The Most-Googled Small Business Questions, by State

The story is honest and familiar—a hardworking American saves up just enough to set up shop in a corner-side brick and mortar. This person takes a chance, lives their dream, and betters their community in the process.

This version of the American Dream is a reality for millions of Americans. In 2020, there were 31.7 million small businesses in the United States. These small businesses, in turn, employed 60.6 million people, or 41.7% of the total private workforce in the United States. With stats like these, chances are you either know a small business owner, or you are one.

But how do small business owners—and aspiring, soon-to-be small business owners—answer their most burning, business-savvy questions? They head over to Google!

The team at CenturyLink Business crunched the data and created a state-by-state map of the most-Googled small business questions in the US-of-A. Read on to see what small business owners are asking in your state:

Each State’s Most-Googled Small Business Question

Map of most-Googled small business questions by state + legend

America’s Favorite Business Questions

Now that you know which state is asking what question, it’s time to dig into the questions that trended the highest among the country:

  • “What business to start?” was the most-Googled question by the highest number of states. It appeared a total of 16 times, making up 31% of total search queries. Utah residents led the new-business charge, expanding small business ownership at a rate of 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019—much higher than the national average of 2.1%.
  • “How business use social media?” was the most popular query from California and Florida. Social media is much more than just a way to kill your lunch hour: 73% of marketers consider their social media marketing to be “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.
  • “How to create a Facebook business page?” was the most-popular question from Indiana and Massachusetts. But you may wonder: are people really using Facebook? Yes—nearly  of American adults are Facebook users. If you expand that net across the globe, Facebook boasts over 2.8 billion active monthly users.
  • “How to fire an employee?” was the most popular question from New York and Texas. 2020 was a hard year for the American workforce, with the US unemployment rate peaking at 14.7% in April of 2020 (23.1 million unemployed Americans). Luckily, that number has since dropped to 6.3% as of January 2021.

Methodology

The team at CenturyLink Business gathered 127 queries from Semrush and ran them through Google Trends data to see which questions were the most Googled in each state. The data was collected from 2/2/2020–2/2/2021.