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Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on Google Ads PPC
As you guys know, coronavirus is affecting everything and everyone whether it’s the economy, whether it’s individuals’ lives and people’s health, it’s a massive global issue right now. The question really as a PPC marketer I want to understand is what is the impact of COVID-19 on PPC campaigns, are people spending less, are conversions going down, are some industries improving? What is the impact it’s having overall and specifically which industries are doing better, funnily enough, as a results of this tragedy and which industries are actually seeing a decline in their results as a result of the lack of search volume and people obviously being preoccupied by this serious, serious outbreak?
Now, we’re going to break down this report from WordStream. These guys have been doing reports of this nature for a very long time, in fact, they benchmarked all of the average CPCs by industry with all the data they have from all of their users. We’re going to look at one of their most recent reports where they have actually looked at the impact that coronavirus is having on PPC on Google Ads. We’re going to jump into that specific example, look at some of the anecdotal evidence as well, and let’s understand the impact this is having on PPC.
Hey guys, Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.com and my job is to make you a better marketer. Now, if you’re new to the channel, I’m Darren Taylor a digital marketing trainer and consultant. I specialize in PPC and SEO, if that sounds of interest to you, you should consider subscribing to the channel and don’t forget to ring the bell as well. In this video, what we’re looking at is the recent report from WordStream where they’ve looked at the impact of coronavirus on the PPC industry as a whole. First of all, who are WordStream and why do we care about their reports?
WordStream are a PPC software provider. They provide keyword research, optimizations and automated bidding, and they are a platform solution for small and medium-sized businesses. They have a ton of customers, meaning they have a ton of data as well, so a lot of their reports they bring out are as a result of their huge customer base, and we can take advantage of that today by looking at one of their most recent reports into the impact of coronavirus on PPC itself.
I mean, these guys have analyzed over $14 Billion worth of Google Ads spend. It’s worth listening to them when they’ve got dataset out, it’s always really interesting. Let’s not waste any more time, let’s take a look at the specifics within the report. What we’re going to start off with is the overarching theme of coronavirus’ impact on PPC as opposed to looking at specific industry winners and losers. Let’s jump in.
The first really interesting insight they have is that the volume of clicks across the board are beginning to slow down. They are seeing a massive decrease in clicks over time and of course, as the news hit across the world of the virus spreading, we’re seeing that trend in the graph of the clicks reducing in volume across all industries on average. In fact, in the report, WordStream actually stated that the impression volume of Google Ads has actually decreased by around 7%, which is not uncommon in holidays and weekends, but for a consistent lower trajectory it’s quite rare to see and, of course, that is the impact that the coronavirus is having on PPC at the very top level.
The next part of the report that I’m going to mention is something that you know is coming as a result of lower click volumes. There’s also a drop in conversion rates overall as well, which is a really worrying stat for PPC marketers because, of course, you’ve optimized your campaigns, you’ve got bidding strategies running, you may be optimizing bids yourself, you’ve got things in a good place and all of a sudden with this external factor, you’re seeing your conversion rates drop.
Now, why might that be? Well, isn’t it obvious? People are preoccupied by coronavirus, they are not sure of the lay of the land going forward for the next coming weeks or even coming months, so they can’t plan in advance and in that position, why would you invest in buying a product you’re not even sure you’re going to get to use, specifically, in a number of industries as well, which we’ll go onto.
In reality, we’re seeing the decrease in conversion rates as a result of that market worry. In a second, we’re going to go onto the industries that are seeing massive negative impact of coronavirus in terms of PPC performance, but before we do that, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel if you like what you’re hearing so far. Don’t forget to hit the like button and let me know in the comments if you think your business has been impacted by the coronavirus and what you intend to do as a fallback for that.
Now, onto to the industries that are negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The most and, of course, as you can imagine, travel and tourism is by far the worst-hit industry there is. Of course, for obvious reasons, there are a number of flights canceled, a lot of travel restrictions, travel bans, planes being grounded, and as a result of obviously trying to contain the virus, these industries are being hit hard.
Here in the UK, Virgin Airlines are asking for a bailout from the government as well, so there a lot of problems in the travel industry and as a result of this virus, we can see that reflected in PPC. We’re seeing massive drops in performance here as well. When you see campaigns focused on vacation holiday packages are decreasing in conversion rate by more than 50%, then you’ve got to start to worry and really understand the impact that coronavirus is having on the travel and tourism industry.
