What are micro-moments? Google has defined them as the everyday digital search queries submitted by consumers (e.g., the “how do I,” “where can I find,” “I want to buy,” or “I want to do” queries). Why are these so important to digital marketers? Although small in nature, these interactions are a critical point in either beginning or continuing the customer journey and interaction with your brand. According to Google, 82% of smartphone users consult their smartphone when researching an upcoming purchase. If your brand does not appear front and center in the results of these searches, you could be losing business to competitors.
A rapidly growing subset of these micro-moments is “near me” searches. Over the past year, “near me” searches have doubled due to the rapid adoption of local searches and voice search (see chart below).
The automotive industry, in particular, has been drastically affected by these searches. In the past year, search interest for “car dealerships near me” has doubled. According to Google, interest in dealer phone numbers from these searches has risen nearly 80% year over year. It’s important for marketers at both the dealer level and at the OEM tier to take advantage of this opportunity, provide phone numbers, and enable customers to easily call them. This is accomplished by using call extensions in search ads and Google’s new automotive ads with location extensions.
How Can You Optimize for “Near Me” Searches?
Google My Business
This is especially important for businesses with multiple locations in a smaller geographic area. Each location should have its own Google My Business listing and be fully optimized with accurate name, address, and phone number information. Try to make each listing as actionable as possible by adding a variety of secondary information such as photos, sitelinks, and more.
Be sure that your website frequently displays your business’ correct name, address, and phone number. These parameters should match your Google My Business account information and other secondary listings that Google uses to confirm accuracy.
Acquire More Local Links
By partnering with local events and other businesses, additional links to your business can be created on their websites which make a strong impression on your Google SERP rankings.
Reviews play a major part in Google’s algorithm for local search rankings. To appear more often in “near me” searches, I highly recommend acquiring as many as possible. You can even offer people incentives for completing them if necessary.
Not only is it important to provide an easy means of contacting your business from the SERP, but it’s also essential to track them back to your digital marketing efforts, especially when customers call from their smartphones.
Download our guide and learn more about recent enhancements to click-to-call from mobile search.