So, you’ve decided you want to go into business for yourself. Good for you! Started is half-done, as they say.
But perhaps you’re struggling with what to sell. Whether you’re planning to run a brick-and-mortar store, operate an e-commerce site, or monetize your blog, HostGator’s latest investigation may help you decide on a path to business success.
We recently reviewed the top Google autocompletes for “best [state] …” to find out what consumers are looking for when they think of your state. This list is a viable starting place for selling something in which people are interested.
The Most Common #1 Autocomplete for Each State
Wondering what your state is most known for? Check out the map below, which reveals the #1 most searched for “best” item in each state.
As you can see, “beaches” claimed the most #1 spots with a total of 16 states.
In fact, beach-related terms represented 9.5% of all the searches. Looking at the individual state images below, you can see the beach theme shows up a lot. Analyzing the data, we discovered trends among other related word groups. Below is a list of the most popular word groups:
- Hotels/lodging-related = 11.6%
- Liquor-related (beers, wineries, etc) = 10%
- Food-related (crab cakes, restaurants, etc) = 8.4%
- Spectator sports (best basketball players, running backs, etc.) = 8.0%
- Educational = 6.5%
- Hunting/fishing = 2.7%
Can you guess what the most searched for item was?
The term showed up in the 28 of the state searches, with a tie for runner-up between “resorts” and “colleges,” which each showed up in 25 of the state searches. Apparently, Americans love their golf. (As does Snappy, as you may remember from a recent post)
What’s “Best” In Your State?
Are you from one of these states? Let us know in the comments if you were surprised by any of the autocompletes. We’d also love to hear your suggestions for the “best” your state has to offer.
Note: This data was collected in late June 2016 and is subject to change due to search trends. If you perform the same search and find something different, please let us know in the comments!
Scroll below to discover the top ten Google autocompletes for your state.
Similar to Indiana, the state of Alabama’s thunder is partially stolen by the popular band Alabama Shakes. Notwithstanding the band-related searches, people are interested in Alabama recreation, BBQ, and football. Write a blog about the best Alabama beach towns and destinations or the best Alabama football players, optimize your site for SEO, and you could likely make a pretty penny off of ad traffic.
Queries unique to Alabama:
- players in NFL
- shakes album
- shakes songs
The autocomplete results make it abundantly clear: Everybody wants to go on an Alaskan cruise. Starting your own cruise line is quite audacious, but you can jump on the cruise bandwagon in a multitude of other, much more feasible ways: become a travel agent, blog about the different cruise lines, or sell vacation gear.
Autocompletes unique to Alaska:
- cruise 2016
- cruise deals
- cruise ship
- cruises from seattle
- land tours
As expected, Arizona golf courses are much sought after. But the less expected result is the interest in breweries. Beer enthusiasts, take heart! Critique the local brews or develop your own craft beer. It should be easy enough to get friends to help you taste-test.
The oddball one here is “best Arizona flavors.” If anyone has any idea what that’s about, we’d love to know.
Autocompletes unique to Arizona:
Outdoorsmen and earth-lovers seek adventure in Arkansas. Help them find it with a tourist guide. Alternatively, tap into the motorcycle culture with a blog devoted to reviewing different models or their favorite haunts along the highways. When in doubt, you could always get into the stone sharpening business.
Autocompletes unique to Arkansas:
- hiking trails
- motorcycle roads
No surprises here: inquiring minds want to know about the best beaches, wines, and olive oil in California. Launch an online business selling wines or olive oil. If you do this, be sure to name your business “Best California Wines” for optimum SEO impact. You could also start a college advising business and break down the pros and cons of the different universities.
Autocompletes unique to California:
- king mattress
- olive oil
Everyone knows Colorado is a go-to vacation spot for snowbirds in the winter, but people need help figuring out where to go in the summer. Create a travel blog documenting your summertime visits throughout the state. Photographers can capitalize on these interests by adding galleries to their sites of the best mountain vistas, skier action photos, or town skylines.
Autocompletes unique to Colorado:
- summer destinations
- summer vacations
- towns in summer
- towns to visit in summer
Who needs Cuba when you have Connecticut? Sell Connecticut cigars online or open up a humidor in your town. People love to dine in Connecticut, so review the restaurants and breweries on your local blog (or open up your own).
Autocompletes unique to Connecticut:
- towns to visit
- wrapper cigars
In Delaware, it’s all about the beaches, the schools, and… starting your own business! Offer freelance web development or design services to local schools to help give them a boost in the search engines. If you start a business, be sure to get a Delaware registered agent – every LLC and corporation operating in Denver needs one. Better yet, you could become one yourself.
