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How People Take Search Personally

near me searches

Digested from Think with Google

Just when marketers had gotten used to “near me” searches, “about me” queries are growing more popular. Find out why.

When people search, they look for information and advice relevant to their needs. In the past, marketers have been gearing up for “near me” searches. Now, they also might need to get ready for “about me” queries.

“Just as ‘near me’ is a contextual signal that people want to find something based on their location, these searches for ‘me’ and ‘I’ are signals that people expect personally relevant content,” writes Lisa Gevelber for Think with Google. “Marketers who understand search intent and look for patterns in how people qualify their needs have a big opportunity.”

With some much information out there, it is hard for people to find exactly what they need.

“We’re seeing this personal advisor theme play out quite literally, as people are specifically including qualifiers like ‘me’ and ‘I’ in their searches,” Gevelber writes. “During the past two years, mobile searches with the qualifier ‘for me’ have grown over 60 percent. For example, consumers aren’t just searching for ‘best car insurance’ anymore, they’re searching for ‘best car insurance for me.’ Or, ‘which dog is right for me.’ ”

“It’s important to note that search trends such as these don’t always carry over to apartment shopping the same way they might be impacting other industries,” Mike Whaling, 30 Lines, says. “Choosing a place to live is a big, personal decision, and Google isn’t quite there yet as far as delivering “personalized” results.”

“Google’s own search trend data shows that people simply aren’t searching for terms like ‘best two-bedroom apartments for me’,” Whaling says.

Whaling says that during the past year, he’s seen that “near me” is being dropped from many local searches because the local intent is implied. Google knows this and has adjusted its algorithms to provide relevant local results.

Whaling says he still sees a high volume of searches for terms such as “apartments near me” and, as one could expect, the search results are tailored based on the prospect’s current physical location.

People have also started asking Google what they should and should not do. Gevelber writes that mobile searches with the qualifier “should I” have increased 65 percent in the past two years.

Google is still trying to give people insights into which apartments might be the best fit for them, but they’re primarily doing this through Google Maps and Google My Business. In Google Maps, they’re adding things such as custom attributes to help people quickly identify specific amenities and other property features such as wheelchair accessibility.

In Google My Business, they’re going even further by displaying reviews from across the web (and highlighting common themes – pool, price/value, etc.), Whaling says. Google also is offering the new “Questions & Answers” section, where prospects can ask specific questions about any location. These answers are highlighted on the Google Business listing that shows up every time you search for the property (see image).

“All things considered, Google My Business is the best way for apartment marketers to have their listings show up for specific amenities or attributes (and anyone nearby searching with ‘near me’ queries).”

The other thing apartment communities can do is have a relatable “personality.” The more you can do to show who you are and who might want to live there through resident events, programming, partnerships, local PR, etc., the more obvious it becomes to a prospect that your community is “right for me,” Whaling says.

“As we see Google and Facebook target content to our searching and shopping preferences, it makes sense that consumers would start searching to items they would ‘like’ based on those preferences,” Jennifer Staciokas, Senior Vice President, Pinnacle, says. “We are certainly seeing the impact of voice search on our digital campaigns and how these searches are more conversational in nature. I see voice search heading this way, too, based on consumer’s use of Amazon Prime and other on-demand services.”

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