Coronavirus (COVID-19) Local Marketing Resources
Updated June 23, 2021
As the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve, businesses are looking for the best ways to keep their customers informed.
We recommended all multi-location brands consider the following actions/updates, at a minimum, in order to maintain accurate business information and keep customers up to date:
- Update listings with special hours or temporary closures
- Update business descriptions to add custom COVID-19 messaging
- Publish unique services and amenities (e.g., drive-thru, pick up, delivery, etc.)
- Leverage Google Posts
- Add messaging to local landing pages
- Stay on top of reviews
We have compiled additional resources below and will be continuously updating this page with the latest information and recommendations. Please reach out to us with any questions. Our team is happy to assist you in any way we can, whether or not you are a current customer.
COVID-19 Recovery Services
We are here to serve as an extension of your team, a local marketing resource, and a partner to help you communicate your business’ critical information everywhere your customers are searching for you. Our team of local marketing experts is here to help you elevate your local presence – from maintaining accurate, up-to-date listings and landing pages, to managing your brand’s online reputation and responding to customer feedback, to leveraging powerful analytics to inform your strategy – the Open Local Platform will keep you connected with your customers when they need you the most.
Navigate COVID-19 Resources
Local Search Consumer Behavior Trends (view all)
As local consumer behavior continues to shift and evolve in unexpected ways, brands are having to assess local marketing metrics as near to real-time as possible versus relying on historical data. Regional reopenings, COVID case flare-ups, and vaccine availability are adding extra layers of complexity in already volatile local markets. In this post, you’ll find the consumer search behavior trends May presented, across 7 broad verticals.
April brought with it the promise of spring and this year, also dramatically reduced restrictions across much of North America as vaccines have become more widely available. Continuously evolving pandemic-related conditions have influenced consumer behavior in search since the crisis first struck early in 2020. In this post, we will cover search behavior trends April 2021 presented.
This month, our analysis of local search trends across over 200,000 U.S. business locations’ Google My Business accounts shows marked increases in search interest in every vertical over February. While there is certainly some seasonality at play, the larger trends of vaccination rollout and economic recovery are driving the strong results you’ll see below. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the local consumer search behavior trends March presented.
Since October 2020, Rio SEO has been analyzing anonymized Google My Business data for over 200,000 locations across the United States to bring you a monthly trends report to serve as a benchmark for local performance across seven different industries. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the local consumer search behavior trends February presented.
Local Search Consumer Behavior Trends by Industry (January 2021 Data)
February 23, 2021
Each month, we evaluate the local search performance of 200,000+ business locations to bring you new consumer search behavior insights. As the Coronavirus pandemic and associated social distancing and public health measures across the United States continue to impact local businesses, these benchmarks help brands understand how locations are affected in different industries. In this post, we will discuss local consumer search behavior trends January presented.
In this ongoing series of monthly local search trends, we are uncovering insights from 203,600 enterprise locations to illustrate how COVID is impacting local search volume, views, and conversion rates. In this post, we will discuss local consumer search behavior trends December presented.
Local Search Consumer Behavior Trends By Industry (November 2020 Data)
December 23, 2020
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve learned that consumer behavior can vary widely by vertical depending on the circumstances. Now we’re analyzing local search data across 203,600 enterprise brand locations to determine how COVID-19 is impacting local consumer behavior month-over-month.
Local Search Consumer Behavior Trends By Industry (October 2020 Data)
November 30, 2020
Over the last several tumultuous months, we’ve tapped into our local search data across 203,600 enterprise brand locations to help multi-location brands get a better handle on how COVID-19 is impacting local consumer behavior. In this post, we’re sharing updated figures on how COVID is impacting clicks to call, search views, and other key local consumer search behavior trends October threw our way.
New data from our analysis of six months of local search data across 203,600 enterprise brand locations reveals just how COVID is impacting clicks to call, search views, and other key local search insights.
Featured Resources (view all)
COVID-19 shook the global economy, and local search metrics reflect that impact right down to the individual store level. As the pandemic began to affect North America in early 2020, we saw an immediate impact on 400 global enterprise organizations with more than 200,000+ brand locations we monitor.
In this guide, we will share aggregate Google My Business (GMB) performance metrics to help enterprise brands understand the consumer behavior and local search conversion trends that shaped the local business environment throughout the pandemic and into the start of 2021.
