Behind the Numbers: Google “near me” up 34x

Here’s an eye-popping stat: since 2011, Google searches including the phrase “near me” have increased 34 times.  Not 34 percent, but 34 times.   I read this figure as a nail in the coffin of distinct and discrete mobile and local strategies.  Put another way, your brand has a mobile and a local strategy whether you’ve planned it or not.  Brands need to prepare for the inevitable “gotta have it now” factor across channels.

Some other tasty stats from the article:

  • 50% of people who conduct a local search on their phone visit a store that day
  • Roughly a third of those searchers buy that day as well
  • About half of people searching for a restaurant do so within 30 minutes of going out

Searches differ by day and time of day as well:


I wonder, do people search for liquor stores before or after hotels on a Saturday night?




What does this mean for marketers?

As above, “mobile” and “local” don’t operate outside of your main digital strategy.  Since consumers spend so much time on their phones and tablets, marketers should think through the mobile and local implications of every activity.

When planning a TV spot or a billboard, the marketer should think “what mobile action will the consumer take” or “what if she wants my brand right now?”  In turn, these questions mean adapting SEO and SEM, landing pages and perhaps even back-end systems such as store inventory to accommodate these users.  Make sure the consumer can scratch the itch your advertising has created in a simple and straightforward manner from her phone.

If someone wants to buy your brand’s toilet right now, can you direct him to the nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s with your models in stock?

Your “mobile guy” or “local gal” is you.

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