Google Maps is the dominant local search tool, followed by Facebook and Yelp. The average user is on a smartphone at home – and is most likely to visit a business the next day after a local search.
“Near me” search tools
It’s not a secret that Google Maps has solidified its place as the dominant entry point for local search. In fact, a new consumer survey from Brandify found that 77% of respondents use Google Maps to find “near me” business information well ahead of other sites.
That finding is backed up by data from GatherUp, ThriveHive, and others that show Google Maps is driving most of their customers’ local traffic. Interestingly, the Brandify survey shows the percentage of Maps users goes down (51%) and the order of sites changes somewhat when consumers are asked which local sites/apps they consider “most useful.”
Most local search on smartphones
The vast majority of people (81%) use smartphones for “near me” searches, with a small number favouring tablets (9%) and the rest using desktops or laptops (22%)
The Business website is a must
There are a couple of other interesting things about the chart above. Facebook is the number two choice for local business search. That’s followed by Yelp and “business website.” This is another rejoinder to those who believe the small business website is dead.
Following websites, Google Assistant/Home and Instagram are next on the list. They, in turn, lead Apple Maps. Instagram is definitely on the SMB marketing radar but most local SEOs aren’t focused on the social site.
Action was taken after near me search
Following a local search, the action most of these survey respondents are most likely to take is “visit the business in person” (56%). That’s followed by “call the business” (36%) and email or complete an online form (13%).
Among these respondents, 54% percent said they would visit the business in person, either “right away” or the same day. And 46% said they would visit within the next few days.
Conclusion for Restaurant, Coffe Shop, Takeout/Takeaway and other F&B Owners
What most owners of a local F&B business still don’t fully appreciate is that most online research results in an offline purchase. This is the dominant use case now for non-informational searches: a user on a smartphone looking for someplace to go and eat a meal or get one, drink a coffee , where the transaction or fulfilment is offline.