Changing Trends on Google Search amidst Coronavirus Pandemic and Its Effects on Your PPC Campaigns

The rapid outbreak of Covid-19 globally isn’t just changing how consumers behave but also what they search for on Google. As a World Health Organisation (WHO) announces Coronavirus a pandemic, anxiety, and distress is soaring high and so are Google searches across the world.


And the search is not just about the virus itself; Coronavirus is transforming how we search for health, shopping, entertainment, travel, financial & business information, and even dogs.

But how these changing trends on Google search are affecting your PPC campaigns? To be honest, Covid-19 pandemonium has been affecting businesses of all types and complexities – except health & medicine, live streaming services, beauty & personal care, and the like.


Amidst this crisis, many PPC advertisers have put a complete halt to all their campaigns. As they now spend more time monitoring the SERP, they are discovering that searchers are looking for things entirely different. As a result, the clicks are not worth their ad spend on Adwords packages.

Regardless of the fact that Covid-19 has negatively impacted PPC campaigns of businesses across many industries, it is important to understand how you can adapt to these fast-changing Google search trends to improve your ad results during this scary time.


Hire PPC consultant who will audit your paid search advertising campaigns, optimize them for the current pandemic scenario, and make necessary improvements to achieve higher ROI.


Top Google Search Trends amidst Covid-19 Outbreak and How to Optimise Your PPC Campaigns Likewise


In this section, we will see the most popular Google searches that are topping the list in the midst of Covid-19 outbreak.


#1: The Term “Coronavirus” Tops the Trend


See the search volume for “coronavirus” during the last week of February, 2020:

coronovirus graph

Source: The Washington Post

The graph clearly indicates that the search interest for “coronavirus” has increased sevenfold on average from February 22 – February 28.


It is the most popular search term on Google today, dominating searches for weather, news, politics, Amazon, Facebook, or even Google. And it isn’t just Covid-19 that is ruling Google searches; coronavirus-related topics are also garnering immense popularity these days.

Some of the most widely searched-for topics are coronavirus symptoms, face masks, hand sanitizers, unemployment, toilet papers, recovery rate for coronavirus, etc. If you take U.S. alone, here is a glimpse of trending insights from most popular Google search terms on March 4, 2020:

coronavirus trending insights

Source: Google Trends

How to Optimise Your PPC Campaign?


1. Optimize your PPC Campaigns for new search terms & volume: Keeping pace with coronavirus-related trending topics on Google, you should hire a Google Adwords PPC consultant who can adjust the campaigns by incorporating new search terms relevant to the current situation.


You can refer Google Trends Coronavirus Hub or Google Keyword Planner to discover keywords that are most relevant to your business, product or service.


2. Review Latest Google Trends: Regularly reviewing Google Trends will also help you understand how your target audience’s search interests and priorities are changing amidst coronavirus pandemic. This will enable you to make the necessary improvements in your ad creative and landing pages.


3. Add Negative Keywords: When you add Covid-19 related terms to your campaigns, they can attract panicked searchers who can be inappropriate for your business.


Do not want irrelevant searchers to click your PPC ads and increase your CPC? A PPC consultant can identify new negative keywords and optimize your campaign around them to get only the most relevant clicks.


#2: Four Industries Experiencing Increased Google Search Volume during Coronavirus  


Needless to say, the pandemic has badly hit our economies, businesses, and our peace of mind too. But there are certain industries that are witnessing an increase in Google search volume as well as business performance as a result of the outbreak. These are:


a) Health & Medical: As coronavirus is spreading worldwide as a hay fire, people have become more concerned about their health and wellbeing. As such, Google is seeing a surge in health and medical-related searches.


Online purchase of over-the-counter medications and health products has increased significantly. As a result, PPC ad clicks and conversion rates are also higher than ever before.


google search volume

Source: WordStream

b) Live Streaming & On-Demand Media: With lockdowns and social distancing prevalent across most coronavirus-affected countries, people are now spending more time at home consuming entertainment of all forms and varieties.


