The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Google Search Trends

The effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on virtually every aspect of daily life is undeniable. These effects have been felt in every home in every city across America. Even the way people search for things on the internet has undergone significant changes since the outbreak started.
Anticipating these changes and revising your marketing strategy to accommodate them is more important than ever. It’s a tumultuous marketing landscape, as business owners contend with restrictions on operations and consumers who are more reluctant to make purchases that aren’t absolutely necessary. An analysis of these changes is the first step to mounting an effective defense.

Changes to Search Terms & Phrases

Increased unemployment combined with social restrictions means more people are spending a lot more time online. And as you can imagine, the minds of web users are focused primarily on all things COVID-19 related. Search terms and phrases associated with coronavirus, business closures, medical developments, governmental guidelines, and other relevant topics have increased exponentially over the past weeks and months. COVID-19 searches are so popular, Google has even created a coronavirus “hub”, which is devoted solely to analysis of them.

Changes to Active Search Times Online

Along with search term changes, user habits are also undergoing an evolution. Online searches of COVID-19 are most prevalent early in the morning and late at night, while searches during peak hours (typically around lunch and dinner time) are down. This likely has to do with so many people working remotely or being unemployed during the pandemic, which is having a definite impact on sleep patterns. While searches during these times are up, sales conversions remain stagnant.

How Your SEO Campaign Can Address These Challenges

While it may be tempting to focus your efforts on those early morning and late-night searchers, the low conversion rates make this a somewhat risky proposition. Instead, diversify your posting schedule so you’re interacting with consumers when they’re most likely to buy, as well as when they’re most active online. When creating content, be cognizant of users’ mood and demeanor during online searches. Most consumers are operating under a high level of stress, likely compounded by fears about income stability. Marketers should acknowledge these fears in a meaningful way to strengthen the connection to their customer base. Content should also offer practical guidance to consumers, preferably based around the goods or services your business provides.

We’re All in This Together is glad to provide you and your business SEO services and support during a time of so much ambiguity. If you’re concerned about the impact search trend changes will have on your current ranking, let’s discuss a digital marketing strategy that overcomes these challenges. We can also get your business ready for the “new normal” after the pandemic ends, which is likely to involve more consumers shopping for goods and services online, at least for the foreseeable future.