Consumer behavior makes predictable shifts as seasons come and go — from spring to the Holiday Season and so on. But, as Zahid Zakaria, Senior Director of Insights and Analytics at Yext states, “the need for businesses in every category to be in control of their facts online stays important year-round.”
Yext, the Search Experience Cloud company, just released 2019 research on the latest American consumer search behavior. A sample of more than 350,000 business locations in the United States looked into what searchers are clicking the most on businesses across retail, food, healthcare, and financial services. These new findings provide us a wealth of information for 2020 trends in search behavior.
Search behavior is on the rise: Consumer actions in business listings — driving directions, clicks to call businesses, and more — grew 17%.
Consumer action is growing: Consumer actions in search grew faster (17%) than search impressions of business listings (10%) over the year. Searchers are spending more time engaging with businesses.
Reviews are important: Consumers are leaving more and more reviews. The review count per business location grew by 27%. Financial services review volume grew 91% per business location, the fastest growth of any industry. Businesses are learning about the importance of reviews as well, responding to reviews 47% more than the year prior.
Yext also analyzed when American consumers clicked online listings based on seasonal changes for various business types.
A seasonal 2020 forecast found the following:
January | Resolving to stay healthy: Cold and flu season at its peak and New Years Resolutions on everyone’s mind, Americans seem to start the year with doctor visits. In January, healthcare providers have a 17% jump in clicks to online listings compared to December.
February | Money on the mind: In February, tax season begins to get well underway. Financial services institutions see up to 11% more engagement with searching consumers than the yearly average.
March | House hunting season: House listings see a 22% average increase in clicks from February to May – complementing studies indicating that spring is a big season for house hunting and selling.
April | Smartphone upgrades slow: By April, clicks to phone carrier and telecommunications provider listings in search drop 14% compared to March.
May | Memorial Day Sales: In May, consumers look to capitalize on Memorial Day sales. There is an 18% increase in clicks to automotive service search listings relative to the yearly average.
June – July | Summertime: Recreation and entertainment listings online see a surge in consumer interest. In July, there’s a 35% increase in clicks relative to the annual average. Hotel listings also bump up to 20% in clicks above the yearly average.
August | Back to school savings: Clicks to listings for stores rise to 18% higher than the yearly average. Educational services — like tutors and libraries — see clicks to listings increase 18% as well. Moreover, clicks to automotive service listings reach 21% above the yearly average.
September | Back to routine: Clicks to entertainment listings and recreation dip (18% below the yearly average) in September. In November, clicks fall up to 25% below the yearly average.
October | Hitting the books: With school season in full swing by October, families get serious about grades again. Clicks to educational services listings see a nearly 10% increase when compared to September.
November | Pass the leftovers: During the Thanksgiving season, consumers prefer to eat in, with clicks to restaurant listings dropping 13% below the yearly average.
December | Home for the holidays: In December, the holidays mean visiting family and paying for lodging. During December, clicks to hotel listings in search fall to 26% below the yearly average.
December & January | Tis’ the season of buying and giving: American consumers shopping for holiday gifts in December drive clicks to retail listings 11% more than the yearly average. After January, those clicks plummet an average of nearly 25% from December as consumers take a break from spending.
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