Coronavirus is changing search habits, so change your SEO / Paid Search strategy too.

As we adjust to the new reality, we have dramatically changed the way we search and source solutions, products and services. Many phrases that applied to once open, accessible market are now no longer in play, and instead people are concentrating on what they have, and looking to adapt or improve. This is driven often by a new need and a new expectation, while safety and lockdown compliance is top of mind.

For online retailers to make sense of this and align their marketing message to it, it may be necessary to backup a step or two, look at why the need has changed, understand what is no longer applicable and instead focus on emerging trends and new habits.

To illustrate the point, I have been looking at a shift in UK broadband market, when it comes to search behaviour. Instinctively, we all know that this service to home is taking on more importance with the advent of home working and video calling to stay in touch during these times. Yet are people following the same thought processes? Do they believe there is still a wide range of options available?

  1. Understanding the new issues
  2. The effect on existing strategies
  3. New terminology and thinking

The issues

Dissatisfaction with internet connectivity/ broadband speed has always been a strong driver for change, but it is amazing how much this issue has increased. We can see that keyword usage around speed, download speed and a need to test have rocketed in lockdown. Hardly surprising given the number of people at home – especially during the day.

So, traditional logic suggests that after the dawning realisation (or speedtest results) show your internet speed might not be up to scratch, the tried and tested keywords people you use to source new broadband options should also have risen sharply too, right?

The changes

Here are the firm favourite ‘shopping’ keywords. They account for millions in Google Search Ad spend, and are hotly competed on by ISPs. And straight away, we are seeing a decrease in usage. Whats going on? Why are the many dissatisfied broadband users not shopping around?

The painful reason is, we no longer believe we live in a consumer based, open market. We no longer think in terms of deals, best, cheap etc. Even if we perceive (or know for sure) our internet is slow, we beleive it is one of the many symptoms of lockdown. More users at home especially during the day means slower speeds.

Further, we dont even want to look for deals. When even essential retailing for products such as food has changed so dramatically, it has completly changed our viewpoint. For instance, we are now opting to go to a supermarket based on safety and locality. Comparing how much money can be saved in your basket is a thing of the past. People are looking to optimise what they have around them.

New terminology

For the most part, many users may simply accept that slow broadband is now a fact of life in lockdown. However, hunting around has revealed that some phrases are inconsistent use (no drops) or even trending. Upgrading, improving or changing are some of the terms contained in phrases that are holding out well.

Your marketing message can now change accordingly. Having established that penny-pinching is not top-of-mind, your strategy could be to consolidate around terms that make life better for customers, and ensure you show this in your ads and landing pages. Safety for all (customers and staff) is priority, so ensure this is your primary message. In the broadband industry, upgrades can happen remotely without home visits so this can be an assurance made early on. If the original intention of your visitor is to improve or upgrade, align to this thinking instead of offering deals and super-saver bundles.

Hopefully you can translate this logic into your industry or sector. And dont forget, if you want to improve or upgrade your paid search/ SEO services, Goldladder are here for a quick video chat anytime. Stay safe and be well.

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