PinMeTo Trends: a Covid spike in hardware store searches

Local search



In 2020, uncertainty around store openings & offerings drove people to search for info online like never before. We zoom in on the hardware store sector, using PinMeTo data to show the value of proper listings management during Covid times – and after.

When people are uncertain, they search

With so much uncertainty around location opening hours and operational changes, people wanted to confirm that places were open before making the effort of going there – resulting in big spikes in search engine traffic.

The graph below shows the 2020 Google Discovery search results appearances for 1009 Scandinavian hardware store locations in the PinMeTo database:

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There was a sharp spike in searches in early March, when Scandinavian regions started to put store capacity restrictions in place, and many people began to work from home.

We can’t say for certain why these people were searching for hardware stores, but it may be that newly homebound people were trying to set up their home offices, or that they finally had the time at home to take care of their hardware projects they’d been putting off.

Because these locations were managed using PinMeTo’s Listings service, their managers could quickly react to changing regulations, meaning that it was easier to keep the information accurate – which helped maximize their appearances in search engine results.

Covid sped up the adoption of digital, but it’s here to stay

Brands that embrace the shift to digital by prioritizing building and maintaining their online presence will achieve better results during Covid – and after.

While many people changed their online behavior during Covid, the changes are unlikely to go away, even after the pandemic does. People who have grown accustomed to going online to find quick, accurate information about brands will want to continue doing so. The brands that can provide that experience are the ones that will benefit from the shift.

“Covid has changed consumer behavior. The businesses that are thriving during Covid are the ones that have adapted… Those changes in behavior are going to stay.”

– Greg Gifford, local SEO expert, on PinMeTo’s Let’s Talk Local podcast

For an example of how PinMeTo’s listings management service can help hardware stores, check out the case study for Scandinavian hardware retailer XL Bygg, which grew its Google results by 124% using PinMeTo.

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