Search is changing. Brands now have the chance to develop an ongoing narrative with audiences in ways that were previously not possible. One example of this is through voice technology. In this blog post, I will step through why it is important for some brands to have a local search strategy in place to capitalise on the potential that voice can offer.
So, does local search influence offline behaviour?
Search Engine Land found that 76 percent of consumers, who searched for local information, go on to visit that business within a day. Therefore, it is of no surprise that Forrester estimates that mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion locally-based sales. This figure is only expected to increase, considering 76% of 18-34 were most likely to have performed a local search
“People [now] know that the results will automatically be relevant to their location — thanks to their phone,” writes Google’s Lisa Gevelber. “It’s kind of magical.”
Searches are becoming location-specific, with Hubspot estimating that 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information. This is because users are becoming use to finding the right answers regularly, entrenching it into their daily routines.
That’s why it is fundamental to make sure that your site is optimised for local SEO.
Are people using voice search when on the go?
BrightLocal ran an analysis into local voice search where they found that 46% of voice searches were for local businesses. The most common request was to make reservations or to find out what products or services a business offers. Users finding an answer which satisfies their voice search query has led to a sharp increase of users returning to voice-activated searches, relying on it whilst on the move.
How do people find local businesses on mobile?
Local businesses are found through the use of terms such as ‘near me’ and semantically-related terms. That said, when compared to other search queries, “near me” queries constitute a relatively small part of local search volume in comparison to branded search. However, these searches are clear signals of local intent.
When this is combined with Google’sfinding that every month people visit 1.5 billion destinations related to a voice search, these searches represent high-quality traffic for businesses targeting locally.
Conclusion: how can we better position brands to achieve this?
The success of voice is based on meeting a demand, rather than providing a novel function. This is encapsulated in local voice searches. A great example: the most common purpose that adults use voice search is to get directions. This shows that local voice has real-world consequences for local businesses. Voice search is a growing trend and will continue to gain traction with improved output, and may be the key to driving reviving the High Street by driving footfall offline.