What other industries are affected by coronavirus? Of course, the hospitality industry is going to be hit hard as well and it has been reflected in this report. As you can imagine with social distancing, lack of going out, and making sure we’re isolating and not spreading the disease throughout the population, you can understand why bars and restaurants in the hospitality industry is falling down in Google Ads, because of course, why would you book a restaurant if you’re not allowed to go? Why would you book a hotel if you’re not allowed to attend and go to that hotel? Why would you go to a bar, of course, if you’re not allowed to go? Naturally, we’re seeing a massive drop in this area as well.
Another industry massively hit by this is, of course, the conferences and events industry. When you’re trying to restrict the amount of social interactions there are within a population, then conferences and events are going to be a huge breeding ground for coronavirus. Of course, those events have all been canceled, which is the responsible thing to do, because of course, you don’t want the virus to spread for our populations, but the problem with that from a PPC point of view is that there is no good conversion rates in the events industry at the moment. We’re seeing massive declines here as well because naturally there are always going to be people who deffer events as a result of this, and they don’t know whether or not they are even going to happen again this year. We’ve seen major sporting events canceled, and we don’t know when they are going to start again. Smaller events like conferences for businesses, of course, those organizers aren’t going to understand when they can run their events again. PPC wise, this is massively declining too. There are a number of other industries in that report that are declining as well, but I thought I’d touch on the main ones. Feel free to look up the report yourself because I’ve linked it in the description below, but they are the main hardest-hit industries you’re going to see impacted by coronavirus.
Now, let’s a look at the industries that weirdly are actually accelerating and doing better on Google Ads as a result of this pandemic. Believe it or not, the charity sector is really taking off. Now you might think that sounds natural because, of course, when disaster strikes, people who are struggling need help and people who have the means to help will want to give if they are that kind of person.
However, when you think about the economical impact on this, you would think that a reduction in charitable giving would be one of the first things that would decline if incomes aren’t guaranteed and people are seeing a decrease in their incomes as a result of coronavirus. However, there’s a very different trend going on here. People are actually donating and clicking and converting on charity websites a lot more because it seems that the populations across the US are actually more charitable than you would think. People are giving money in the hardest of times, which is fantastic to see, and from a PPC point of view, you can see that reflected in the data. Charities are seeing improved performance during this pandemic.
As you would imagine, the health industry in the US is, of course, booming as well. Now, of course, whenever there’s a health scare or a health problem that goes viral across the whole of the world, particularly in the US as well, you’re going to see people obviously need healthcare and people would be searching for healthcare solutions for their specific problems. Maybe the worry of the pandemic makes them think about their own medical scenario with their insurance whether they are covered. All of these different things that, to be honest with you, I don’t understand because I’m in Britain, I don’t understand the American healthcare system, but I do know that it’s been a massive increase from a PPC point of view in that industry because of the health scare associated with COVID-19.
Another industry seeing significant increase in their volumes from a PPC point of view throughout this coronavirus outbreak is the business management industry. Business support services, which makes sense, if businesses are set-up to operate from a specific place at a specific time and all of a sudden coronavirus comes along and upends all of their plans, then they have to adapt. Maybe they need people to work remotely, maybe they need infrastructure, maybe they need equipment, all of these business services are really important to business continuation plans and crisis management plans within a business and this is seeing an increase in PPC as well. Naturally, you would expect that.
There are, of course, a number of other industries in that report that are improving as a result of coronavirus. They are seeing massive increases. If you want to see all those other industries take a look at the report below. Again, I’ve linked it in the description for you.
That is the impact coronavirus is having on the PPC industry in general, and it does affect specific niches in different ways, but overall, I really want to hear from you guys. You guys are on the frontline, you’re not necessarily based in the US only, it will be really interesting to hear your thoughts on what the impact has been on your businesses of coronavirus. Let me know in the comments down below. I’ll be more than happy to speak with you down there. If you liked this video, please a like below as well. Let me know in the comments, as I say, please let me know how your business is getting on, I really want to hear from you in that regard. I reply to pretty much every single comment. More important than that, don’t forget to subscribe. Check out the other content across my channel and I’ll see you guys on my next video.