One pain point that mobile consumers often face is the failure of mapping apps to guide them when they have bad or no internet connection. While in this micro moment of reaching a destination with a spotty reception, neither Google Maps nor Apple Maps have been able search, index and successfully route users. But as of yesterday, users are able to search and navigate on the Google Maps app without an internet connection. This update, previously demoed this spring at Google I/O, shows how offline search could potentially make or break your brand perception.
Even Without Internet Connection, Users Can Count on You
Google notes that roughly 60% of the world is without internet today. And for those who have it, it’s safe to say that there isn’t always a strong connection. With the Google Maps update, users are able to search for a city, county, or country and download a preset area to their phone that will be available for them to access offline. Amanda Bishop, Product Manager at Google, explained that users will be able to navigate and search their desired destinations when there is no access to a reliable internet connection. Just in time for the holiday season filled with mountain retreats, we can expect a lot more travelers finding locations within these rural destinations.
Get Found, or Frustrate Searchers
While this Google Maps update is being rolled out to Android users first, we are seeing that the full capabilities will take some time to be utilized. We foresee the end goal for Google as being a way to save a regional location database and make it easy for users to navigate when they simply don’t want to enable their location services. And on the flip side, this will almost guarantee more traffic for brands. According to our testing, Google Maps offline search indicates that you can pan and zoom, but can’t search or get directions.
For users of Google Maps and brands that have ensured their locations are claimed on Google, this new update is welcomed with open arms. But for brands that have not ensured their NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) is correct, the future of Google’s offline search may mean a world of trouble. Online or offline, these brands will be misrouting frustrated customers and giving them no alternative but to trust duplicate user-generated locations. Brands must take preventative and situational measures to make sure that the path to purchase is as seamless and clear as possible for these users.
Check and Refresh Your Location Data
Consumers are operating at the speed of need, and if your brand doesn't deliver what they are searching for (pun intended) you just lost a sale and a customer. Or worse, other searchers will find or continue to spread incorrect location information. If this occurs you have not only invited them to the wrong location, but to also discuss your brand in a negative light on various social and review channels. All brands are competing at the local level, and it’s crucial for you to gain visibility while making a positive impression online.
For many marketers, the time and resources delegated to analyze every location across every digital property seem impossible. Luckily, you can begin to resolve these issues with the help of Brandify’s Brand Scan. If you give us 1 minute of your time to complete the form, we’ll give you 2 weeks of insights on your online reviews, data quality, social engagement and search position on Google and Bing - for free.