How to Improve PPC Campaigns in Covid-19 Pandemic Situation?

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As coronavirus turns out to be a global pandemic, the advertising scenario has dramatically changed overnight. As lockdowns become prevalent worldwide and more people succumb to social distancing, businesses have been hit badly. Consequently, they are taking a step back on their marketing efforts and cutting down their ad spend.


However, you cannot put your business on a halt for eternity, right? Advertisers, now, need to be more creative, agile, brave and adaptive to the fast-changing COVID-19 environment.


Rather than taking a foot back, it is time to restrategize your PPC Adword campaign to make it most relevant to the current situation and drive quality leads.


COVID-19 Outbreak: 5 Threats to PPC


Before understanding how to make the most of the Coronavirus pandemic situation, let’s see how the crisis is posing a threat to your PPC ad campaigns.


#1: Coronavirus Related Searches are Dominating on Google


The global outbreak is taking over the news, economy and our peace of mind too. And this is quite evident from a huge surge in recent Google search trends. As reported by Google in a blog, search interest in coronavirus has increased by +260% globally since the first week of February, 2020.


The below image by Google Trends shows the intensity of search interest in Coronavirus as on March 31, 2020:

PPC Adwords

Source: Google Trends

And it isn’t just Covid-19 search term that is seeing a global surge on Google; search interest for related products and topics has also increased over the past few weeks.


If you are lucky enough to be in the business related to healthcare, on-demand media, beauty or personal care, you can expect a boost in PPC ad impressions. Otherwise, you need to rethink your marketing strategy now.


#2: Consumer Buying Behaviour is Changing at a Rapid Pace  


Amidst Coronavirus pandemonium, people are practicing social distancing and refraining themselves from unnecessary shopping sprees. As a result, store visits have declined by 90% in just one month.


The transportation and supply chain system is disrupted globally, giving rise to limited in-store capacities. As such, most physical stores are experiencing limited footfall in this distressing situation.


People are now spending more time in their homes, resulting into a growing interest for online shopping, on-demand media content and social media. Is your PPC campaign optimized to align with changing consumer behaviour today? If no, it’s time to hire the best PPC services in India.


#3: Google Search Ad Impressions are Declining   


This is another major challenge that advertisers are facing as a result of the outbreak – Google is witnessing a modest decline in its search ad impressions. For United States only, it is 7% below average.

Google Search Ad

Source: WordStream

So what could be the reason behind such a dip in Google search ad clicks? As people are crowding the Search Engine Result Pages, they might be searching for something completely different than what advertisers are thinking. As a result, conversion rates are decreasing by an average of 21%.


This can be bit worrying for advertisers but a Google AdWords PPC consultant can help generate improved results by optimizing the ad campaigns and devising a fresh PPC strategy that aligns with the current situation.


#4: March Experiences a Drop in Mobile Search Traffic


With lockdowns and social distancing everywhere, people are mostly staying indoors not travelling or commuting anywhere. People are less mobile now and this has an impact on mobile search traffic too.


Sedentary lifestyle is causing people to search less about restaurants nearby, services, beauty care, gyms, or products as that matter. Being less mobile on search has resulted into a huge de-growth in mobile search traffic for paid search campaigns.


In the United States alone, mobile search traffic has declined by nearly 25% in March. Search traffic for tablets and desktops has also declined, though for the latter, the decline is steadier.


In the later section of the blog, we will discuss how you can improve your PPC campaigns amidst this pandemic situation. Expert Adwords agency shares valuable ideas to make the most of Covid-19 crisis and generate effective results for your PPC campaigns.


6 Ways You Can Improve Your PPC Campaigns in this Pandemic Situation


Here are six ways you can improve results from PPC campaigns amidst Covid-19 pandemic.


