Coronavirus and Google Ads: What Is the Impact?

COVID-19 has become a global event that affects public health and the economy; of course, the advertising market is no stranger to this new situation. We cannot and should not stop communicating. It is true that brands must be able to adapt to change, be empathetic and in solidarity with society.

But how is COVID-19 impacting metrics in Google Ads? And what is the most affected sector?

Mona Lisa mascarilla Coronavirus

How has COVID-19 impacted metrics on Google Ads?

The effects of the coronavirus are increasingly present in our daily life. In addition to the social and health aspects, the economy is also beginning to take the first blows; reduced activities, suspended public services and slowdown in industries. Not to mention public events and industry fairs, which are postponed or even cancelled for security reasons.

According to Google, Since the first week of February, search interest in coronaviruses has increased by +260% worldwide. While spikes in search trends are common during events on this scale, there have also been sudden increases in product traffic and related issues in direct response to the pandemic.

Search interest* in coronavirus

interest coronavirus search Google UK

*Interest over time

Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.

In addition to making it easier for people to learn more about symptoms, vaccine information, and travel warnings, Google is removing any content on YouTube that claims to prevent coronavirus rather than seeking medical treatment, and it is also blocking all ads that take advantage of the coronavirus.

As a consequence, the pandemic and the resulting market changes will affect the accounts.

Below I recommend a series of strategies to prepare and adjust them:

Recommended strategies for Google Ads in a time of crisis

1. Review the account

It's important to stay on top of how changing markets can affect your search and social ads accounts, from changes in click and impression volumes to costs and conversions.

The online/paid search reflects the market, it is not the market itself. So if people's search trends have gone the other way right now and ‘root canal treatment’ or ‘Gucci skirt from the latest collection’ are no longer top of the mind – rightly so – that's a reality and you have to face it.

Check for drops in traffic (clicks and impressions) in Google Analytics and Google Ads. Usually that will indicate something is happening and it will manifest in a drop in conversions.

Google search interest in the UK

Google search interest in the UK

2. Communicate changes

Communicating effectively and efficiently will be the key to maintaining relationships with your customers. In all cases, advertisers must build trust with current and potential customers through proactive email communication and/or information directly on their site.

3. Adjust the strategy

Many of these changes can be stressful, but the best we can do as marketers is to look ahead and calm consumers' nerves as best we can by having clear, concise, and accurate messaging.

4. Keep checking

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has affected the health and well-being of communities around the world and keeping communities safe is our first priority. Many, if not most, companies are already feeling the effects of the virus, and keeping up to date with information is key.

Industries that increased their metrics during COVID-19

  • Non-profit organisations
  • Health and medical
  • Beauty and personal care industry
  • Streaming services

Industries with varied metrics during COVID-19

  • Real estate
  • Home furnishing

Industries strongly affected by COVID-19

  • Tourism
  • Bars and restaurants

If you work in the travel industry, then take a look at our blog that lists tips for keeping your business afloat during the COVID-19. For more general advice on how to use this downtime wisely and get your business organised, check out this blog.

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Have a look at the services we offer here and reach out to us if you would like to talk about your digital future.