[E-BOOK] 5 Local Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021
January 20, 2021
The local marketing landscape has changed more than anyone could possibly have predicted at this time last year. What does it all mean for enterprise brands and your marketing teams? In this e-book, we examine five of the most impactful local marketing trends to have on your radar as we enter into 2021.
The year 2020 tested marketers across the globe both with the ability to be agile and pivot efforts quickly amid times of adversity. In this new infographic, you’ll find up-to-date insights as to where consumers are spending their time online now, which mapping services they’re using to get around, what Google is looking for when ranking search results organically and in the Map Pack, and more.
Whether we see a resurgence or continued waves of COVID-19 or have another pandemic to contend with in the future, one thing is clear: brands need a proactive plan for pivoting their local marketing strategy in times of crisis. In this e-book, we’ll share best practices for keeping your customers informed amid uncertainty.
We recently conducted a GMB insights study in which we analyzed local search data for more than 175,000 U.S. business locations throughout the pandemic, in an effort to help local businesses better understand how local consumers’ search behavior has impacted key discovery and conversion actions during the lockdown, and to prepare for any future unexpected business disruptions.
Lauren Abramson, Account Director here at Rio SEO, joined Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy at Rio SEO, in this exploration of which COVID-related trends are impacting brands and how local marketers can prepare for ongoing or intermittent business interruptions.
To keep your brand informed on the most pertinent COVID-19 listings features, we curated a list of the most important features and functionality related to COVID-19 on listings platforms and third-party directories, and how and when to use them.
Our team of local marketing experts is here to help you elevate your local presence – from maintaining accurate, up-to-date listings and landing pages, to managing your brand’s online reputation and responding to customer feedback, to leveraging powerful analytics to inform your strategy – the Open Local Platform will keep you connected with your customers when they need you the most. Download the toolkit to learn more about our post-pandemic recovery services for enterprise brands.
The following infographic offers an initial high-level view of how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior, from shopping trends to current mindset and beyond.
Temporary store closures, updates in hours of operation, special hours to accommodate those at high-risk, and remote work have become the norm in recent weeks. We’ve compiled a checklist to ensure you’re aware of all the opportunities available to you to help you maintain accurate local listings during this time.
Featured Webinars (view all)
While your online reputation management strategy may not have been a top priority amid the pandemic, now is the time to refocus your efforts to emerge stronger than before as consumers seek your products or services. In fact, when reviewing our own client local search data, we’ve seen substantial increases in listing views, searches, and conversion actions across every industry we serve.
Recently, we hosted a webinar to help local businesses refine and rebuild their brand’s online reputation as pre-pandemic consumer shopping behavior begins to resume. We were joined by a panel of local marketing and Google My Business experts who shared their insights into how brands can build a stellar online reputation post-pandemic.
COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the global economy, affecting both businesses and consumers, and in turn, local search metrics. As the pandemic began to affect North America in early 2020, we saw an immediate impact on the 400 global enterprise organizations with more than 200,000+ brand locations we monitor. No industry was left unaffected, and some, such as the restaurant vertical, saw drastic, long-lasting shifts.
In this webinar, our expert panel will share aggregate Google My Business (GMB) performance metrics to help enterprise brands better understand the consumer behavior and local search conversion trends that shaped the local business environment throughout the pandemic and into the start of 2021.
In an effort to help your brand best accommodate your customers amid times of ambiguity, we assembled a panel of experts to provide insights and support for marketers in advance of the holiday season. Access the on-demand webinar now to hear how to best reach the 2020 holiday consumer, as well as tips for success in your holiday strategy, organic SEO, content strategy and local search.
Binary Fountain and Rio SEO have teamed up for a special live presentation that will give you the framework you need to immediately kickstart changes to your customer experience touch-points. In this session, you’ll hear from Aaron Clifford, SVP of Marketing at Binary Fountain, as well as Jay Baer. Jay is the founder of the marketing and customer experience consultancy Convince & Convert, author of six best-selling business books, and a Hall of Fame keynote speaker.
Listen in as Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, and Marshall Nyman, Account Director, explore trends that impacted brands during COVID-19 and our top takeaways to better help brands recover post-pandemic.
