How COVID-19 Has Impacted Online Advertising Results (and Why You Should Be Advertising There)

by | Sep 1, 2021 | Blog, COVID-19, E-Commerce, Facebook, Google Adwords, Paid Advertising, Pay-Per-Click, Web Design, Website

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Online Advertising Results (and Why You Should Be Advertising There) | Mixed Media Ventures | Digital Marketing Agency

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant shift in society, and the world of advertising is no different.

Advertising online has become more critical than ever, and sites like Amazon are thriving from the additional online advertising revenue that pandemic fears have generated.

Covid-19 has ensured online advertising will be one of the primary revenue generators for online content producers, but what are some ways internet commerce is changing in the real world? Here’s a sampling of the results we’ve found:

  • Visits to physical stores have dropped by as much as 90% in some areas of the US.
  • Online retailers like Amazon are thriving online while physical stores suffer
  • The rise of online deals and coupons has exploded online, as shoppers look to save money by shopping online.
  • Covid-19 related searches dominate search results.
  • Mobile search traffic is down nearly 25%

Let’s examine some of the ways the pandemic has affected internet commerce and how you can respond effectively.

Visits to physical stores have dropped by as much as 90% in some areas of the US

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a decrease in traffic to physical stores, especially in regions that have been heavily affected by the pandemic. In addition, many businesses are shuttered due to local regulations or mandates or because they simply did not have the financial resources to keep their doors open with the decrease in sales.

This has opened an immense opportunity for online retailers to fill in the gap, and online sales have increased substantially as a result. In addition, online traffic on eCommerce sites is surging as shoppers are increasingly online rather than physically going to the store.

What this means for you:

This means now is the time to focus on your online presence to take advantage of the online shopping boom. So if you’ve been waiting to start advertising online and building your eCommerce selection, now is the time to act.

Gone are the days (for the time being) of “lookie-loos” or window shoppers, so relying on foot traffic to your location is a non-starter. Instead, people have turned to search to find the exact products they need online. This is an incredible opportunity to be front and center with a well-designed Google or Facebook ad online.

Online retailers like Amazon are thriving online while physical stores suffer 

Many online retailers are thriving online, as online shopping has increased due to the pandemic. While some regions have been hit hard by the Covid-19 virus (and online sales have dropped in those areas), online retailers like Amazon have seen a dramatic increase in online sales. Many shoppers turn online to find deals or online coupons and promo codes.

What this means for you:

This may be your sign that it’s time to go all-in on eCommerce and leave your physical storefront behind. Unfortunately, even when (or if) the pandemic subsides, the nature of shopping has already changed dramatically, and there likely won’t be a return to the normal shopping habits consumers had in the past.

You may not realize this, but online ads (specifically Google ads) are how Amazon build itself into the powerhouse we know today. By focusing on appearing in the search results for nearly every product imaginable, they became the de facto source for eCommerce.

The good news is, you can implement this strategy for yourself (on a smaller scale, obviously). Google Adwords allows you to set a daily budget and show your ad whenever someone searches on Google for whatever products or keywords you want.

The rise of online deals and online coupons has exploded online as shoppers look to save money

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a substantial financial impact on shoppers’ bottom lines, and as a result, they are more deal conscious than ever. As a result, consumers have begun adding terms like “coupon” or “best price” to their search terms. Additionally, coupon sites and apps like Honey are seeing massive spikes in users and downloads.

What this means for you:

This means now is the time to implement an effective coupon strategy for your eCommerce site (or physical storefront). Whether through Google Shopping or Facebook ads, if you’re not offering deals and coupons, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Implementing Google Shopping deals or Facebook provides the easiest way to gain online consumers looking to save some money on their purchases.

This also means you should be adding deal and coupon-related search terms to your keyword strategy. For example, if you sell “gourmet hot chocolate mix,” you would want to include words like “deal,” “discounts,” or “coupon” in your keyword mix for online ads to capture the increased traffic these specific terms are generating.

Also, be sure to include coupons in your retargeting ad strategy to capture consumers who have left your site without making a purchase. Seeing a discount ad after visiting your site is more likely than ever to bring them back and convert them into paying customers.

Covid-19 related searches dominate Google right now

People search online for answers and information on everything related to the pandemic, including potential cures, symptoms, and signs. With Covid-19 dominating the news cycles and online searches, it’s essential to make sure you’re giving the public what it wants in terms of search results.

What this means for you:

As we saw above, related searches to Covid-19 dominate the search results and, therefore, should be a significant component of your paid ad strategy. This can include keywords like “symptoms” or “treatment,” as well as specific symptoms such as “fever.”

You should incorporate these terms into your paid search strategy. This is especially beneficial if you’re an online retailer or offer products that the Covid-19 pandemic could impact in some way (such as medications). Consumers searching for “symptoms of covid-19” are highly likely to be interested in your product offering, and you should take advantage of this opportunity while they are actively looking.

Mobile search traffic is down nearly 25%

This trend is confusing, considering the meteoric rise in mobile search traffic in recent years as people increasingly use their smartphones and tablets to conduct searches for information and products. However, when you consider the pandemic has confined people to their homes, and therefore their home desktops, it begins to make more sense why mobile search traffic would take a hit.

What this means for you:

It’s still vital to have your website optimized for mobile devices, and you should still be taking advantage of the available targeting options for ads on mobile networks such as Facebook and Google Adwords. Still, it is crucial to shift your ad strategy to a more desktop-centered approach while people are operating mainly from home. This can include incorporating desktop-centric ads such as lead-gen forms (where consumers enter their information and are contacted by you) into your overall paid ad strategy.

Also, as people primarily work and go to school from home, adjust your ad timing strategies to maximize daytime delivery. This can include using the “time of day” or “geography” options in Google campaigns, which allow you to time delivery of your ads based on when people are most likely to be online at their home computers.

Closing thoughts on Covid-19 advertising strategies

Be sure to monitor the top Covid-19 related searches and incorporate these terms into your paid ad strategy. This will help you target consumers actively looking for information on this topic and capture their attention when they are most likely to be interested in your product or service offering (as opposed to just showing up in a search result).

Mobile ads continue to be an important strategy even with the drop in mobile-related searches, but you should optimize your ads for a more desktop user-focused approach and shift your timing strategies during the daytime. These simple adjustments can make a huge difference in your overall ad performance.

For all these reasons, businesses must stay up-to-date on all of the Covid-19 related information and adjust their advertising strategies accordingly.

Keep your eyes on the Covid-19 ball to take advantage of this significant opportunity for improved ad performance!


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