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The Smartwatch and Local Search


The Smartwatch and Local Search

Smartwatches are turning into the new “it” companion to the smartphone. They aren’t quite commonplace household items yet, but the technology is taking off and will likely be the next trend in wearable tech in coming years.


Smartwatches boast a screen-based UI interface like a phone. Whereas Google Glass isn’t easy to wear, smartwatches are more practical.


So how will these devices impact local search? As a marketer, you should be asking two main questions: what marketing opportunities exist, and will smartwatches change how people navigate local search?


We predict 4 main changes!


Messaging and Alerts


Relying on such a small screen, users will want succinct content.

More importantly, with constant contact, users will want content truly relevant to them. They’ll want to separate out only the information they want to see. Smartwatches will give rise to permission-based marketing. Businesses must be aware of real-time local marketing challenges.


Opt-in messaging and alerts warrant users to choose what information they see and when. Businesses will need to develop easy opt-in and opt-out options for messages. Users may only want information for a limited time (such as on vacation or a business trip). Likewise, the concise nature of information means businesses should focus on relevant keywords in their messages, emphasizing the crux of their products or services.


Smartwatches may give rise to customized searches, such as Google Now.


Relying on a tiny screen, users won’t want to put effort into getting information. They’ll prefer pre-filtered search criteria. Those local businesses that respond through making localized apps with relevant information will be at the forefront of this trend.


More Location and Proximity-Triggered Interactions


With smartwatches, users simply have to look at their wrists or wave the interface over a sensor to accept coupons. This ease means people are more likely to welcome these interactions. The increased use of location-based interactions gives smartwatches an advantage over smartphones.


Local businesses implementing location or proximity-triggered interactions now will be at the forefront of the local search marketing change. As smartwatches become more popular, these businesses will be ahead of their competition and can start tweaking their content marketing to get found much easier than competitors.


Location-specific Keywords


Location is one of the most important factors that influence real-time consumer behavior. Accessing information on the go, users want location-specific information. This means businesses will need to drastically step up their focus on local content and local search optimization. Offers and opportunities need to relevant to where the customer is.



App Optimization


People on-the-go on a small screen find apps much more user-friendly than scrolling through websites. While location-based information is extremely important, I believe users will prefer apps in order to get information faster.


Brands should consider creating apps that give concise, streamlined content and tools. Users will most likely use voice command to search the smartwatch pre-programmed search engine, skipping the app store entirely.


At this moment, no one really knows how well these smartwatches will take off. However, being aware of potential changes for local search will help you see the need to diversify your local marketing strategies beyond searches from computers and smartphones. As smartwatches become more popular, the type of content users want might rapidly change.

Dave Thoma

Former Amazon exec with 25 years of eCommerce & digital marketing experience. I enjoy having fun while helping others to succeed. I'm a 3-time "cancer" survivor, frustrated golfer and coffee nut (not necessarily in that order).

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