Here’s some good news for local marketers! Google is now sharing insights about trending searches in Google Maps, a rare set of search data, which can be of great help.
Previously, local search data for January used to provide a sneak-peek into people’s New Year’s resolution plans, showing searches for gyms, healthy restaurants, winter vacations, and various forms of self-improvement spiking during the entire month.
But the difference about January 2021 is that this set of Google Maps search data offers a look into what people are doing when they leave home during a time when travel is discouraged. Although, data shows us that people are doing a lot of the same things they do every January but with a different approach to it this year.
For example, unlike every year, people are searching for local travel instead of international travel destinations. Same way, they are searching for at-home workouts instead of the nearest gyms.
Let’s have a deeper look into January 2021 Google Maps search trends.
For this year, people’s focus has shifted from international travel to local travel. Compared to every year, searches for countries outside one’s hometown were low this January.
In January 2020, Maps searches for international destinations increased by 65% over December 2019. Whereas searches for local bed and breakfasts have increased by 20% in January 2021 as compared to late 2020.
Google also noted that ski resorts are trending “in a big way” on Maps. As skiing is a socially distant activity, more people are focusing on it; as a result, searches for ski resorts were more than twice as high as they were last year.
New Year’s Resolution
Search trends in January have always represented people’s New Year’s resolution plans like drinking less, eating better, and exercising more.
Usually, every year, the query “Dry January” tends to spike at the beginning of the year, as people vow to abstain from alcohol in the month following the holiday season.
But this year, it seems very few people are taking this challenge because searches for wine shops and liquor stores dropped by 11% and 6% respectively as compared to December. Whereas, last year at this same time, searches for both the queries were down nearly 40% as compared to the holiday season.
Eating healthy remains a priority this year too. As data shows, searches for “healthy” options increased by 46% in January as compared to December. But it also shows that people’s appetite for sweets is up this year. Searches for ice cream shops are up by 10% as compared to December.
Unlike every year, searches for fast-food restaurants in January 2021 haven’t decreased. Contrary to January 2020, this year’s searches for fast food dropped only by 1.5% from December to January.
Searches related to workouts and exercise remained high even this year, witnessing an increase of 25% from December to January.
According to Google, searches for hiking areas have gone down this year. Data shows only a 16% increase as compared to last year’s 55% increase.