Keeping behind other forms of entertainment, the search interest and performance of live streaming services and on-demand media has almost doubled in the last few weeks.


c) Beauty & Personal Care: During this hard time, self-care is one of the top priorities of consumers today. At least, this is evident from surging Google searches related to beauty and personal care.


More people are searching Google for products like hand sanitizer or soap. As a result, there is a 41% growth in searches in this segment. Certain verticals also seeing improved ad performance with higher conversions and lower CPC.


d) Ecommerce: As coronavirus outbreak has caused in-store visits to crash down by 90%, ecommerce sites have taken over the trend, making it to the top searches on Google.


And that is mostly coming from people who are looking for essential items related to the pandemic and pantry-loading. These include hand sanitizers, thermometers, toilet papers, soaps, wipes, and food items.


How to Optimise Your PPC Campaign?


1. Take Your Business Online: To address the recent challenge of poor in-store visits, consider taking your business online by creating a website first. Then you can hire a PPC consultant company to build paid search advertising campaigns that promote your brand presence and drive more leads online.


For instance, you can consider creating an ad that focuses on providing health and medical supplies online, with free home delivery.


2. Leverage the Opportunity as Traditional Retail Refocuses Business Online: Amidst coronavirus outbreak, many traditional brick-and-mortar stores are switching to the web to survive and sustain the distress.


Ecommerce has also gained remarkable popularity in recent times. This can be an opportunity for your business if you are anywhere related to the supply chain, logistics, and distribution.


For instance, packing and shipping supplies have almost doubled (up by 123%) their PPC ad conversions and conversion rate (up by 107%) as many businesses are refocusing online.

PPC ad conversions

Source: WordStream


3. Optimize Your Call-to-Action & Landing Pages: As consumer behaviour is changing rapidly and businesses are re-strategizing, it is important that you optimize your CTA and landing pages too. Some ideas to do this are:


  • Create a compelling ad/landing page title that catches instant attention
  • Add a touch of immediateness – “Hurry! The offer lasts for 24 hours!”
  • Be empathetic
  • Mention any change in time or service scope due to Covid-19
  • Provide an interesting offer – “Get up to 50% instant cashback voucher”


Call to Action

Source: PayPal


4. Choose Adwords Outsourcing: Not sure how to cope with Covid-19 situation in improving your PPC campaigns? An outsourcing PPC agency has industry experts who continuously follow the recent trends and their effect on paid search advertising.


Likewise, they will devise strategies that will help you transform the threats into lucrative opportunities.


#3: Google Search Volume has Increased but Search Ad Impressions have dropped   


Google searches have increased in volume during Covid-19 but Google search ad impressions have been decreasing gradually – 7% below average. Following the outbreak, average Google Search conversion rate has been declining sharply, an average drop of 21%.

google search ad impression

Source: WordStream

How to Optimise Your PPC Campaign?


1. Leverage Cross-Network Opportunities: If your prospective customers are not clicking your PPC ads or converting on Google, it is just that they are looking on other platforms.


Covid-19 pandemonium has drastically changed consumer behaviour and no one knows what trend will come up tomorrow. So it is not unlikely for the giant search engine and ad network to perform poorly. The good news is – you can still target your audience and generate more leads.


Find out where internet users are spending most of their times while being at home during coronavirus outbreak. Internet usage trends reveal that people are now spending their time mostly on Facebook, YouTube and Bing.


Google third-party networks are also performing well. Target these platforms for your PPC ads. Cross-network advertising helps diversify your risks and makes up for the losses even if one platform performs poorly.


2. Advertise only on Days and Times that Provide the Best Value to your Business: According to Google Trends, coronavirus-related searches increase early in the morning and late at night. It might sound lucrative to target most of your PPC ads at these times.


Unfortunately, it will eat up most of your ad budget but conversions will be poorer. That is because people are less likely to convert during these wee hours of the day.


Rather, your PPC outsourcing agency can help leverage the Dimensions tab in your Google Ads account that will help position the ads just at the right time and days that generate maximum clicks and conversions for your business.  


Hope this blog will help you understand the latest Google Search trends and how you can transform these into business opportunities by working with a PPC outsourcing company.


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