COVID-19 and the Future of Local Marketing [On Demand]
Even as brands grapple with dramatic shifts in demand, consumer behavior, and remote work practices, they are being challenged to respond with empathy to rapidly changing consumer needs in near-real-time. Listen as Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy at Rio SEO, Lauren Abramson, Account Director at Rio SEO, and Marshall Nyman, Account Director at Rio SEO, explore which COVID-related trends are impacting brands and how local marketers can prepare for ongoing or intermittent business interruptions.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 4) [On Demand]
Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, and Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, for part four of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most. We explore the local search trends impacting businesses during COVID-19 and share key takeaways from the insights we’ve collected through our data.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 3) [On Demand]
Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, and Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, for part three of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most.
Joshua Titsworth, SEO Manager at Vizion Interactive and Miranda Miller, Content & Digital Marketing Strategist at Miranda-Miller.com joined our own Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy and Mick Wilson, Vice President of Customer Success here at Rio SEO, for an in-depth discussion on how businesses can best set up now for post-pandemic success.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 2) [On Demand]
Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, and Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, for part two of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 1) [On Demand]
As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, businesses globally have inevitably become affected and now face the challenge of keeping customers, communities and the general public informed. Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Ryan Weber, and Tyler Ludwig, for part one of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most.
Featured Blogs (view all)
Rio SEO has been tracking changes in local search behavior month-by-month and has noticed new trends as more people receive vaccines and global restrictions start to ease. In this post, we’ll look specifically at the trends among those local consumers who’ve received their vaccines and are ready to “get back to normal” — which remains unpredictable going forward.
As travel advisories are relaxing and some U.S. markets are opening up for the summer tourism season, now is the ideal time to optimize your hotel brand’s local presence. In turn, optimizing local SEO for hotel brands has become crucial as travel restrictions and interest eases. It’s important that you create an environment of trust and reassurance for guests considering your hotel as an option for their post-pandemic getaway. Local SEO gets information about your health and safety regulations, upcoming deals, amenities, and more in front of prospective guests in the moments that matter. Here are a few important best practices to include in your brand’s local marketing strategy.
Given that the vast majority of consumers read online reviews before purchasing goods or services, third-party review sites are an important place for brands to build and maintain a strong local presence. And, when it comes to the places local customers search for the social validation of reviews, Yelp is one of the most trusted and popular. Yelp is continually adding features to enhance the experience of business owners as well as site users. In this blog post, you’ll learn the latest Yelp local business updates and how different brands can excel on this local marketing platform by understanding Yelp’s features and capabilities.
With many states currently in the process of reopening for business as vaccines roll out to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses are likely to encounter unprecedented new challenges. The road to our new normal is looking to be an uncertain one, with businesses temporarily closing and reopening as local conditions require. Providing accurate, up-to-date information to customers in all locations helps ensure that their experiences with and impressions of your brand are protected in this time of transition. Here are some tips to help you accomplish just that.
Google Maps continues to elevate the user experience and their technology. In their latest announcement, the search giant shared what users can expect to come in 2021. Stating that they are “on track to bring over 100 AI-powered improvements to Google Maps” in the next year in an effort to simplify the Maps experience. In this blog post, we will share the top new Google Maps functionality and features and how they impact multi-location businesses.
Google recently announced a new update to its Google My Business API. The latest Google My Business API V4.9 update introduces more hours for businesses that need additional hours types to better inform searchers of their hours of operation.
New Google My Business listings features of particular importance for enterprise brands include COVID-19 Posts, Secondary Hours, Insurance Links, COVID-19 Attributes, and more. Now, Google plans to display state and regional vaccination distribution information on Search to help people quickly and easily locate where they can get vaccinated.
Guide to Local Curbside Pickup Marketing for Enterprise Brands
February 16, 2021
How can your brand better market curbside pickup availability to connect with shoppers and diners who prefer not to do business in-store? In this column, we’ll explore different ways multi-location brands can enhance the visibility of alternative fulfillment methods at the local level and drive more conversions from search to curbside pickup or delivery.
2021 Local Marketing Predictions and What’s to Come
February 15, 2021
Staying at the leading edge of the local search landscape means making sure your brand is positioned to take advantage of new features and functionalities as they become available. Check out these new and emerging Google My Business (GMB) features as well as a few things outside of GMB that brand marketers will want to keep your eye on in the coming months.
