Where were you when Apple unveiled its latest products?
They’ve caused a mixed reaction, certainly; especially the iPhone 6. (I’ve seen a lot of people compare it to a Nexus handset from 2012 that caused a lot of debate, but that’s a conversation for the pub!)
But there seems to be one thing that everyone’s agreed on, and that’s that the Apple Watch will breathe new life into a pretty turgid wearables market.
The market so far has been dominated by Android devices which haven’t really inspired due to function, design, and a plain reluctance from people to walk around with a mini computer on their wrist.
That’s set to change now that Apple’s entering the market. Not only will a lot of those issues be solved but the sheer presence of Apple will boost sales figures globally – an estimated 33 per cent of 1,000 Americans that took a flash survey after the announcement said they’d be interesting in buying one.
Fast forward a year and a lot of people are walking around your area wearing a smartwatch, whether one from Apple, Samsung, or otherwise.
How can you align your business to take advantage of this new technology?
What did you make of Apple’s latest presentation? Is the Apple Watch going to completely reinvent the wearables market? Let me know in the comments section below.
More than a new channel
Are smartwatches really a new channel? Yes and no – they are in the sense that they’ll be a new method to reach potential customers in a way that you necessarily couldn’t on a desktop computer. You can be in touch with someone constantly on the go.
The techniques and tactics used to promote local businesses with local search marketing will likely stay the same though. There’s going to be no reinvention of the search industry because a new product comes out, just a refinement and more awareness of the current one.
So while there’s a new way to reach customers your local search efforts should still be effective by the time every single known organism in the universe has an Apple Watch strapped to their wrists.
Apple Maps optimisation
As confirmed on the day of the unveiling the Apple Watch has a number of features including apps, Siri, and more. Most importantly it also features Apple Maps, and – interestingly – a haptic feedback feature.
This means if you’ve programmed a destination on Apple Maps and are heading towards it, the watch will emit a buzz to tell you to turn either left or right, with a different buzz for each movement, so people don’t have to keep checking their watches.
The Apple Watch will also have access to Bing search via Siri, much like a smartphone, meaning that people will only need to request a query to get connected to Bing with the watch pointing them in the right direction.
This is nothing new. Apple isn’t reinventing the wheel, only adding a bit more glamour to a wearables market that has yet to set the world alight.
Most smartwatches currently on the market run on the Android platform, meaning that there are already watches out there taking advantage of Google’s search capabilities including – of course – Google Maps and its associated features.
Are local search and wearable technology natural partners? Will local search get a brand new lease of life thanks to smart watches? Let me know below!
Optimising for wearable technology
Thankfully optimising for wearable technology isn’t too difficult. If you’re looking for a local boost to stand out then the methods you’ve adopted should be fine to carry on with.
If you haven’t started yet, then a local search campaign can get you noticed sooner rather than later, and will help you attract attention for when wearables are second nature.
Thankfully you’re not optimising for a watch, Google Glass, or other piece of futuristic technology. You’re still optimising for search engines and, most importantly, your users and potential customers:
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Get your business on Maps
Optimising for Apple Maps and Google Maps is a very similar process. For Apple Maps, it helps to have information about your business in local directories that Apple pays a lot of attention to, such as Yelp and TomTom.
Small businesses that want to be found locally can also take advantage of Google’s new My Business feature to help them get found by people in their area. Search wise, contributing links to ethical directories such as Thompson and Yell can also help you get noticed.
Incorporate the social element
A Facebook app’s confirmed for the Apple Watch which means it should be business as usual for social media on the move. Expect to see Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks supported. Keep to your local strategy and talk to your consumers, and ask if you’re talking to any online via their wearable.
Ask if they’re in the local area and to pop in and say hi if they have the time. Keep your social strategy local, professional, and mention local points of interest to keep the conversation going. If possible ask them to take pictures with their new device while on the move and encourage them to share.
Creative content sets you apart
Though the size of a watch face is obviously a lot smaller than a computer screen, tablet, or smartphone if the Apple Watch can run things like apps then there shouldn’t be any reason at all why it can’t display content such as videos and blogs effectively.
So though the screen might be smaller it shouldn’t diminish your content. Make sure to keep the conversation with your local customers flowing and to keep posting interesting things relevant to them, their interests, and the industry and services you’re providing for them.
If you’d like to learn more about mobile search and how local listings can boost your business online contact the Webpresence team today.