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Home Business & Finance Research Discovers Insights into Local Search Success

Research Discovers Insights into Local Search Success

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Summary (IA Generated)

New research from RIO SEO shows dramatic effects on Local Search and offers insights into how to be more effective in monitoring search habits at the local level and leverage those changes for better economic performance.

RIO SEO tracked consumer trends across over 200,000 locations in a range of verticals.

“Without question, COVID-19 had a massive impact on the local search landscape in 2020.

Across the over 200,000 locations in all verticals that Rio SEO tracks, local searches were volatile, with initial drops, recovery, more volatility, and a gradual return to pre-pandemic levels.

The verticals that were able to pivot to respond to the uncertain economic climate weathered the pandemic storm better, but no sector was left untouched and unaffected.

All verticals experienced drops in total views from February through April.

Other metrics also reported declines but it was total views that had the biggest declines.

Click to Call was a big performer during the pandemic.

The phone call clicks metric was particularly volatile for most verticals, it ended the year at a higher rate year over year for sit down restaurants.

Financial services experienced a significant decline in views from March through May, at which point it has continued to rise.

But it has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

However total searches and clicks have fared better, ending the year higher than the pre-pandemic January 2020 figures.

Source: Rio SEO internal data for 141 enterprise brands (100+ locations), January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

According to the RIO SEO report:.

“What started as a strong year in terms of views plummeted in March, only beginning to regain traction in June.

Local searches and views took a huge hit in March and April 2020.

The business services vertical recorded the largest percentage changes for all metrics, rocketing up in most metrics in May 2020.

Some studies have noted that the pandemic hit the restaurant business harder than other sectors.


Source: Rio SEO internal data for 141 enterprise brands (100+ locations), January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020Retail.

Retail was one of the areas of local that was able to keep performing during the pandemic.

“From October-December 2020, total views had surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

Total searches have also been trending upwards, reaching their peak in December 2020 due in large part to holiday shopping.

However the sector as a whole has continued to regain views and searches beginning in June 2020.

Clicks and to phone calls and to websites did exceptionally well and nearly reached pre-pandemic levels.

The hospitality sector was crushed at the beginning of the pandemic but managed to stage a modest rebound beginning in June.

Local Search and Consumer Behavior.

It’s clear that the pandemic caused long lasting changes to user behavior in how users were interacting with maps and business listings to contact and do business with local businesses.

What’s of particular interest in terms of a takeaway is that it’s important to monitor user behavior in order to better respond to swiftly changing local search consumer trends.