The Apple Watch is a few months away from being available to buy, but it’s already shaking up how consumers will use local searches. The range of apps and special features of the device will make local SEO and hyperlocal SEO crucial to a business’ success.
The Apple Watch is being hailed for two of its unique features in particular. For one, the watch includes a Digital Crown in place of the usual watch dial. The Digital Crown gives users access to a set of favorite apps and can launch Siri for voice searches. The other big feature of the watch is the Taptic Engine’s haptic feedback. This gives users alerts though a buzz to the wrist, with a different sensation for different types of alerts.
The combination of these features mean that an Apple Watch wearer can perform searches on the go, and receive turn by turn directions while they walk. In real terms, this means that somebody could be standing at the RiverWalk Marina and decide they want to find a great local restaurant. They could ask Siri to find them a nearby restaurant and be guided by their Apple Watch right to the front door.
This means that hyperlocal search terms and keywords are going to be more important. Rather than just having keywords that focus your business as a Georgia business or even an Augusta business, you’ll need to add in keywords that locate you within a particular neighborhood.
One way to get your hyperlocal SEO in good shape is to ensure that your Google profiles are complete and correct. This can pinpoint your location on Google Maps and Google Local, giving you a higher search engine result when somebody searches for businesses near their current location.
With this type of local searching, it’s also crucial that you get a top search result. On the go, it’s unlikely that a user will scroll through the first page of results, let alone multiple pages. If you aren’t a top ranked site for the local keyword they have searched, you simply won’t get noticed in an Apple Watch search.
However, as the Apple Watch will slightly alter the way people interact with local searches, it won’t be as dramatic a shift as you might think. In reality, many of the same ideas hold true for searches on current smartphones. An iPhone or Android phone user will most likely do a search for a nearby business, only looking at the first page of results.
The main difference for local business and their search engine marketing might come down to the creative use of the Apple Watch’s notifications. The haptic notifications can be used similarly to the current iPhone push notifications. This could mean that an Apple Watch wearer could receive a notification of a special offer when they are near a business. The purpose of this would be to draw them in the front door, even if they weren’t intending to stop by.
For this, a business could use their own app or work within existing local business apps like Foursquare and Yelp. The idea here would be to target users who have expressed an interest in what you do or in things similar to what you do, reminding them of your great services and offers.
For any local marketing to be successful, you need to have a website that is search engine optimized for local searches. Simply targeting non-local keywords or larger industry terms won’t be enough to attract a user who is on the go. Rather than looking at how a user can find you when they are sitting at a desk, or even in the same region, you need to think about how somebody would search when they are on the same street, or a few blocks away.
Local SEO is an important part of any local business’ success when it comes to search engine marketing, and the Apple Watch will certainly serve to reinforce this fact. If you aren’t already looking at how your website is approaching local SEO, you should start now. This will ensure that your site is where it needs to be when the Apple Watch is released. In the meantime, it can only serve to help boost your relevance for local searches on other devices, too.
This article originally appeared on Apple Watch Opens New Doors in Local Search via searchenginewatch.com and has been republished with permission.