How Covid-19 has affected SEM and Google Ads?

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Covid-19 has unleashed a worldwide crisis of unmatched scales affecting the healthcare system and dramatically impacting the economic, social, and political spheres in more than 100 countries. With shops closed to the brim, and many businesses have seen an opportunity in the digital sector and not only do we refer to all online learning or entertainment platforms, but it has also directly influenced other sectors. User behavior is changing due to this new circumstance and each industry is responding in a different way. Another factor that is influencing a lot is the time: the behavior of the users was not the same at the beginning of the alarm state as it is currently.

How is this health crisis affecting SERPs especially in Google Ads?

covid affecting marketing

These are the changes in CPC, CTR, and CPA by the industry of Google Adwords

At the start of the alarm state, we could see how many advertisers paused campaigns seeing that sales fell dramatically. In some sectors, costs increased because users who were at homemade many inquiries but ultimately did not buy due to fear of this new scenario. In addition, at that time the priority for almost everyone was staples (“the toilet paper crisis”), with sectors such as fashion being the most affected in terms of declining sales in this first moment of the outbreak.

On the other hand, another reason that caused the pause in the SEM campaigns is that some brands could not cope with shipments and stock since they did not have the personnel to carry out all the corresponding procedures. Even Amazon had to warn about extending its shipments to Premium users.

It is striking the high CTR of Travel and Tourism that is caused by the number of cancellations that have occurred in recent weeks and also due to the doubts generated at the beginning of the outbreak when it was not yet known that the situation would last until it reached cancellation even of summer vacations by hotel companies.

Also Read: Impact of Coronavirus pandemic on Marketing and Advertising by 2020

Changes in CPC

cpc changes due to covid
Illustration of online payment

As a result of the stoppage of campaigns (or a drastic decrease in investment) by many advertisers, those who did not pause their investment have benefited from the decrease in CPC, both in the search network and in the search network. Display.

However, we can also see that the most demanded sectors such as healthcare have suffered a radical increase in CPCs due to the increase in demand as other businesses that were not campaigning in Google before came into play.

Changes in the conversion rate (CVR)

Many small businesses that had discrete investments have been unable to bear the increase in costs that have not been proportional to the sales recorded, especially at the start of the state of alarm. For example, in the fashion vertical we can see that the conversion rate is one of the lowest, but its CTR is one of the highest and its CPC is over € 

Changes in the conversion rate (CVR)

That is more volume, more expense, but fewer conversions. This problem occurred especially at the beginning of the crisis, but now we are already seeing how “the waters return to their channel” and especially how the reinforcement of the brands that continued to present in the global stop of ads has a positive impact that starts noticing now.

Returning to normal

Since the beginning of April, we have been able to observe how sales have progressively increased: it has not stabilized nor has it reached the conversion rate that existed before the arrival of the Coronavirus, but the situation is gradually changing in this sector. Once the crisis of basic necessities had been overcome and understanding that the confinement would be relatively long, purchases of other goods that were not basic necessities and that had remained in the background began to be reactivated.

The jump made by the automotive industry due to fear of the use of public transport is striking. Users are more interested in buying private vehicles and the display network is being key for this sector.

Industries with increased search volumes and high SERPs during COVID-19

google search volume

Health and medical

Obviously, a large number of us are going to scan for data on the most proficient method to ensure ourselves and our networks. As clients go to the stores and the SERP to buy everything from over-the-counter painkillers to indispensable drugs, numerous advertisers are seeing expanded simplicity in selling their items on the web, with ad snaps and change rates both essentially higher than expected.

 Finance sector-

The business sectors might be performing ineffectively, yet it would seem that now like never before searchers are searching for experienced assistance. In an industry that ordinarily has the absolute most costly watchwords and a significant expense for each snap, we’re seeing CPCs fall and alleviate some weight from a regularly serious industry. Many are additionally seeing expanded CTRs and CVRs, also.

 Personal and Beauty care industry-

Some quick-moving buyer merchandise has been sought after for as long as hardly any weeks. Individuals are scanning for items like cleanser and hand sanitizer, just as looking for increasingly self-care in these tough situations. We’re seeing a 41% expansion in scans for excellence and individual consideration. A significant number of these verticals are seeing a business blast on the SERP with lower CPCs and a lot higher CVRs.

High Demand/ Consumption of Media

The same number of our practice social distancing, we’re expending greater diversion at home. While most diversion advertisers are getting the expanded interest and driving a couple of additional transformations, on-request media has soared and multiplied its changes in the previous barely any weeks.


The fluctuation in CPC, CTR, and CVR will continue to vary depending on the circumstances and sectors and it is difficult to predict. E-commerce needs to have the ability to adapt quickly.

  • ECommerce has been an opportunity for all online sales with the closure of physical stores. Although there are sectors that have clearly benefited to the detriment of others: sports, automotive, home & garden, and education VS travel and outdoor leisure. 
  • 2. There are more search and traffic volume, but that volume does not materialize in conversions for all sectors. Therefore, it is very important that the segmentation of the campaigns is done to the millimeter.
  • 3. The periodic analysis of KPIs and knowledge of the workings of the market are key factors in a situation like the one we are living.
  • 4. The message conveyed by brands is important to users: not only must you focus on selling, but also on providing peace of mind and security for the user.

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Rahul is a content marketer at topglobals. He is an expert in studying the latest trends and talk about online businesses and growing businesses on the internet. Playing with keyword buttons with magical words are part of his passion.

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