research says words such as “near me” and “closest” are becoming increasingly common as search engine queries.
The findings are more proof the world is turning to their mobile phones as a reflex action.
We all know most people would feel lost without their Smartphones. But more of them are now using them to find things in their local area.
Google this week reported that search interest in “near me” had nearly doubled since last year and had increased a whopping 3400% since 2011.
MORE: Mobile Usage Fast Facts
That’s not a typo… there are now 34 times more “near me” searches compared to four years ago.
Not surprisingly, 80% of those searches come from mobile devices.
The steep increase for “near me” is not an anomaly.
The search queries “closest” and “nearby” are also being used more and more.
“Finding a product or service nearby used to require a combination of the Yellow Pages, a paper map, and a telephone—not the most convenient solution,” Google’s marketing guru Matt Lawson wrote on the I Think With Google blog
“Thanks to the powerful devices in our pockets, we can quickly and easily find things around us. And we are, in massive numbers.
“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.”
ROI.com.au director Ewan Watt said the research further underlined how essential mobile-friendly websites were.
“We all know everyone wants things faster, this latest research just tells us what we all instinctively know,” he said.
“Local businesses not only need mobile websites, they need to connect with local users and join the dots for potential customers. Where are you located? How do you get to my business? How fast can I service customers?
“The first business that does these things gets the sale.. the mobile customer does not look any further.. Mobile is a 24/7 sales channel for local businesses and should be treated accordingly,” Ewan Watt said.
The report also says “near me” search queries are more common on weekends, when people step outside their usual workday routines and open their wallets.
“Taking a closer look at location-based searches over the course of a recent weekend, we see that on Saturdays, we are more likely to look for movie theaters and nail salons. Saturday nights are all about finding drinks and late-night pizza. Come Sunday, we are ready for church,” Matt Lawson said.
Unsure of how your website stands up to mobile or what you should do to go mobile friendly? We can help you prepare for April 21.