Google has released a new report which delves deep into local search trends and highlights how search users are finding and interacting with small businesses online.

The search engine’s findings indicate that there is more activity around small businesses than ever with a greater portion of consumers taking to Google to hunt out products and suppliers in their local area.

Kim Spalding, the Global Product Director for Small Business Ads says this is great news for everyone. She explains, “Starting a small business can be a pathway to economic prosperity for both business owners and their communities. In fact, 67 cents out of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the local economy. Through our products like Search and Google Ads and Grow with Google, our initiative to create economic opportunity across the U.S., we’re committed to helping small businesses succeed.

“Being online is the way to win… [Our report] shows how Americans are searching for local businesses, and I can tell you that there is tremendous momentum. In fact, we’ve seen 350 times more search interest in “local” + “near me” than there was 10 years ago.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Search queries for ‘mom and pop’ shops have reached an all time high in the last three years.

This suggests that consumers are actively seeking out local businesses and local enterprises to support their communities. For small and family-run businesses, this is a clear indication that maintaining an online presence for bricks-and-mortar stores is critical. Those who can’t be found on Google are missing out on this land swell of interest.

  • Search volumes for local shops hit a record high in 2018

Google’s data also indicates that there has been a notable spike in searches for local shops. Search terms like local coffee shops, local flower shops, local print shops and local tire shops have all boomed.

For local businesses keen to capitalise on this abundance of search traffic, having an optimised Google My Business listing is essential. Free to set up, Google My Business is a top local SEO ranking factor and offers local stores without a dedicated website the opportunity to be included on the search results page.

  • Local search overall is exploding

Last summer we touched upon the importance of local SEO in a blog post – this statement has been verified by Google. Its data shows that there is 350 x more interest in local searches today than there was 10 years ago. One chief reason for this is undoubtedly the growth of mobile search. Previous figures from Google suggest that around a third of all mobile searches relate to location (users looking for a product, service or business in their proximity).

Here at Adrac we’ve long been fans of local search and the opportunities that it presents to small businesses. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you leverage local search for your own local business, get in touch with our team today.