In this environment of continued uncertainty, brands are having to adapt their marketing approach to meet local consumer needs. The big question is: are these temporary changes, or has COVID-19 changed local marketing forever? And how have search engines adapted to these local marketing changes to keep up with the ongoing pandemic?
Local Search Trends and Predictions for 2021: Ask the Experts
December 15, 2020
In the absence of historic data to help guide your planning through the pandemic recovery period, how can your brand set a solid marketing strategy for 2021? We asked a panel of local search experts to share their insights and advice on local search trends for enterprise and multi-location brands to aid in your 2021 planning. Here’s what they had to say.
Retailers have felt the lingering effects of COVID-19 for months as sales began to slip and consumers began to save. Concerns of a slow 2020 holiday season are top of mind as we close out a tumultuous year. The question top of every marketer’s mind seems to be how can we have a successful 2020 holiday season amid a global pandemic?
10 Tips to Strengthen Your Local Pages Before Black Friday
November 4, 2020
Businesses are more eager than ever to generate year-end sales after a financially stressful year across all industries. How can they do this? In addition to optimizing your local listings across all your locations, brands must also prepare their local landing pages. Whether you’re creating a specific landing page for pre-holiday shoppers or updating your local pages, we’ve rounded up our top 10 tips to strengthen your local pages before the most infamous shopping day of the year.
12 Tips to Maximize Local Revenue Digitally Amid a Pandemic
October 14, 2020
Holiday shopping this season promises to be one of the most unusual in recent memory. Knowing this is the case, how can enterprise local brands make the best use of digital channels to maximize local revenue this year?
Google My Business Adds Video Appointment Functionality to Platform
September 30, 2020
As more brands seek to build out their digital offerings, Google has provided documentation on how to offer your services online. Now businesses can “highlight your fully remote and real-time services such as classes, appointments, or consultations via Google My Business (GMB)” via “Online” attributes.
7 New Consumer Insights to Drive Enterprise Local Holiday Marketing in 2020
September 22, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has transformed markets worldwide in myriad ways, and while no one knows quite what to expect for the holiday shopping season, it’s crucial to prepare for the recent shifts in consumer behavior. Let’s take a look at what we do know; these insights can help inform your enterprise local holiday marketing search strategy, come what may.
11 Tips for Enterprise Local Holiday Marketing Success Despite COVID-19
September 15, 2020
It’s difficult to even hazard a guess as to how consumers will behave leading into and throughout the critical holiday shopping season. As we’ve learned throughout 2020, the state of affairs can change near-instantly. What is certain is that enterprise brands will face unique challenges in connecting with consumers at the local level and will need to pivot their local holiday marketing strategies as we near the holidays.
Consumers are on the hunt for clear COVID-19 protocols for any business they plan to visit. Optimizing Yelp listings for social distancing terms is now a must for all enterprise brands. We provide our top tips to help your enterprise brand optimize its Yelp profiles for social distancing terms.
Brands have an opportunity to demonstrate relevance and improve rankings on specific consumer needs by using current trending keywords. We break down the trending keywords Americans are using now to find local businesses that meet their needs.
Local reviews are a top feedback channel for customers anytime but are a particularly important source of insight and bilateral communication in times of crisis. How can you pivot your local reviews management strategy to best meet the needs of your business—and the customers you serve?
The need for brands to be able to quickly pivot their local marketing efforts and communicate changes to their operations has become evident in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands must focus on their local presence to nurture your customer relationships. To help you better prepare and prioritize your local marketing efforts when the unexpected strikes, we’ve rounded up our top best practices for maintaining your local presence during times of ambivalence.
Now, more than ever before restaurants are relying heavily on delivery and takeout orders to make ends meet. Yet if customers can’t find accurate, up-to-date information on the services your restaurant brand is currently offering, you risk losing their business during a pivotal time. In this post, we will explore recent changes to GMB, what they mean for enterprise restaurant brands, and when/how to use them.
As we see more indefinite closures in the financial vertical, it’s pertinent to properly close or consolidate your locations in Google My Business (GMB). In this post, we will provide you with expert guidance on effectively closing branch locations, whether your locations are closing permanently or going through a consolidation.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprise brand marketers have had their priorities shift dramatically and often.
