Near Me Searches

Near me searches have grown by over 200% in the last year according to an article published recently by Google.  Titled “Micro-Moments Now: Why ‘near me’ intent is a ‘near you’ opportunity” they bring up an interesting statistic in that searches for restaurants with postal codes are actually down, which signals that local search results are simply expected.

So, with this in mind, we wanted to investigate how this might translate into searches in the local Calgary market and if this type of trend was prominent in Alberta as well.  Based on the results we’ve found we would have to agree.  We looked at Google Trends data for Alberta for the most popular near me searches on Google and found that the most prominent queries were for “restaurants near me”.

Digging a bit further we found that in relation to the restaurant near me searches the most searched for cuisines were pizza, Indian, Chinese and breakfast.  Other interesting queries that people searched on Google were “restaurants near me open” and “best restaurants near me open”.  To see live data for the past 12 months, you can use the below graphics for both the top searches and rising searches.

Near Me Searches – Local Calgary

As a marketer that depends on data variables, I like to investigate and test macro trends with local results. I did some searches of these popular terms to see what customers may have seen when searching in Calgary.  For example, we searched “Indian restaurants near me”.  The primary result that Google shows is a map with the three locations based on proximity.  This is what is often referred to as the “local pack” and is controlled by Google.  Underneath these results would be organic search results which list a couple of restaurants and some restaurant review sites and online ordering sites.

What is missing, however, are search ads, which are reserved for the top four spots.  What this shows is that restaurants locally in Calgary are not advertising in this valuable space.  90% of clicks that happen on Google searches happen in the top four spots.

We see this as a huge missed opportunity by local restaurants for those who are searching for them.  Without being there, the restaurant is largely beholden to the positioning of their business listing on Google.

With AdWords, we can specifically target based on what postal code the search happens on which is even more important on mobile.  In addition, we can target those ads to show only when the restaurant is open, show the operational hours, directions, tap to call for reservations, daily specials as well as optimize the ads for the popular dinnertime searches.

So, if you’re a local restauranteur in Calgary I would encourage you to look at what popular search queries your customers are asking Google and then search these yourself to see what results customers may see.  Is there an opportunity to jump to the head of the search with an ad?  Where does your business listing show on Google maps?  Is there anything there that would prompt someone to call or make a reservation at your place as opposed to another?

If you need help why not contact us and we can help with a Google strategy for your restaurant.  Contact me today.

Photo by Semenov Ivan on Unsplash
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