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08/18/2021

STUDY: Google is the #1 Local Travel Guide but TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Airbnb Not Far Behind

Interestingly, 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”).
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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Uberall, a provider of ‘Near Me’ Marketing SaaS solutions, and MomentFeed, a proximity search optimization platform,  released a new report, titled “The New Face of Local.” The report features responses from over 1,000 consumers in the U.S., and analyzes the local online performance of nearly 80,000 business locations, including thousands of hotels, airlines and travel agents.

Google is #1 for finding local business information

The overwhelming 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 of Insights, Uberall. “Data shows that consumers use multiple travel sites when planning a trip and making dining, lodging, and entertainment decisions along their journey.”

Non-branded searches became more dominant amid COVID

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.

Travel industry saw a drop-off in conversions, but 2021 data indicates rapid recovery

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% YoY, 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,” added Hedges.

In June, Uberall announced its acquisition of MomentFeed to create a new, more powerful ‘Near Me’ Customer Experience platform with unsurpassed capabilities and global reach. The combined company manages the online presence of 1.35 million business locations, including many of the world's most recognizable multi-location brands like Starbucks, Avis, Cricket Wireless, Jersey Mike’s, BP, KFC, Marks and Spencer, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Together with its customers and partners the combined entity will continue to bring market innovations that help chain brands connect with more consumers

For more information and to download the report, please visit https://join.momentfeed.com/the-new-face-of-local-report.