Study: Nearly 70% of Americans use Google for travel searches

Uberall, a provider of  “Near Me” Marketing SaaS solutions, and MomentFeed, a proximity search optimization platform, have released a new report, “The New Face of Local,” that analyzes the local online performance of nearly 80,000 business locations, including thousands of hotels, airlines and travel agents. The report features responses from more than 1,000 consumers in the U.S.

The majority of consumers (69%) use Google to find local business information. However, more than 20% say they also use Apple Maps, Yelp and/or Yahoo to find information about nearby businesses. Industry specific websites and apps like Airbnb and TripAdvisor are also important, with one out of five consumers using these platforms.

“Consumers are eager to book post-COVID travel and travel-related businesses would be wise to optimize their local presence on Google and other popular travel apps,” said Greg Sterling, VP, insights, Uberall. “Data shows that consumers use multiple travel sites when planning a trip and making dining, lodging and entertainment decisions along their journey.” 

Globally, Uberall found that non-branded search queries became more dominant during the pandemic, meaning that consumers search for the what (“hotel near me”), not the who (e.g. “Marriott near me”).

“The increase in non-branded local searches is a complex phenomenon, largely driven by the value consumers place on proximity, immediacy and convenience,” said Nick Hedges, chief strategy officer/EVP North America, Uberall.

Safety issues and restrictions affected all location-based businesses in the U.S. in 2020, leading to a slight 1% decrease in clicks to action per listing. The travel industry was hit especially hard during 2020, with a decrease in clicks for almost all conversion types. Travel listings saw decline in actions at -47% year-over-year, which can be largely attributed to the extensive travel restrictions in 2020. 

“This isn’t too surprising, considering the industry is strongly connected to in-person conversion experiences, which couldn’t be substituted completely by a website visit or phone call,” said Hedges. “Data does indicate a return to normalcy across all industries, with record high volumes of local listing activities in early 2021. This upward trend is one we expect to see continue as travel restrictions continue to loosen.” 

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