In this post, we share insights gained and lessons learned from managing local listings in a time of crisis for over 200,000 U.S. stores, offices, branches, and service areas. You’ll also find 6 tips to help you better manage your own local listings in times of crisis.
Brands are being challenged to keep pace and adopt these new terms into their local SEO. This raises a critical question all brands should be bearing in mind, does your online presence for each location meet the needs of shoppers as the pandemic continues on? In this blog post, we will share 4 SEO best practices from our local SEO expert, Chad Klingensmith, Senior SEO Strategist at Rio SEO, to help keep your Local Pages relevant and trustworthy.
Local advertising has been in a state of flux since the Coronavirus pandemic took hold across the United States. Now, with the first phase of Opening Up America Again underway, brands are coming back with adjusted messaging and creative. We explore where you need to focus now, with resources to get you on the right track.
While the foodservice industry has dramatically had to shift its operations significantly to adapt to a new era of consumerism, many have been quick to adapt to new trends. We share expert insight into how local marketers can perfect their local strategy for these new restaurant services.
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused such a massive shift in consumer behavior that brands are not only rethinking their marketing budget but in many cases their entire strategy. The local marketing keywords you may already be using to describe your services aren’t necessarily the terms consumers think to use when they need to find a product or service today.
Over the past several months, we’ve hosted an ongoing webinar series, Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic. These in-depth discussions feature our local search experts on local search trends impacting businesses during COVID-19, as well as key takeaways based on our experience supporting many enterprise brands throughout this time.
As your brand plans to reopen restaurants or ramp up from reduced operations, communicating these updates to customers is mission-critical. Customers are looking to their favorite brands for guidance and reassurance as we enter this next phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this post, we provide three crucial local marketing tips to help guide restaurant brands reopening locations.
As the economy begins to reopen, businesses nationwide must communicate critical updates to their post-pandemic procedures, changes in operations, and safety protocols they’ll be adhering to ensure the safety of customers, as our society remains, understandably, still on edge. For those in the financial vertical, we’ve compiled the following local marketing tips for financial institutions to better prepare for their reopening.
As guidelines for slowly reopening the U.S. economy become more clear, enterprise brands must start planning for how to effectively shift their local marketing initiatives. In this post, we will share expert local marketing guidance and best practices on how to effectively prepare your local marketing efforts to convey the information searchers are in need of during these transitional times.
In these times of humanitarian and economic crisis, we look to the others for inspiration, guidance, and hope. We look to see how we can help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, entire organizations have committed to serving their customers and communities as helpers. Check out these other examples of brands helping others through COVID-19, how and wherever they can.
Here are 7 local metrics to tune in to as you gather the information that will help you make informed decisions around your business despite the COVID-related uncertainty.
Google recently announced that they are providing support for websites to add structured data to COVID-19 announcements. As enterprise brands seek new ways to communicate critical changes to their business operations.
We’ve analyzed our own data across many diverse enterprise brands, varying in industry and number of locations, to identify the top changes in consumer’s local search behavior.
As of Tuesday, April 7, Google has re-enabled review replies in Google My Business (GMB). Google has not yet re-enabled new reviews or Q&A, though the company says those will happen “over the coming weeks.”
In recent weeks, we’ve been closely monitoring popular search terms to better understand what consumers are searching for and what terms restaurant and grocery brands should be aware of. Based on our in-depth research, we’ve discovered the following trends.
In this week’s update, we’ll cover the following local marketing updates from the past week: GMB temporarily suspends reviews & QA, new COVID-19 Google Post type, new GMB profile attributes for restaurants, and more.
In this post, you’ll learn powerful tips for managing your Yelp presence during COVID-19—and what actions you need to take to keep your customers safe and educated amid times of crisis.
In this post, you’ll learn the critical local marketing implications of this action for multi-location restaurant brands—and what you need to do now to protect your customers, employees, and brand reputation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate and news changes by the hour, businesses must prepare to keep their customers informed with accurate, up-to-date information. These are our top four tips for keeping your listings updated with critical information.
In just the span of a few weeks, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created significant concern as it continues to spread globally. We’ve compiled a list of our top four tips for reputation management to ensure you’re providing consumers with the accurate information they need.