Each month, we anonymize and analyze Google Business Profile (GBP) insights from over 170,000 enterprise brand locations using Rio SEO’s solutions for local marketing needs. These aggregate insights can give important context to the consumer behavior trends you see and experience across your own locations. In this post, we will identify and share key local search consumer behavior trends June 2022 presented for eight diverse verticals.
Google Business Profiles are an important local search ranking factor; consider it Google’s single source of truth for its business information to match search results to relevant local consumer queries.
The trends we observed in May, month-over-month (MoM), carried over into June. We once again observed continued gains in average searches and views across nearly every vertical. The two outlying exceptions were for retailers, which saw a very slight downward trend this month in searches, views, and clicks, and sit-down restaurants, which showed a slight decrease in conversion actions, particularly calls. The multi-family vertical had the most significant uplift this month after two consecutive months of declines across every metric.
Below, you’ll find local consumer search behavior trends from June 2022 for multi-location brands in financial services, hospitality, healthcare, and more verticals.
Local search interest in and conversion metrics for service businesses’ metrics continued to grow in June, a trend we’ve seen for this vertical over the past few months. Service businesses – which include postal services, storage facilities, pest control, gyms, staffing agencies, and more for the purpose of this research – saw continued growth in year-over-year (YoY) total views and searches, as well as clicks for driving directions.
Clicks to call were down YoY; however, this may not be a cause for concern for this industry as more customers are seeking in-person services. We see this in the increased clicks for driving directions.
Storage facilities are one type of service business that benefitted from the COVID pandemic, as the demand for storage grew. Figures from Storable suggest that 10.6% of American households now rent a storage unit. It’s a segment of the service businesses industry that continues to grow over the last 30 years. It also likely contributes to the increases seen in June.
Similar to May’s financial service business’ metrics, we saw a small uptick in most metrics in the month of June. However, financial services’ metrics soared YoY, with nearly double-digit gains for every metric we measure – listing views, searches, and conversions for various types of clicks.
As consumer fears of a recession grow, financial security remains a priority for Americans. McKinsey’s latest Global Survey on Economic Conditions finds that concerns over inflation have overtaken geopolitical instability and conflicts as the greatest perceived threat to the U.S. economy since March. International supply chain issues, rising rates for petroleum and basic needs, and ongoing economic instability are driving massive local interest and activity for banking institutions, investment firms, insurance agents, and others across the spectrum of financial services.
Sit-down restaurants continue to slowly bounce back from COVID-19, even as they face new threats from rising food prices due to inflation. In June, restaurant brands experienced a 15% YoY reduction in all click actions from their GBP listings, representing a 2.5% drop from May.
MoM gains shrunk from +5.4% for total listing views and +4.9% for total searches in May to +1.9% and +0.7% respectively. Black Box Intelligence recently reported that the week ending June 12 marks the 14th week of negative traffic growth in a row for the industry, with sales and traffic growth the softest since March 7, 2022.
The same agency reports that mentions of “price” in guest reviews suggest lower net sentiment and that average star ratings have decreased since last year.
Net sentiment for the term “expensive” is down while sentiment for “deals,” “cheap,” and “worth the money” are all up. All of this suggests that fears of a looming recession and ongoing economic instability are causing diners to choose restaurants more carefully. Sit-down restaurant brands can use “Offers” type Google Posts to gain extra visibility in local search and convert budget-conscientious diners.
In comparison to sit-down restaurants, quick-service restaurants continue to see increases in all performance metrics measured, a trend for three months running. Year-over-year, clicks to call and clicks to quick-service restaurant websites were down, suggesting that customers’ informational needs are lower than last June. Quick-service restaurants are also outperforming their dine-in counterparts in YoY local search performance.
This is in line with industry reports that the average check amount continues to grow, with the greatest increases in fast casual dining. Restaurant brands must have a policy and process in place to monitor and quickly respond to reviews, both for reputation management and local search visibility benefits. Ensure that the menus displayed from local GBP listings are kept up to date, as well.
The official start of summer brought an uptick in all local search metrics with the exception of clicks to call, as the vacation season kicks off. Clicks for driving directions are up dramatically (31.4%) over June 2021, when COVID restrictions and health measures greatly impacted the industry. Total searches are also down 22.1% YoY, potentially due to prospective travelers doing less online planning and more actual traveling this June.
The country’s occupancy level was the highest since August 2019 at 72.3%, according to eHotelier. They also noted that demand has been at 90% or greater than the levels seen in 2019 for the past 18 weeks, at 97% on average. Hotel occupancy typically peaks in July in the United States and in August worldwide.
Hotel industry data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights firm STR predicts that we may see the highest U.S. monthly demand ever recorded in July, if June trends keep on pace. However, they note their concern that airline disruptions and rising hotel rates may dampen demand and comment that “it is tough to quantify the impact given the current surge in travel and spending.”
Retail brands experienced an overall decline in most local search metrics in June, with the exception of a 1.4% increase in clicks for directions. Total views are up substantially YoY (24.8%). Total searches and clicks for directions rose less than 10% each. However, total clicks (indicating conversions) fell 4.3% MoM and 1.9% YoY.
CNBC reports that consumer spending held up during June’s surge of inflation, with retail sales rising slightly more than expected amid higher prices across most categories. The article also states that advanced retail sales increased 1% for the month, better than the Dow Jones estimate of a 0.9% rise, propelled by rising costs for food and gasoline.
“The 1.0% [month-over-month] rise in retail sales in June isn’t as good as it looks, as it mainly reflects the boost to nominal sales values from surging prices,” wrote Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “Accounting for the surge in prices, however, real consumption looks to have been broadly stagnant in June.”
Healthcare brands saw nominal gains in MoM local search performance in June, ranging from 0.2% to 2.3%. Total views and searches grew substantially YoY at 40.7% and 19%, respectively. Although COVID-19 is not getting the media attention it once was, it is still an impactful factor driving search activity at the local level in greater numbers.
The WHO reports that weekly COVID cases recently increased three weeks in a row, reversing the decline observed since the last peak in March 2022. The week ending June 26 saw over 4.1 million new cases reported worldwide, marking an 18% increase over the week prior. Cases are up 7.7% in North America, falling only in Canada.
“The pandemic has surprised us time and time again, and many of its effects will linger for years to come,” said Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Carissa F. Etienne.
Multi-family residential brands saw MoM gains across nearly every metric measured. Total listing views grew the most over May, with a 26.5% gain, while the smallest increase was in clicks to call at 5.5%. All local search metrics except clicks for directions are down on a YoY basis, with total searches taking the largest drop at 17.3%.
According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, “High home prices and rapidly rising mortgage rates have created a rosy backdrop for the rental sector, with many prospective home buyers now priced out of homeownership or forced to purchase a smaller home in a less desirable area. A little over a year ago, the monthly cost of owning and renting were virtually identical. Now, owning a home costs $839 more per month than renting. This differential is almost $200 higher than at any time since the turn of the century.”
Scott Hawksworth, author at multifamilyinvestor.com, writes, “With continued inflation, rising interest rates, and looming economic recession, the multi-family investment world is both feeling the impacts and adapting to them. Multi-family real estate has historically been one of the most resilient asset classes, and in the face of economic headwinds, there are still many opportunities for investors.”
See more local search trends by vertical for previous months and stay tuned next month for more in-depth local consumer search behavior insights.