Autocompletes unique to Delaware:
- beach for families
Unsurprisingly, Florida’s autocomplete searches are dominated by visions of beaches. Find a popular beach near you, and zero in on a business opportunity that’s clearly missing. If you don’t want to run a beach-based business, or you live inland, start almost anything else. The competition should be much less steep.
Autocompletes unique to Florida:
- beaches near orlando
- gulf beaches
- keys beaches
- keys resorts
People in Georgia are balanced. They care about having fun and drinking beer during their leisure time, just as much as they care about their education. Maybe the key to making money online in Georgia is by having ads on your site that appeal to whichever thing you’re not selling – beer on a golf course site, beach resorts on a beer distributor site, beer on a school site… wait a minute. Never mind that last one.
There’s a reason those “Just Maui’d” shirts are popular. Hawaii is the only state to be a top honeymoon spot, according to Google’s autocompletes. Enterprising business owners can create deals catered towards newlyweds, and new entrepreneurs could find ways to attract tourists towards their business by associating it with the beach, vacations, and resorts.
Autocompletes unique to Hawaii:
- vacation packages
- vacation spots
Whether it’s fishing, camping, hunting, golfing, skiing, or hiking, there is a wide variety of outdoorsy activities for nature lovers to enjoy in Idaho, which means there are a lot of different niche business opportunities for you to explore! In fact, Idaho is the only state that has ten completely different auto-completes listed. Bravo!
Autocompletes unique to Idaho:
- fly fishing rivers
Illinois threw us for a loop. The state can’t seem to decide whether it wants to focus on getting a good education, or simply getting wasted by any means possible (even if it takes a fake ID!). Tutors can grow their business by blogging about or advising on the top schools in the state. Realtors should be sure to know about the suburbs in their area. Sports fans could make a good living with a football website. Take all the fun of having a brewery, without the work, and devote yourself to reviewing state-crafted beers.
Autocompletes unique to Illinois:
- fake id
Indiana has a similar experience to Alabama, with some of its autocompletes getting outshined by the Indiana Jones franchise. Besides that, Indiana is all about basketball. Set up a basketball blog, forum, or fantasy team business, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
Autocompletes unique to Indiana:
- hoosiers basketball players
- jones game
- jones movie
- jones quotes
- pacers players
Iowa loves its sports. Create a fan site devoted to the comings and goings of famous players, and you might just become the Perez Hilton of the Iowa sports world! If they’re not watching sports, Iowans are hunting (and they’re hunting whitetail in particular), so you could create a business catered to that crowd.
Autocompletes unique to Iowa:
- whitetail outfitters
What’s better than eating meat and watching basketball? Combine those together and you’ll have a successful business plan for the state of Kansas.
Autocompletes unique to Kansas:
- city bbq
- city neighborhoods
It’s all about the Kentucky Derby! Craft a fashion or interior design line inspired by the Kentucky Derby. Open up a event planning business and develop a Kentucky Derby-themed party. If you’re not interested in the Kentucky Derby, basketball and whiskey are safe bets, too.
Autocompletes unique to Kentucky:
- bluegrass seed
- derby dresses
- derby hats
- derby outfits
- derby parties
- derby times
Chefs, Louisiana may be just the place for you. Open your own restaurant, devise your own special hot sauce recipe, or start your own foodie blog devoted to crawfish, gumbo, and Creole food.
Autocompletes unique to Louisiana:
- crawfish boil recipe
- gumbo recipe
- hot sauce
- swamp tours
Maine is another vacation destination. Plan your business around attracting tourists and helping them enjoy the best seaside experience.
Autocompletes unique to Maine:
In Maryland, crabs are where it’s at. Review the best crab restaurants and recipes the state has to offer, or create your own to share on your blog.
Autocompletes unique to Maryland:
- crab cake recipe
- crab cakes
- crab dip recipe
Cape Cod, anyone? When they’re not focused on getting into the best schools, people want to know how the fastest way to the beach!
Autocompletes unique to Massachusetts:
- high schools
When they’re not busy giving directions using the palms of their hands, Michiganders are drinking beer, watching sports, and enjoying their leisure time. A sports blog or beer review site should do well here.
It’s not called the Land of 10,000 Lakes for no reason. Help people find all 10,000 with map guides, tours, online reviews, or blogs about the lakes. Better yet, open up a resort or brewery nearby.
Autocompletes unique to Minnesota:
- lake resorts
While Minnesota’s all about its lakes, Mississippi is all about the river. If you don’t want to open up a recreation or travel business, why not a dance studio to help people with their half-step or a cooking school to make the best Mississippi mud pie? You can film instructional videos to play on your website.
