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How paid search advertising is affected by COVID-19

Advertising | Digital | Search

How paid search advertising is affected by COVID-19

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As COVID-19 shakes up our entire way of life, causing us to enter a new era of social distancing, sanitation and crowd control, businesses around the world are also feeling this sudden shift in their paid search advertising. Many are already taking the initiative to readapt in order to stay connected and relevant to their audiences during this transition.

With this global disruption to the economy, companies are already making dramatic strides to adapt to the fluctuating changes of consumer behavior, especially when it comes to managing PPC marketing efforts.

Discovering new ways to stay relevant while being ahead of potential obstacles will separate businesses from failing or sailing moving forward.

Search ad clicks are slowing

The first shift to be aware of is that Google Search Ad Clicks are starting to show signs of slowing down. A recent U.S. study indicates that in comparison to the 2020 weekly average, impressions have dropped by 7%. A decrease in engagement during holidays or national events is to be expected, but as the pandemic continues to affect consumer behavior, companies should anticipate seeing inconsistencies in results.

One of the major changes that has recently become evident in these unsteady times is the sharp decrease in conversions. The same study shows that since the start of this global pandemic, the U.S. conversion rate has dropped an average of 21%.

This decline can be attributed to consumers using SERPs for search inquiries that aren’t relevant to keyword bids, causing a waste in ad spend. It can also simply be due to the fact that audiences are less inclined to convert in this economic climate.

Steps to get started pivoting your digital spend

With certain industries such as travel and tourism declining, and others such as nonprofits, charities, health and medical services on the rise, it is important to assess your business’s position within your industry in order to plan next steps in this dynamic landscape. Not sure where to begin? Here are some easy ways to get started:

Decide how you plan to respond: Look into how other businesses and organizations in your space are choosing to react to the shifting changes with consumer behaviors. By creating a game plan on how to move forward, you can better prepare for sudden fluctuations or new industry trends.

Explore options to rebuild: Reevaluate your current marketing strategy and see where there is room for improvement. Utilize the tools and metrics at your disposal to sharpen your insights on future strategies.

Recover and maintain steady growth: Make corrections to your current models and PPC practices based on the knowledge you have been able to gather so far in the realm of COVID-19. Create a long term recovery strategy that will prepare your business for any fast approaching changes.

While no one can fully predict any sudden shifts that come with navigating your business within this COVID-19 landscape, the best thing to do is to be ready to adapt and pay close attention to the needs of your consumers while monitoring industry trends. Take the time to analyze your efforts, develop new strategies, explore new ways to communicate, and focus on connecting with your audience so that you can learn and improve your marketing efforts in the long-run.

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