In 2007, Google reached 438 billion searches throughout the year. More recently, Google has reported processing 3.5 billion searches each day!
Because of the drastic change in consumer behavior, searching on the Internet has come a long way.
Rather than using search engines solely to answer questions, we search for directions to the nearest store. Or, we look up customer reviews for products we're considering purchasing. We even have voice assistants to help with our searches!
At this point, businesses need to ask themselves two questions: how are customers searching for my business, and are they finding it at all?
Today, we're going to answer those questions as we look at the overall change in search habits of consumers.
Hyperlocal Search Will Continue to Rise
While consumers use websites to find or engage with businesses, they still rely strongly on search engines to find your business.
We've seen a steady increase in local search over the last few years and that's not slowing down anytime soon, especially as online ordering and third-party delivery services ramp up.
Many consumers don’t even use “near me” when looking for a local business anymore, simply because they already expect their search results to be localized.
And, when they search for a local business, your location and business hours are some of the most desired results.
If that doesn't convince you of the importance of being found locally through search engines, we don't know what will.
If you're having difficulty, Google's Local Services Ads (for home services businesses) and the Facebook Local platform can help make it easier for consumers to find and interact with your business.
And, if you need any further help, we also have a dedicated local search marketing plan that can work for you!
We’re Seeing a Shift Towards Voice Search
We’ve mentioned the importance of smart speakers and optimizing your business for them. Now is the time to do so.
A large percentage of consumers use voice search every day. In fact, around 40 percent of all internet searchers in the U.S. use voice search. And, even if it’s not an everyday habit for others, at least 70 percent of people have used smart speakers or virtual assistants rather than typing to conduct searches.
So, what are consumers using voice search for?
Well, some people use voice search for just that: search!
Others, however, shop using their voice assistants. Many consumers use voice search to add items to their cart to look at later, but 43 percent of voice search consumers have used this technology to shop for products.
Voice search is not just for purchasing items. In addition to this action, 51% of online consumers utilize voice assistance to research products. Potential customers want to make an informed choice and voice search is supporting them in doing so!
Consumers Are Always Looking for Reviews
We already know that reviews can make or break your business.
That's because customers really want to know what other people think about your business. A huge majority of customers who search for local businesses read online reviews to form an opinion.
Customers are also using the search terms "to avoid" and "is __ worth it?" on Google to steer clear of poorly reviewed businesses or products. We're all guilty of buyer's remorse, so rather than continue that trend, customers are researching thoroughly to ensure that they’re completely satisfied.
So, make sure your business is up-to-date with reviews and transparent about your products and services!
Get more information about responding to every type of review that you may receive when you check out this blog.
Mobile Search Is Still Relevant
Have you ever noticed the number of people on their phones while shopping in a store?
Most likely, they're comparing prices of items online or reading reviews of products. This is nothing new and retailers like Target know this.
People would rather have the convenience and speed of searching on their mobile devices instead of using their computers.
So, where do consumers start their mobile search?
- 48 percent start on search engines
- 33 percent start on retailer websites
- 26 percent start on apps
Because mobile search spending is an increasingly growing area for business information, purchasing options and more, businesses need to optimize their websites for mobile now. Otherwise, your business will be seen as outdated and not worth visiting or buying products or services from.
Because new trends and technologies are constantly emerging, consumer behavior will never stay the same.
You must stay up-to-date with these trends, or you may miss out on reaching potential customers. Since search is just one aspect of consumer behavior that's going to change over this next year, be sure to stay tuned to our blog for new trends in consumer behavior throughout the year.
For more local search marketing resources, check out these blogs: