Rio SEO Releases Findings of its 2022 Local Search Trends Report

According to Rio SEO, many industries saw Google Business Profile metrics surge in April 2021, around the time when mask restrictions began to ease throughout the U.S. and prior to the delta variant. This insight is just one of the many findings from the newly published report from Rio SEO, the leading local marketing platform provider for enterprise brands, agencies and retailers.

Consumer behavior shifts occur often, given economic changes, current affairs and unforeseen disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the shifts marketers have experienced over the past two years were widespread, with no vertical left unaffected.

Rio SEO’s Local Consumer Search Behavior Report found that restaurants began to see staggering search volumes and business listing views in March 2021.

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  • Views increased by 243% YoY for sit-down restaurants
  • Searches increased by 305% YoY for sit-down restaurants
  • Clicks for directions increased by 99% for quick-service

However, long-term impacts include more than 110,000 restaurant closures and ongoing staffing issues for this industry.

“Each industry faced its unique set of opportunities and challenges amid the pandemic,” said Mick Wilson, vice president of customer success, Rio SEO. “Adapting to meet the needs of consumers during this time is necessary. Those who adapted and pivoted survived during the height of the pandemic and came out on the other side stronger.”

Additional key highlights and takeaways include:

• Businesses across most verticals saw clicks to driving directions on their listings grow in 2021, as customers began feeling comfortable transacting and shopping in person again
• Retailers saw astronomical success in 2020 as consumers were eager to buy essential goods
• The hospitality industry had the greatest come back in 2021 as vaccines became readily available and consumers were eager to travel again
• Financial services businesses, such as mortgage brokers, saw record years in 2020 and some drop-offs in 2021 as mortgage rates began to rise again

“Although restaurants on still on their journey to recovering, sit-down and quick service restaurants were two of the most impactful verticals we studied” added Wilson. “Online ordering quickly became essential for operators with full-service restaurants as well as the implementation of loyalty programs to entice customers to keep coming back, even during times of uncertainty.”

Businesses, consumers and marketers can utilize Rio SEO’s report to visualize the impact of the pandemic on local search volume and conversion metrics to continue to benchmark and adjust their current search goals to meet the needs of their consumers.

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