How Covid 19 is affecting Adwords campaigns

Covid 19 is affecting most aspects of how we live, shop, work and socialise, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Digital campaigns are not immune to this. While people are spending a lot more time online, the impact on click through rates hasn’t correlated to the upward swing of impressions. (In laypeople’s terms – just because there’s many people online, doesn’t mean it costs less to get Google to direct people to your website)

Businesses in high demand industries (toilet paper, news, groceries, diy anything…) have seen a spike in interest and keyword searches since the first Covid 19 announcement in late January.

However this hasn’t translated to many other businesses, particularly with hospitality and tourism being hit the hardest.

A number of our clients are understandably anxious to know how this is going to affect their online sales, as they can’t open for regular trade in store. It seems like a dream come true for online stores – everyone stuck at home and bored, needing to find things to do and ways to get items delivered, but is it translating to sales?

Unfortunately, our early research says no:

Looking at a cross section of AdWords campaigns across industries we have the above graph showing the Cost Per Click (CPC), Click Through Rate (CTR) in correlation to major Covid 19 announcements.

Cost per Click has been steadily rising as more businesses turn to online in the hope of recouping some of their in store losses, and competition (and therefore the cost) for keywords is getting pushed up.

At the same time, Click Through Rate has dropped dramatically, indicating that people aren’t clicking on ads as often as previously. In a time of uncertainty, people tend to stop spending, looking to familiar comfort items, and seek information to help them feel more in control. So instead of shopping for new items, now that they are isolated at home, they are pulling back, spending more time on social media and waiting to see what happens next.

So what should you do? If AdWords campaigns are about to become MORE expensive, and LESS effective, should you quit and wait it out? Maybe…but we think not.

Use this time to streamline your campaigns, get rid of high competition keywords that aren’t performing and focus on your niche. What do you specialise in?

Update your website; the clicks you are getting now are more likely to convert so make it easy for people to spend money with! Develop your call outs to make sure that when people start shopping again, you are ready, better positioned than your competitors and can take advantage of the surge back to spending.

In addition, increase your Google-ability by spending more time developing blogs and content for social media. Now is the time to cement your relevance, help your community and stay engaged with your audience.

All hope is not lost for Adwords businesses – we are anticipating some helpful moves from Google – see this article for more info.

Need help to break this down and see how this applies to your business? Email us on hello@flairmarketing.net.au and we would love to work out a time to call/Zoom/Skype!