COVID-19, or more colloquially referred to as coronavirus, significantly changed most aspects of our lives in the last few weeks. Schools moved to distance learning from home, many businesses have closed, our government has taken action to help slow the spread and we all feel a little uncertain about the coming weeks.
For our clients, this halt to life as we previously knew it greatly affects their different businesses in that they are closed to the public.
Let’s take a look at some ways COVID-19 has affected our clients, and many other various businesses, and how we can react together to overcome this crisis.
In the course of one month, store visits have dropped 90%. Of course, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies and a few other businesses deemed “essential”, most other businesses are closed. Some stores that remain open may even limit the number of people in at a time to further enforce social distance and help stop the spread. If you’re tracking store visits as a conversion for a Google Ad campaign, you’ll see a dramatic decrease. However, there is the opportunity to push consumers to shop online. If you can continue to offer your product online and engage with you customers on social platforms, you can weather this storm we’re in.
Another trend we’re noticed is the spike in searches containing “COVID-19” and “coronavirus” in addition to questions surrounding adjusting to life under a pandemic. This can mean online marketing tactics that clients have used are now reaching new audiences. By adjusting paid search campaigns and SEO content with more relevant keywords and semantically related keywords, the traffic will be filtered to the appropriate audience. Determine what search queries are creating more, less relevant traffic to your site or PPC campaigns, and add negative keywords to avoid bringing the unintended audience to your site.
Next, Google mobile traffic decreased 24% since March 16. We can’t exactly pinpoint why people are making less searches on a mobile device, but in response to this trend, adjust your PPC campaigns for less mobile traffic. If there is less traffic in mobile, you’ll end up spending more on those clicks on mobile devices as this trend continues.
As we’ve noted, Google search is down, but internet use is up nearly 50% since the declaration that COVID-19 is a pandemic. This means you can use cross-network opportunities to reach your audiences where they are choosing to spend their time on the internet, whether it be on YouTube or with Facebook ads and Bing ads. We can’t rely on Google alone, and now more than ever is the time to realize that and act. You may even reach new audiences!
Governors in different states have issued stay at home orders and given dates as to when business can open up again. Additionally, the White House announced April 30, 2020 will be the end of our collective social distancing and shut down of life. While we face so much uncertainty, with our personal and professional lives disrupted, we will find answers to new problems that arise. While we may not be able to go out and about, it’s important for our clients to continue to market themselves to consumers, but they just have to change how they do it. Allow consumers to find online stores and ways to connect, and these consumers will continue to frequent the physical location once they can again.