The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up our economic infrastructure in many ways–some of which we won’t even discover for months or even years. Businesses in every industry have been impacted by this unprecedented societal disruption. That’s why now more than ever, it’s critical for business owners and marketing mavens to monitor changes in consumer behavior, and leverage those changes when developing new marketing strategies.
No matter what your industry, there is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way your audience uses the web. Whether they are working from home to abide by social distancing regulations, or finding themselves unemployed in the wake of the novel Coronavirus, consumers are spending more time on social media, searching for products and information, and doing their shopping online.
So what does that mean for your business, or why should you be aware of these trends?
Follow the Trends, Evaluate Your Product Offerings
Some of the biggest Google Search Trend changes we’ve seen over the last several months revolve around “at home” products and services. Let’s say you own a gym that revolves around group fitness. Right now, you aren’t able to let your members into your facility–but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage them, and it doesn’t mean you can’t make sales! But how?
Here are just a few search trend results focused on working out:
- Home Workout: searches for this term has increased more than 500% YoY, with a major spike at the end of March
- Related terms include:
- At Home Lat Workout: +1,050%
- Peloton: +900%
- Best Free Home Workout App: +200%
- Workout Mirror: +170%
- Pull Up Bar: +130%
- Related terms include:
Based on the stats above, if you haven’t considered offering an at-home workout program or creating an app for home workouts, this may be the time to start! Users are on the lookout for convenience, while not disrupting their fitness routines–meaning there’s demand, so there needs to be supply.
Another thing to note is the trend lines for equipment, like pull up bars and stationary bikes. Do you have equipment to rent to members? Are you equipped to sell equipment to new or existing customers? This would be another great opportunity to drive revenue while you’re unable to access your facility.
Supply and Demand: How to Leverage Your Assets to Meet Audience Demand
Though these are scary times for businesses of all shapes and sizes, the opportunity to maximize your digital presence is at an all time high. Whether you’re making organic efforts on your website or on social media, or running Google Ad campaigns at a minimal cost, incorporating content that is timely can push more leads into your sales funnel–and give your revenue stream a much-needed boost. So how do you maximize your digital efforts, and meet the increasing demand for things like online shopping and services that keep your audience “safe at home?”
Google Search Trends can help you:
- Check search trends to pin-point what’s in demand in your industry
- Monitor peaks and valleys of those search trends (when is the demand highest?) to help plan optimal advertising days and/or times
- Compare different search trends to help you choose products and services that should be pushed more aggressively
Curbside pickup and grocery delivery are great examples of in-demand services–and they continue to trend upward (when looking at the last 12 months).
If your business has the resources to offer curbside pickup or delivery services (it’s not just for restaurants and groceries anymore!), this would be an optimal time to advertise those services. Posting offerings on social media and Google My Business are organic (free) ways to raise awareness, meet demand, and give your SEO a boost. If you’re running Google Ads, you can promote your delivery or pickup services and ensure the information gets in front of the audience you want to hit most.
Is your business in the health and beauty industry? Do you offer physical products in your stores sitting on the shelves, because there are no customers coming through your doors? If your business model allows you to sell products while doors are closed, now is a great time to run Google Shopping ads to make digital sales–and, as an added bonus, you can mention curbside pickup and/or shipping in those ads too!
Putting It All Together
Whether you’re looking for opportunities to improve your organic, online presence as we ride the COVID-19 wave, or trying to maximize your digital ad spend to focus on what users are looking for the most while they’re hunkered down at home, Google Search Trends is a great tool to have on hand.
While we adapt to the new normal, keep the following in mind:
- Be sure to clearly display information about how your business is dealing with COVID-19, and how you’re keeping your customers safe
- When you’re ready to reopen, make sure you update this information to address safety and health concerns
- Write blogs, make social media posts, and update your website content to incorporate information your audience wants the most
- Curbside pickup, deliver services, special hours and check-in processes, etc.
- Utilize search trends to customize paid ad campaigns on Google to peak user interest, including appropriate sitelink extensions, service callouts, and special pricing
- Consider Google Shopping ads to push physical products if you’re able to distribute those products safely
- Lean on your digital marketing partners and work together to develop a strategy that works best for your business