The Importance of ‘Near Me’ Mobile Searches for Small Businesses

July 13, 2021

When you’re marketing a local business, optimizing for mobile devices is key. These days, people spend much more time on their smartphones than they do on their computers—which means they’re doing their internet searches on mobile, too. Mobile devices take a user’s location into consideration whenever they search, particularly with the local pack and Google Map results, making “near me” searches that seek hyperlocal results increasingly common.

“Near Me” Searches Become the Norm for Local Businesses

In 2017, Think With Google found that local searches using the qualifier “near me” had grown 150%, much faster than comparable searches without that phrase. This tells us that when people are searching for these businesses, they want to see a list of results closest to their current location.

More recently, Think With Google data is showing that users are getting even more specific with these types of searches, now adding terms like “where to buy” and “on sale,” in addition to the “near me” qualifier. This knowledge should shape how you perform local SEO for your business.

Near Me: Now Hyperlocal

These days, when people pick up their smartphones to search for a business, product, or service “near me,” they’re delivered results that aren’t just in their town, but perhaps in the neighborhood where they’re conducting their search. 

On Nextdoor, users enter their addresses in order to use the site; they are connected with the relevant neighborhood, then they are asked to add a recommendation before searching for a (hyper-)local business.

Results for these Nextdoor searches are hyperlocal to the user’s designated neighborhood. When AdviceLocal set up a test account and searched a business that was outside of its neighborhood, they were unable to see the business in their search results—only businesses within the neighborhood were displayed.

We anticipate that hyperlocal is where search is headed over the next several years, and we’re seeing an increasing number of online businesses set up in such a way, from news websites like BubbleLife, to food delivery apps. Now is the time to claim your business listing in Nextdoor, if you haven’t already, and stay up-to-date on new hyperlocal opportunities for your business.

Facebook Neighborhoods: A Hyperlocal Concept

In May 2021, Facebook announced testing of its Facebook Neighborhoods in Canada. 

Conceptualized as a competitor to Nextdoor, Facebook Neighborhoods allows neighbors to connect and make recommendations. Popular features like polling will be integrated into these Neighborhood communities, allowing residents to vote for their favorite hyperlocal businesses, services, and places.

Should Facebook Neighborhoods be introduced in the U.S., it will be important to claim your business listing and take advantage of other features offered by the service.

Learn More About Local and Hyperlocal Search

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the move to hyperlocal and the increasing demands of local search for your business, Let It Be Local can help. Contact us today to learn more about our local SEO services and how we can help you stay ahead of the competition.

(Image credit: AdviceLocal.com)

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