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COVID-19 and Google Ads: 3 Questions Your Business Should Consider

By: David Green

What a difference a month makes.  Even a week for that matter. A week and a half ago, things were relatively normal at least where we’re located in Toronto, Canada.  Sure SXSW and Coachella were both postponed and the message about social distancing was spreading, but then the NBA suspended their season, school was cancelled for at least 2 weeks and multiple other dominoes began to fall. 

We’ve spent this past week talking to all of our clients to reassess goals and strategy in these unusual times.  There are always downturns in the market that a PPC professional can adapt to, but these are unchartered waters and no one can say with complete certainty they understand what’s ahead.  

For Google Ads, there are a few questions we’re re-evaluating with every client to ensure our strategy still makes sense and quite frankly, to make sure Google Ads is still a viable option for our clients to find new customers and leads.  With some of our clients, we’ve put their account on hold as we know it’s not in their best interest to spend at the moment. For others, we’ve increased the budget and expanded as it made sense. 

Here are 3 questions to consider:

With new social dynamics - mainly self-quarantining and isolation locally and globally -

1) How (not if) does this affect your core target audience’s daily/weekly/monthly buying habits?  

If you offer a service that requires a gathering of people, such as a corporate event entertainer, now might be the time to freeze your spending.  If you have an e-commerce store (obviously depending on the product), new buying habits may create more opportunities for you. 

2) Do you need to address your audience about how your business is handling COVID-19?

If you’re a home services business, like a pest control technician or plumber, buying habits may not change much (no one wants to live with bed bugs or a flooded basement even in a pandemic), but apprehension from potential customers to having unknown people in their house will be a real problem.  Listen to your government public health agency for guidance on best steps to take to ensure your employees and customers are safe. Implement those recommendations. And then ensure you let your audience know on your website/landing page as well as your phone staff what measures you’ve put in place.  People want to be reassured that your business is doing it’s best to protect them and this will factor in their decision making process.  

3) Do you have the ability to increase your budget? 

There’s going to be some shifts in CPC, CTR, CVR and other Google Ads data for weeks, if not months to come.  With these shifts, new opportunities will arise that may leave your business in a position to help close a growing consumer need. (e.g. home workout equipment)  Being prepared to set aside additional budget to get in front of more of your audience is something every business should be prepared for now.  

These are unprecedented times and everyone will be impacted.  How much and for how long, time will tell but keep realistic optimism as a guiding light for your business and use these questions to help make smart decisions on how your business will adjust.  

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