When Apple rolled out their new Apple Watch, the world was watching. People lined up for weeks in advance to be first in line to see (and buy) Apple’s newest offerings. In the United States, some 33 percent of 1,000 respondents to a survey indicated an intent to buy. So the question is, if one third of the population starts sporting a wearable local search tool, how will this affect your local business?
Search Powered by Bing and Google Maps
One of the most talked about features of the new Apple Watch is the local search feature. Using the Siri interface, users will be able to search for local businesses and receive turn-by-turn navigation instructions, by voice and by tactile sensations called “haptic feedback” facilitated by a linear actuator.
The Apple Watch search function utilizes the Bing search engine, and accesses Google Maps for directions. Users can easily zoom in and out of the maps with the touch of a finger, however the screen’s small size portends that searches will most likely be very close in, with a radius of just 1 to 2 miles or even a few blocks.
How to Ensure Your Business Gets Found
In order to be found in these “hyper-local” searches, businesses will need to make sure that they are listed in Bing Local and have a complete profile on Google Maps, which is now accomplished through the new Google My Business. Both of these are easy to do and will ensure that your business is included in any local search results.
The beauty of these closed-in searches is that with such a small radius, yours could very well be the only business returned in the results, so SEO management and search engine ranking is no longer a consideration.
Coupons and Special Offers
With the advent of the Apple Watch, offering digital coupons and special offers that will pop up in a local search will give your business even more of a competitive edge. If a local search returns two or three similar results, the business that is offering a coupon or discount is most likely to be the one chosen.
The Apple Watch is just the latest entry into a growing market of wearable digital devices, including Google’s Android Wear, Motorola’s Moto 360, and Samsung’s Gear 2. If the enthusiasm for all things Apple carries over to the Apple Watch, this could boost acceptance of all wearable digital devices, which could then increase the scope and frequency of local searches tremendously.
So how will this affect your local business? If you’re not already taking advantage of local search engine opportunities, now is the time to hop on the bandwagon, or you could be left behind!