Apple Watch Changes Local Search Marketing
Wearable tech. If you thought it was some crazy hipster fad that was going to come and go, you should think again. Google Glass isn’t the only wearable tech fashion with very practical use. Wearable tech is going to change local search marketing.
Last week we were introduced to the Apple Watch and while it’s not the first “smart watch” in the market, it is a new product from the “innovators” at Apple, arguably one of the largest tech companies in the world.
Now that the Apple Watch is real, this means that early adopters, and later, the general masses, will all have a new wearable tech gadget that they’re dying to show off and use.
This fact could have a profound impact on your local search marketing and local SEO tactics.
It also opens the doors for creative digital marketers and local search marketing experts to reach the rapidly growing wearable tech market with geo-targeted advertising and special offers. The same way those same local search marketers are reaching people on ubiquitous smartphones.
* UPDATE 09.25.14: If you’re not convinced that wearable technology is the future, check out this in-depth article on Medium, “Top 10 Emerging Technologies 2014“, where Body-adapted Wearable Electronics tops the list!
Hyper Local Searches on Apple Watch
With the Apple Watch, users will be able to significantly increase the amount of hyper-local searches they make everyday. People are doing this already with their smartphones, which they have to reach for and swipe.
With the smart watch, users have access to a convenient local search tool right on their wrist. This simple fact makes it ever more important for SEO’s, digital marketers, and business owners to step up their local search game asap.
Apple Watch Features For Developers
Apple has wisely crated a WatchKit tool set. This tool allows developers to “be able to easily create experiences designed specifically for Apple Watch.” You knew this had to be included with the Apple Watch OS, Apple is taking a page out of its App Store.
By allowing app developers to easily create unique and specific “experiences”, made for only the Apple Watch, developers could influence the way in which users search. To go even deeper, if there were any creative developers who wear a marketing hat, they could also influence any interaction between brands and customers.
The Taptic Engine
Huh? That’s what I said when I read that term. I assumed it had something to do with how the Apple Watch is used, in that users would “tap” on the surface. Turns out I’m sort of right! Along with something called the ”Digital Crown”, which is a traditional watch knob, but on steroids, the user will have their senses engaged with this Taptic Engine.
The “Digital Crown” allows users to navigate the smart watch, ask Siri questions, scroll content, and zoom in to your favourite images. “Combined with subtle audio cues from the specially engineered speaker driver, the Taptic Engine creates a discreet, sophisticated, and nuanced experience by engaging more of your senses,” says Apple’s website.
Directions and GPS Rule on Apple Watch
When this smart watch was unleashed to the public on September 9, 2014, Apple’s Kevin Lynch, VP of
Technology, said the Apple Watch will let users search for directions and locations through voice dictation or preset favourites, map out their preferred routes, and receive haptic feedback at each and every turn along the way.
The watch even comes with unique notifications to let the user/driver know if upcoming turns are left or right turns.
If you’re a small business, are you now seeing how having all your digital platforms (website, blog, social media channels), complete and fully optimized, can help you drive traffic to not only your website, but to your bricks and mortar location?
Wearable tech and local search go hand in hand.
How Business Can Exploit The Apple Watch
I think it’s pretty much a given that local SEO becomes so much more very important than it already has been. People will now have access to a small screen that offers super portability. If they were using their smartphones to search for local businesses or local things to do, you can bet that people will be using their smart watch to do the same thing.
We can expect hyper-local searches from users in the coming years. Hyper-local meaning users will be searching for businesses close to their immediate location – or at least within a few blocks.
If your business doesn’t have a complete and fully optimized Google My Business Page along with your Google Maps listing, optimized and set up via your business page, you should get on that today!
Those businesses that get creative with limited time special offers and digital coupons via their Google My Business Page, as well as their business profiles on Yelp, Foursquare, and Trip Advisor, stand to gain new and returning customers through these special offers and a competitive edge in local search.
So wearable tech, like the Apple Watch and Google Glass, is here to stay. Businesses can take advantage of this technology by beefing up their local search and their local SEO strategy.
Users who already are using their smartphones to search for local businesses to fulfill a need they have, will be ready to use their Apple Watch, or a competing smart watch, to make their local searches more accessible and easy.
Hyper-local search is a reality. The amount of people seating for local businesses on their smartphone increases daily. How many times have you checked your phone for directions, phone number, or for the closest restaurant?
According to a study from Canalys, the Apple Watch will be the winner in the smart watch race.
The Study said that the Apple Watch will make up the “majority” of wearable shipments in 2015. Sorry Google Glass and other smart watch or wearable tech manufactures. As usual Apple will bury you all.
“By creating a new user interface tailored to its tiny display, Apple has produced a smart watch that mass-market consumers will actually want to wear,” said Canalys analyst Daniel Matte.”
If you need some help crafting a comprehensive local SEO strategy for your business, please contact me and tell me your challenges and your goals. I’ll show you a process, with actionable steps, that can help you exceed your expectations.
What are you doing to improve your local search rankings?
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