Google search trends reflect what is on most people’s minds at any given moment in time, so it only makes sense that these trends have undergone unprecedented shifts since the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Google search trends are of course based on what users are searching for the most frequently. Because the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused such a disruption to daily life, COVID-19 tends to be at the forefront of most everyone’s minds these days.
There are also widespread misconceptions and rumors flying about COVID-19, how it spreads, how to treat it, how to protect yourself from it, what puts you at a higher risk of contracting it, etc. etc. This extreme uncertainty has led to even more COVID-19-related Google searches as people worldwide struggle to find answers with regards to the viral outbreak that has turned life as everyone knows it on its head across the globe.
Searches about COVID-19 are currently the most popular searches on Google. These days, Internet users are searching the Web’s largest search engine for coronavirus-related results more than they are searching for anything else.
Understanding and remaining aware of current Google search trends at any given time is crucial to running successful digital marketing campaigns—specifically PPC ad campaigns—for your business. Many companies are struggling to adapt their digital ad campaigns as consumers’ focus turns increasingly toward the coronavirus and away from products and services for which they would normally be searching the Web.
This guide covers some of the COVID-19-related Google search trends that have understandably spiked over the past several weeks. It also outlines how these changing trends are affecting digital ad campaigns, and how companies can adapt to keep their profits and rankings high as the coronavirus pandemic continues to play out across the globe.
Current Top COVID-19 Google Search Trends
An interesting Google search trend that has surfaced as a pattern over the past several weeks is that COVID-19-related Google searches are most common early in the morning around 7 am and late at night around 11 pm. These are not typical peak hours, which makes this search trend unusual.
Spikes in Google searches, in general, are being seen later into the night, when searches usually die down as people get off their devices and go to sleep. This spike in late-night searches is likely due to the change in many people’s daily routine as a result of closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many people who are either working from home or not working at all are no longer following their regular early-to-bed and early-to-rise routine that accommodates a daily 9-5 schedule. Instead, people are staying up later at night and, in turn, searching the Internet up to and past midnight much more frequently than they normally would.
How Google Users’ Focus on COVID-19 Impacts Digital Ad Campaigns
Google users’ heightened focus on COVID-19 has led to an overall decrease in consumers’ ad engagement—which has had a significant negative impact on companies’ PPC ad campaigns. Companies have reported that the conversion rates from their PPC ads have decreased by an average of 10% to 25% since COVID-19 has been at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
Interestingly enough, this average decrease in conversion rates is even larger late at night, when COVID-19-related searches actually spike. Companies have reported that their average conversion rate is 30% lower than usual after midnight—even though many more people than normal are searching the Web during that time.
How to Keep Your Profits High Through COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to some counterintuitive Google search trends that have already impacted and continue to impact ad conversion rates and profits. Navigating digital marketing and PPC ad campaigns in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic can be very challenging, but there are strategies you can implement to keep your conversion rates and Google ranking high during this time of uncertainty and constant change.
It is very important to pay close attention to your ad campaigns’ performance during this time. Regularly track the performance of your scheduled ads and take note of when your ads are the most profitable. In these uncertain times, an ad campaign that’s
profitable one week might see a sharp drop in profitability the next week—which is why it’s so important to check up on your campaigns’ performance very frequently.
The current incongruity of low conversion rates during peak search hours makes it difficult to figure out when to run your ad campaigns. If conversion rates are low during peak search hours, when are they high? One strategy to deal with this frustrating and confusing problem is to only run your PPC ad campaigns during times when they are profitable. Keep track of your campaigns’ performance in real-time, and adjust the times your ad campaigns run to match the times when they are most profitable.
Keep in mind that you might need to make adjustments on a weekly or even daily basis as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play out and Google search trends continue to change at a rapid rate.