Autocompletes unique to Mississippi:
- half step
- mud cake
- mud cake recipe
- mud pie recipe
- river cruises
- river towns
- roast recipe
Missouri is a great place to spend time outdoors, exploring caves, camping, and hiking. The standout on this list is “small towns” – create an online road trip guide where you provide driving directions to hit all the quaint spots.
Autocompletes unique to Missouri:
- float trips
- small towns
With dude ranches and elk units in the top ten, it’s clear Montana has retained some of its Wild West roots. Here you can live the cowboy dream with your very own ranch, or start an online outfitters’ store to sell hunting, hiking, and skiing gear.
Autocompletes unique to Montana:
- dude ranches
- of 300 lyrics
- of 300 songs
Who says Napa Valley owns the market on wine? Sure, there are a lot of beer-drinking football aficionados in the state, but there’s plenty of vinos too. Use YouTube to offer virtual wine-tasting classes, or to realize their dreams of being a sports commentator – all you have to do is create a channel.
Autocompletes unique to Nebraska:
- football team
- wide receivers
Nevadans know there’s much more to their state than Las Vegas. Happily, so do Google searchers. Create a virtual ghost town experience, or partner with local breweries to develop a ghost-themed draft. Got online marketing experience? Offer SEO services to the smaller cities to help them compete online with the Vegas tourist trap.
Autocompletes unique to Nevada:
- barr book
- ghost towns
Best New Hampshire…
“Live Free or Die” is the state motto of New Hampshire, and it shows in their recreation. People come to this state to explore the wild and free outdoors, whether it’s hiking, camping, skiing, or swimming. If you’re outdoorsy, start your own business guiding people through your wilderness. More comfortable indoors? Develop online marketing campaigns for the businesses near you to help them show up in the Google search results.
Best New Jersey…
People are looking for the best cities, towns, and suburbs in New Jersey. There’s a good chance these searches are from people looking to move there, so get your realtor license and make sure you have an online presence.
Best New Mexico…
There is a wide variety of tourist interests in New Mexico, and there’s a business opportunity for any kind of entrepreneur. Like the cold? Do something for skiers. Prefer the heat? Focus on golfers. Like to stay active? Cater to camping and hunting enthusiasts? Prefer to lay low? Kick back and relax with the wine drinkers.
Best New York…
And we thought Louisiana was the place to go for foodies! Calling all chefs, food bloggers, and restaurateurs – step right up and claim your food of choice.
Autocompletes unique to New York:
- cheesecake recipe
- style pizza
Best North Carolina…
People love their North Carolina beach resorts, don’t they? Open up a beach-related tourism business, and create suggested itineraries, hotels, and transportation options for the different beach towns. You could add a travel blog where you review all of your itineraries and the different accommodations and restaurants you visited.
Best North Dakota…
Sadly, what’s notable about North Dakota is that it was the only state that inspired less than a full list of ten autocompletes. With a search query as vague as “attractions,” people are clearing looking for things to do, which means any kind of recreational or leisure activity should be met with a warm welcome. Create a kooky roadside landmark or a business focused on fun!
Autocompletes unique to North Dakota:
- hockey players
- mule deer unit
Ohio is big on sports, beer, and higher education. Start an online forum for high school students to interact with Ohio college students and alumni to get their questions answered. Launch a blog or podcast reviewing Ohio State’s sports teams.
Autocompletes unique to Ohio:
- state football players
- state running backs
Similar to Ohio, there’s a lot of interest in Oklahoma about the state university’s sports teams. Develop a fan site dedicated to bios and stats of the individual players, or share your commentary about each game with a live blog. If you’re not so into sports, you can always do your part to let people know that Minnesota’s not the only state with great lakes.
Autocompletes unique to Oklahoma:
Vintners and winos, Oregon is your state! Review all of the state wines, or make your own to ship online from your very own e-commerce store. Advise people on the best local wines along the coast, or the best wine to drink while playing Oregon Trail.
Autocompletes unique to Oregon:
- coast hotels
- coast towns
- pinot noir
- trail game
Who knew Pennsylvania was the place to be for flea markets? After “best Arizona flavors,” this may be the oddest autocomplete yet. Get in on this trend by blogging about the best flea markets, what shoppers can expect with each one, and providing tips and tricks for scoring the best deals.
Autocompletes unique to Pennsylvania:
- flea markets
Best Rhode Island…
Many outsiders feel Rhode Island is quaint because it’s so small, but this small state packs a big punch! Whether it’s breweries, restaurants, golf courses, or beaches, there’s a lot to do in Rhode Island, and it all goes well with clam chowder. Set up a reviews site dedicated to one of these search queries in particular, or share your own experiences by blogging about any of these.
