With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, local businesses have been implementing SEO for multiple platforms (desktop and mobile). Smart watch is a new entrant into this group of smart devices, the real potential of which is yet to be explored in a large scale. According to a survey by ON World, around 330 million smart watches will have been shipped worldwide by the end of 2018, a significant rise from 4 million in 2013. This means sensor-laden and voice-activated smart watches will steal the show in the near future. If both GPS and voice search are enabled on wearable watches, local businesses can target smart watches to promote their products or services as it is much easier for consumers to browse the screen and receive notifications at any time.
The two major aspects of a smart watch that make it extremely useful for local businesses are:
- Hyper-Local Searches – The rise of smart watches could bring up a new level of search known as ‘Super Local’ or ‘Hyper-Local’ searches. This type of search uses GPS location information so that it is possible to focus on the results for a specific street or city block where the user is located as opposed to the general mapping of business in that user’s area. This technology will eventually prompt the users to search for the businesses near to their immediate location or those within a few blocks. Businesses can take advantage of this by optimizing their local search and enhancing local SEO strategies.
- Mobile Coupons – Digital or online coupons (QR codes that can be exchanged for discounts or offers) are already successful in mobile marketing. Effective coupon strategies can help local businesses drive more consumers to physical stores, collect consumer data and establish a good rapport with the customers. Mobile coupons on smart watches will help the users know whether they are standing near the shop whose coupons are on their device and immediately go to the physical store to redeem their offer. By giving the opportunity to consumers to redeem the offer when they are physically nearby, local businesses can achieve a competitive edge in search.
Though several companies such as Samsung, Sony, LG and others venture into the smart watch market as per ON World survey, Apple Watch expected to be launched in 2015 is a topic of huge interest among technology enthusiasts now. Many of them believe it will change the face of local search engine marketing by increasing the number of hyper-local searches. According to a survey by analyst firm Canalys, Apple Watch will constitute the majority of wearable devices shipped worldwide in 2015. However, we need to wait until its launch to experience the actual potential of the device.
The entry of smart watches implies it is time for local businesses to focus on local search engine marketing in order to improve their revenue in future. The increasing use of online maps (Apple Maps, Google Maps) anticipated in the future implies the use of local listings in a more specific manner. Local businesses should focus on those local optimization strategies that would close the digital barriers between them and their consumers in future. They should utilize every opportunity that helps to improve their connections with the consumers.