1. Pivoting Your Business Value Proposition Can Drive More Clicks


In a scenario where consumer demands and buying patterns are constantly evolving to battle Covid-19, you should evaluate how your product or service can be showcased as “essential” or a priority now. The key trends that you can consider for spinning your business value proposition are:

  • Home schooling
  • Social distancing
  • Medical & essential services
  • Work from home
  • Streaming/ communication/ entertainment
  • Family togetherness


Determine if your product or service can be fitted into any of these trends. If yes, you can switch your PPC plans to market these initiatives for the time being.


You can also consider promoting online webinars & workshops, virtual consulting, or anything that fits your business amidst the coronavirus outbreak situation.


2. Perform a Complete PPC Audit & Implement Changes

At the face of any major event, comprehensive PPC audit is a vital step that you should take to optimise and improve performance of any ad campaign. Hire an Adwords consultant to review all your current paid search campaigns.


This will help determine if your ad message still fits into the changing landscape or how you can make necessary tweaks to accommodate the changes.


Here are some valuable messaging ideas for you:


  • You can add a simple message on how your company is battling Covid-19
  • Review ad Call-to-Actions; revise “Visit us in-store” messages with anywhere digital
  • Mention hours of operation and also include if there are any changes in your normal services
  • Considering adding sensitive images (social & display ads) showing people touching or in groups


You can add few of these messages in your primary PPC ad copy, but also utilise Google’s ad extensions such as call-outs and sitelinks to spread the word.


Your landing pages must cover these messaging elements in a bold, crisp and concise manner. Overall, your PPC campaigns need to be more empathetic now than being overtly promotional.


3. Target Your Audience When Covid-19 Searches Spike Mostly


According to Google Trends, Covid-19 is the first thing that comes to mind when people wake up in the morning and the last thing they think about before going to bed at night. Therefore, searches hit high mostly early in the morning and late at night.


Below is a graph showing how Google search volumes for Coronavirus varies throughout the day, while peaking at times which is most unlikely for traditional searches.


Google Search Volume

Source: Google Trends Coronavirus Hub

This is a lucrative opportunity that businesses can leverage to improve their PPC ad campaigns. You can adjust your accounts to be shown during these peak search times, which is likely to get more clicks if the ad is most relevant. However, the rate of conversion at these wee hours of the day is lower.


4. Adjust PPC Campaigns to Fit in New Search Keywords and Volume


As Covid-19 and its related topics dominate new searches, it is crucial that you fine-tune your PPC campaigns for these new search keywords and volume.


Follow Google Trends regularly to understand which search terms and keywords are gaining popularity amidst the Coronavirus pandemonium. If anything fits suitable, you can adjust the PPC campaigns to add these new terms and increase click-through rate.


At the same time, review the search term reports regularly to monitor what traffic these new search terms & volume is generating for your keywords.


And most importantly, include new negative keywords to prevent the campaign from reaching and getting clicked by irrelevant searchers. Find trending new negative keywords using Google Keyword Planner and add them to your PPC campaign not to attract unsavoury searches that can increase your overall ad budget and CPC.


5. Use the Power of Cross-Platform Targeting


Covid-19 outbreak has filled the marketplace with uncertainty. You never know what is going to change tomorrow. Therefore, relying on just one ad platform can be riskier.


In addition to PPC Adword campaigns, focus now on cross-platform targeting across multiple channels such as ecommerce, social media, AMA (Ask Me Anything), forums, etc.


For instance, Amazon PPC management can help you leverage the potential of this giant ecommerce marketplace, stay relevant, get new customers, and boost conversions.


Similarly, Facebook PPC optimization can be a powerful tool to create a strong brand presence on social media, especially when people are spending more time on these platforms now.


It also enables you to target the otherwise untapped social media audience, maximize your outreach and increase your sales.




Let’s face it! We have to acknowledge the distress that Covid-19 brings with it. But that does not mean we will sit back and watch our businesses go topsy-turvy.


Embrace a softer sales approach, be empathetic, and boost your PPC campaigns with the tips & recommendations shared above. Continue to retain your brand presence and feed the upper layer of your sales funnel so that you do not lose momentum.


Most importantly, hire a Google Adwords agency that can help transform threats into opportunities, driving better results for your PPC ad campaigns.            

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