The rules have change for online marketing, especially with the rise of mobile users, according to Search Engine Land. Proximity has become a key factor in the local search and should be put to optimal in planning your marketing strategies.
What is so important about proximity? When users pull up digital maps on their mobiles and make a query for brick-and-mortar locations, they are more likely to visit a location nearest to where they are standing at that moment. For example, if a person is on lunch break and just wants a quick burger, they will likely make a “near me” search rather than a general search for every burger joint in the city.
The search algorithms will factor in proximity as very important unless the searcher broadens his/her search parameters.Whether you market for a big brand retail outlet or a small burger joint, proximity should be an integral part of your strategy if you hope to achieve good conversion numbers.
Trying to win the competition in local searches can be complicated, especially since one never knows precisely where a searcher is going to be when they make their query. However, there are ways to “put your thumb” on the algorithmic scale and make your brick-and-mortar gain rank, relative to the proximity desired by the user.
For one thing, good customer reviews tend to be rank builders. The Google algorithms are set to value the opinions of other customers. Then there are the Google My Business attributes which are growing in importance, especially as voice searches and digital assistants become more dominant.