How Google Is Inventing A “Near Me” Future
As Google continues to invest in mobile, what does that mean for search marketers? Columnist Adam Dorfman explores how Google is paving the way for mobile location-based marketing.
In recent months, Google has made significant moves to invent the future of location marketing.
The mobile-friendly update hastened the evolution of location marketing into mobile location marketing. The launch of the Google My Business API underscored the importance of location data as the foundation of location marketing. And now, Google is inventing the future for “near me micro-moments” by autocompleting “near me” searches for both mobile and desktop users, which accelerates the customer journey at the local level.
Near Me Autocompletes
Google is encouraging the uptake of “near me” micro-moments by autocompleting our searches in both branded and non-branded categories.
Micro-moments, a term Google created, are explained as “intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey.” They occur when people start looking for things to do, places to go and things to buy, usually by doing a search on their mobile devices.
Often, consumers are looking for answers near them (e.g., “Star Wars movie times near me”). Google has made a compelling case for “near me” micro-moments through thought leadership such as a guidebook that shows how many brands have succeeded by focusing on the shift to mobile (plus tips for how you can, too).
But Google isn’t just observing micro-moments. Google is creating them. I recently tested 142 non-branded keywords, ranging from “accountants” to “X-ray clinic,” on both desktop and mobile. When I searched for those keywords in Google (using private search), over 90 percent autocompleted “near me” on desktop searches and 78 percent autocompleted “near me” on mobile.