Autocompletes unique to Rhode Island:
- clam chowder
Best South Carolina…
South Carolina is a wonderful vacation destination, known in particular for its islands (it’s the only state to have this search query). You could capitalize on all of these search queries by blogging about the best islands, and then the best beaches, BBQ, and golf available on those islands.
Autocompletes unique to South Carolina:
- vacation spots
Best South Dakota…
What’s unique about South Dakota? Pheasant hunting. Use your website to sell gear, blog about the best pheasant hunting spots, or answer FAQs from out-of-towners. Provide tutorials on hunting and camping to post on YouTube and embed on your site. Create a recipe forum devoted to pheasants, and invite other users to post their creations.
Autocompletes unique to South Dakota:
- pheasant hunting
- pheasant hunting lodge
What goes better with a camping trip than whiskey? Bourbon or BBQ, maybe. Tennessee has a rich culture for distilled beverages. Partner with local distilleries to help them distribute and sell their whiskeys online, or set up a reviews site that rates the best liquors Tennessee has to offer. Tennessee also has a lot to offer in terms of the great outdoors, so attract online visitors and ad traffic with a travel blog.
Texans love to drink, and they’re not particular about what they’re drinking. This means you can zero in on your favorite type of drink, or you can use them all in your online business! Create an online blog about the best Texas wines, beers, and whiskey, and invite people to submit their own reviews or upload their favorite cocktail recipes. Send an email newsletter that announces the newcomers on the market each month. You could also sell ad space to the individual wineries and breweries.
The unique one here is “country songs” – how many country songs can you name that are about Texas or by Texan singers? Tell us in the comments!
As a Texas-based company, we at HostGator were shocked and dismayed that “best texas web hosts” was not a search result, but one can dream…
Autocompletes unique to Texas:
- country songs
If you love exploring the great outdoors, Utah is the place to go. Guide tourists to the coolest parks, hikes, and resorts with a travel blog, forum, or reviews site. Set up a Utah Jazz fan site with profiles of all the players, the latest gossip, and a guide to the best seats.
Autocompletes unique to Utah:
- jazz players of all time
- national parks
Mmm… Vermont maple syrup. We all saw that coming. Besides maple syrup, people come to Vermont for its coziness – it’s the only state with searches for “bed and breakfast” and “inns” in the top ten autocompletes. Help them find the coziest place possible with an online reviews site or travel blog. Equip people with instructions on how to make their own maple syrup, or dishes that taste even better with maple syrup.
Autocompletes unique to Vermont:
- bed and breakfast
- maple syrup
Virginia Beach dominates the autocomplete results for Virginia. Review the best beach destinations and develop a travel guide to help beachgoers find restaurants, resorts, and seaside attractions. Alternately, you could take on the country ham craze and sell Virginia ham online, share recipes on a foodie blog, or review the sellers.
Autocompletes unique to Virginia:
- woolf novel
So when we searched for Washington, the only thing that was able to hold its own among results for the nation’s capital was “wines.” No judgments.
To give the state its due, we performed another search.
While wine ranks #1, there is a nice variety of interests for Washington state. Open an advising business to help future undergrads find the right college for them, or create a travel blog to review the best beaches, resorts, parks, and other attractions in the state.
Best West Virginia…
West Virginia’s top results are all completely different. Start your own travel blog or basketball fan site. Help the ski resorts and golf courses stand out online by providing marketing or web development services.
Like Vermont’s maple syrup, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “cheese” appears in Wisconsin’s search results. Blog about the best cheeses and incorporate online reviews to build your site content. Discuss the top dairies and farmers, and provide recipes and serving suggestions.
Autocompletes unique to Wisconsin:
- cheese curds
- dells resorts
- dells water parks
Hunters flock to Wisconsin for the antelope, the elk, and the fly fishing. Help them get more out of their trip by offering guides on nearby hotels and campgrounds, explaining state regulations, and revealing the best spots and times of year.
Autocompletes unique to Wyoming:
- antelope unit
- fly fishing
And In Conclusion…
No matter where you live in these United States, opportunities abound for those possessing the entrepreneurial spirit. Do some quick research, locate your niche, and launch your new online business today!
Amelia Willson is a freelance writer, content marketer and SEO strategist who helps businesses succeed online. A graduate of Wellesley College with a degree in English, she landed on a career in marketing where she spends her days trying to crack the code of Google’s mighty algorithm and blogging for various online publications. When she’s not busy working, you can find her running around Austin, Texas, with her dog Rockefeller or blogging about Disneyland.