Today’s five hot trends for local search

With Google’s ‘demand’ that every website must be mobile-friendly in 2015, business owners saw several significant changes in local searches. But has this ‘demand’ helped or hurt? For the first time, mobile searches have beaten out computer searches, and the results consumers get from a Google search only give them 3 results instead of 7 results. How can you stay on top of this reduced number? Read on to see the few tips Quantus Creative has for you:

Linked: Local Data & Local Search  

By now, the importance of having your company name, address, and phone number in sync for SEO purposes is common knowledge. The slightest variations in how this information is listed can impact the search ranking results. Any company that hasn’t made sure their information is all in sync already should review their online listings today and make any corrections.

In 2016, Google started taking things further than SEO and using NAP listings for relevant local search information. This trend became especially important in 2015 with the increase in mobile searches (thanks to smartphones and other portable devices). Suppose prospective customers can’t locate your business on a smartphone on the move, or the information you have provided isn’t in sync. Make sure that your GPS and NAP are in sync. In that case, it confuses customers and sends them to your competition.

Prioritization: Google Local Search 

In 2015, Google made being mobile-ready a priority, and in 2016, they prioritized local search. Today, emphasis is placed on local search according to the Search Quality Ratings Guidelines, and business owners can control their company information with Google My Business API.

The first indication of interruption from Google’s local search was when they stopped providing business information on their social media version, Google+. And, indeed, similar disruptions are yet to come. As a business owner, staying alert with open ears and eyes for those changes is essential. By staying alert, you won’t be left behind when Google changes its priorities again.

While their algorithms were never made public by Google, you may have noticed your local search listings had changed significantly. This is a good indication that Google tweaked its formula. But how and when this was going to happen wasn’t predictable. As a business owner, you need to be focused on ensuring your NAP listings are standardized.

Payments: Mobile Wallet Is Increasing

In 2015, we saw an increase in companies utilizing store-based devices as a beacon for interacting with their customers as they got closer to their doors. Retailers are still using these methods, but the future is changing to mobile wallets.

A mobile wallet makes shopping easier for customers by storing information like their credit cards, personal identification, and shopping habits with their favorite stores. It holds any coupons and special offers they may find helpful. And mobile wallet usage isn’t through expanding! Combined with the  “near me” mobile searches with giving their customers ‘insider information’ like special deals, a big trend that started in 2016, you want to leave those old beacons behind and get on board with the mobile wallet way of doing business with your customer.

Games: Apps and the Local Marketing Game

Apps have been the focus for the past few years, “There’s an app for that!”. So, should your business have its own app? Restaurants have their own, and many of your competitors are using Periscope and Snapchat, well-established global apps, to target local customers.

The use of established apps allows large corporations to reach out to local customers, luring them to shop at a particular location. Pay attention if this trend is happening around your local businesses, and let the Quantus Creative team adapt it to your purpose, too, using Periscope or Snapchat.  

Competition: Is Google About To Be Challenged?

Undisputedly, Google is still the king for consumers searching for fitting their needs. But those others are rattling the gate to the castle like Facebook. They have already ramped up as a popular search engine to find local businesses, and with their grip and knowledge of user demographics, they are a strong contender. Facebook continues fine-tuning its search function, and many expect them to display local business information soon using queries on what to buy.

But Facebook isn’t the only contender. Apple iOS is offering another powerful local search tool with their iOS 9. This hasn’t pushed Facebook out of the picture yet, and Google is still the king, but Apple is a serious competitor that shouldn’t be dismissed.

In Closing

The trends from 2016 are still clearly in play today as society tends to become more global yet keep in trend with localization and personalization. Let Quantus Creative help you navigate these trends to get your business the most.

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