The current crisis is impacting virtually every industry doing business worldwide in varying ways.

Speedy evaluation of digital trends and search behavior is an excellent way to capitalize on change.

We thought we’d share some strategies we’ve found useful and relevant in terms of Search Marketing.
If you’re running your search campaigns and managing your google analytics, you’re probably wondering how best to disseminate the information you need from all this data and put it to work.

Here are some key factors you can evaluate:

  • Current Environment – review historical performance to determine how this crisis is affecting your Business.
  • Google Trends – review and monitor user search behavior during this time.
  • Search query reports – consider how user behavior is changing – you want to react and place yourself in the path of your customer.

Search interest is changing. There are massive swings within categories:

  • High Search Queries – Money, Health, Government-related, News, Business
  • Flat Search Queries – Beauty and Personal Care
  • Low Search Queries – Dining & Nightlife (down 46%)

It’s important to monitor your search console daily and take a look at specific categories within your brand that are experiencing higher search traffic.

For example, let’s say you run a quick-service restaurant and your search traffic has plummeted. What should you be doing? You need to pivot your ads and search terms to let diners know you are still providing service during the Covid-19 crisis. Add these keywords: delivery available, carryout available, pick-up available, curbside service available. Your ads need to reflect that you are open and still serving food to customers.

OR, if you are a real estate company and search terms and ads related to virtual tours are spiking, you need to focus more of your budget on that area of your campaign. You can pause low performing keywords and move your budget around accordingly.

Below is high-level national data on Covid-19 impact related to specific business verticles:

Minimal Impact:

  • Real Estate
  • Legal Services
  • Auto Dealers (Luxury)
  • Education & Employment
  • Medical

Severely Impacted:

  • Auto Rentals
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Leisure and Recreation
  • Financial Services

If you are familiar with Google Analytics, you also need to be paying attention to these factors:

  • Google Trends – use to understand changes in search behavior during a crisis. It can help you identify opportunities related to your brand.
  • Anomaly Detection Software – identifies major and minor shifts in critical metrics – you can be alerted to significant business shifts in real-time.
  • Organic Search & Direct Traffic – indicators of business shifts and what visitors are searching for.
  • Market-Level Indicators for Local Intent – check week-to-week data to find trends.

Google My Business is also an area where you can make some tweaks to better communicate with your search audience. It’s essential to make your Business transparent and informative when your information appears in a search query by doing the following:

  • Make changes to your business hours to reflect closures and updates across local searches
  • Take advantage of special messaging google has made available
  • Turn on local messaging to help foster connections with your customers

The future is clouded with uncertainty, but there are ways you can combat and even capitalize on shifts in your industry during this time. Put your resources to work now to identify opportunities and capitalize on these moments!