Local search marketers have strong feelings about the different trends happening and how they are affecting local search today, and how it will be presented in the future. Greg Sterling, VP of Insights at Local Search Association, explores this topic in his keynote at Rocks Digital 2017. Keep reading for the highlights.
We are continuing to see a decline in the use of desktop computers and an increase in the use of mobile devices when people are searching for something within their local area.
1. Marriage of Online + Offline
There are more and more technologies and various things that are working to bring the online world together with the offline world. For instance, many online technologies are being designed so that you still get a benefit from visiting an offline retailer.
2. Location Intelligence
Many apps and programs are instituting upgrades within their systems so that the programs are more aware of your present location, in order to give you better responses to questions asked of the application – and better local search results.
3. AI, Virtual Assistants & Bots
Over the next few years, we will be seeing more and more virtual assistant machines and companies coming into existence. This will greatly affect how we interact with the local world around us.
4. Mixed Reality & More Devices
Right now, there are more and more companies creating virtual reality goggles and eyewear. Over time, we will see even more technologies where there is a blending of things that are done online with things that are done offline.
5. Consolidation of Control
The top 5 brands – Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple – are working to become the main players that control how we work with local search.
Apps are extremely transactional. Microsoft found that right now people are using more nouns, but eventually, they are moving towards using verbs for their searches.
The Past Meeting the Future
Adwords Express: “Not Effective”. Doesn’t really work on its own, but…
Adwords Express + AI = Success? There is a possibility that combining the Adwords Express product with AI can make it much more effective.
Virtual Assistants are Getting Smarter
50% Voice Search by 2020
This number may be too large for the prediction, but it is definitely showing that we are going in that direction.
Location Intelligence: Swiss Army Knife of Digital
You can now do many things with Local Intelligence. You can figure out who your customers are – and who your competitors’ customers are – giving you real insights.
An Augmented Reality Future?
Questions from Audience
Question: Isn’t it dangerous to get so focused on personalization of products?
Answer: Although there can be some difficulties, since not everyone that views your website or uses your product is from the same country you are, people should not fear working to make their products and services more personalized.
Question: Which is more affected by local search – apparel or groceries?
Answer: Actually, products across the board would be more affected. There are many products that you buy or use that local search will influence.