“The Covid-19 pandemic is unlike anything in living memory. Despite all the marvels of the digital age, the global economy is taking a massive hit, in all industries. Many companies have shut their doors, and some may never reopen. The world is yet to learn the true scale of how coronavirus affects business.”

In a matter of a few months, the COVID-19 has had a transformational effect on our world order. The impact of this pandemic has been so massive that even Google is not left untouched by it.

The financial slump has taken a toll on people, as a result of which they are not yet in a position to spend. Besides, there have been some new additions in the world of search terms such as quarantine and social distancing. Google Trends has also come up with an exclusive coronavirus insights page that is specially designed to get an idea about what consumers are actually looking for nowadays. As per Google, there has been a 260% rise in searches related to COVID-19 since the beginning of February 2020.

But how has this pandemic impacted the world of Google Ads specifically?

As far as businesses are concerned, there has been a huge change in the buying behaviour of customers. This change is one of the most prominent factors that have come to impact PPC or Pay Per Click advertising.

According to Wordstream, there was a 21% decline in conversion rates merely 3 weeks into the COVID-19 outbreak.

How COVID-19 is effecting Google advertisers by industry

While above many of the shifts in consumer behaviour may suggest negative changes in your ad performance, some industries have actually seen an upswing in PPC performance since the outbreak, according to Wordstream data.


Below is a breakdown of the effects of the current situation, by industry:


  • Non-profits: People are looking to help, and that generosity is flowing to non-profits and resulting in higher search volumes. Charitable groups have seen a 23% increase in search ad conversions.

  • Health and medical: As face masks and frequent hand washing have become the norm, people are searching for ways to protect themselves from the virus. Pharmaceuticals alone have seen a 47% search ad conversion rate increase.

  • Business management: With more and more people working from home, companies are figuring out how to restructure and do business online. Search conversion rates for packing and shipping supplies has increased by a whopping 107%.
  • Finance: Although the markets are down, people are still seeking assistance. In the finance sector, CPC has decreased while some have seen CTRs and CVRs increase.

  • Beauty and personal care: With lots of extra time and many salons closed, people are looking for DIY self-care — plus hand sanitizer and other necessities. Spa care, for example, has seen a 41% CVR increase.
  • Streaming media: With so much extra time at home, people are searching for entertainment. On demand media search conversion rates have spiked 102%.

  • Greetings, gifts and flowers: As social distancing abounds, people are finding other ways to show affection and love. Searches for bouquets have seen a 43% conversion rate increase.


Other industries, however, haven’t fared so well. These 7 industries have been hit the hardest:


  • Travel and tourism: With stay at home orders in place all over the world, travel businesses are seeing drastically lower conversions. Vacation packages saw a 50% conversion drop.

  • Bars and restaurants: While many restaurants remain open for takeout, searches have still decreased. Bars and nightclubs saw a 57% drop in CVR.

  • Live entertainment: Since social distancing prohibits large gatherings, live entertainment is all but impossible for the time being. Conversion rates have dropped 30%.

  • Conferences: Again, most large events or conferences have had to cancel, and they’ve seen a 33% drop in conversions.

  • Sports and fitness: WIth gyms closed and sports leagues cancelled, conversions are down. Now people are actually starting to look for sports programs and camps, however, in preparation for quarantine ending. For sports events, however, conversions are down 74%.

  • Building and construction: With seasonal CPC costs starting to rise, conversion rates are falling as many job sites close or people are hesitant to invest.

  • Industrial and manufacturing: With many industries hurting, the CPC has gone up while search traffic and conversions have decreased.

If you are not advertising currently, now is the time to consider getting started. One or two simple campaigns for those in these industries that are doing well could yield stellar results with even a smaller budget.

The coronavirus pandemic could rumble on for a long time. We’re sure to be dealing with the immediate effects for at least another couple of months, and the lasting impact will reverberate throughout global economies and industries for the next year or two.

If you haven’t already embraced the digital age, now is the time to experiment with new ways of doing business. With PPC advertising and new approaches to reaching your customer base, even small businesses may be able to ride out the storm. Innovation is the key to survive this tough period.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business.





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