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10 Steps to Redefining Your Google Ads Strategy Post-COVID-19

Arin Andre

In the post-COVID era, how your business adapts to the market changes and demands defines your future prospects. With the emphasis on digital marketing being greater than ever, it’s necessary to redefine each individual area from web content to advertisements to search engine optimization. This time, we’ll focus on a handful of steps you can take — and should take — to keep your Google Ads strategy in line with the current fluctuations. 

Google Ads performance dropped to an all-time low this year starting from early March and has affected all areas from Search and Display ads to conversions. Only a few weeks of quarantine and lockdowns were enough to send businesses into a financial crisis and even bankruptcy. You may be inclined to cut back on your campaigns to make up for losses, but virtual presence is still critical and relevant! Instead, Digilite’s Google Ad experts have put together a few helpful pointers to refine your Google Ads strategy. 

Redefine Your Expectations

Businesses that were considered nonessential were the most negatively impacted in the peak months of the pandemic. Therefore, businesses in the field of live entertainment, tourism, and fine dining not only lost sales but their conversion rates significantly dropped as well. 

Let’s look at the breakdown of how COVID affected various industries.

Industries that were hit the hardest:

  • Tourism and travel
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Live entertainment

Industries that had mixed impacts:

  • Legal services
  • Financial
  • Automotive

Industries that relatively thrived:

  • Local grocery stores
  • Gifts and eCommerce services
  • Medical 

So, what can you do with this information? Set realistic expectations and determine the prospects of what to expect from your business in the near future. If you’re working in a field that is nonessential and heavily impacted by the pandemic, getting back on your feet is hard enough as it is, so don’t worry yourself with grand expectations of increasing conversions right away. However, if your field is actually benefiting from the situation, then it’s a great time to start strategizing in your favor. 

Make the Necessary Cuts

If you’re thinking about cutting down on your current campaigns, you have the right idea, but make sure to execute it in an efficient way. Cutting all of your campaigns will just leave your business paralyzed and ultimately affect your chances of having any upwards progress in the near future. Instead, make your cuts according to which ads are bringing in the most revenue.. If there are campaigns that are bringing small amounts of revenue it’s best to redirect this budget to campaigns that are working better. 

Changes in Consumer Routines

When weighing in the changes you want to make to your campaigns, it’s important to consider the change to the daily routine of your target audience. Their lifestyle and daily routine may have changed drastically over the course of the year to working from home, becoming unemployed, and so on. Maybe they haven’t changed much at all for your specific audience! Google Trends now has a dedicated page with consolidated insights about COVID-19 related searches. You can start here to see what’s on your target audience’s mind — and search bar — at the moment. 

Assess Reports More Frequently

If previously you have looked through your reports and performance metrics every now and then, reconsider analyzing the data more frequently. It’s difficult to pinpoint which practices and strategies are going to work out for you while everything else is so uncertain. Despite everything, assess your Google Ads reports and make changes accordingly. Repeat this process until you see positive results! No one can guarantee success besides you. 

“Strategize, strategize, strategize, then execute.” 

At Digilite, our digital marketing specialists know the value of planning, analyzing, and strategizing before launching any campaign. And it doesn’t end there! Regular monitoring and reporting only make progress easier to track to identify necessary changes. You can always contact us for strategic planning for your business’ Google Ads. 

Appropriate COVID Response

People pay attention to how their favorite companies respond to the COVID outbreak. Failure to sympathetically and appropriately react to the situation may deter regular consumers to competitors who are excelling on this front. It’s important that you’re running campaigns that respond to the situation in some way, such as only focusing on advertising products or services that are essential to viewers. 

At the same time, it must be achieved within reasonable limits in order to avoid leaving the impression that you’re using the outbreak as a means to increase sales. A recent survey showed that 71% of participants agreed that they will lose trust in a brand that is putting profit over people under these circumstances. It’s a slippery slope in reality, but if done well, you can slingshot yourself in front of your competition. 

Increase in Nightowls

Everything we know about how the world of digital marketing has changed in 2020, from Google Ads to social media marketing. While before you may have noticed fewer conversions and search queries in the later hours of the night, now this dynamic has shifted. With less time spent commuting and more time at home, those working remotely are awake longer and spend more time online during after hours. You may find that bumping your ad times anywhere from midnight to 4 AM will generate more conversions than you’d expect. 

Sell Your Support

If it’s apparent that your industry just isn’t of primary interest right now, focus on maintaining the company image to ride out the storm. Run new campaigns that don’t target a product or service, but instead share awareness, understanding, and a sense of hope for the situation. By doing this, you’ll increase your company value among existing and potential consumers. While it may seem like you’re investing a significant portion of your budget to a cause that isn’t bringing direct profit, you’ll be glad you did it in the long run. 

Pull out the Promotions

Have a promotion plan in mind that you haven’t executed yet? It’s the right time to pull out any promotions, sales, and special offers you’ve been holding on to. A good deal is enough to attract anyone on a regular day and it can be a real treat now for anyone saving up extra money. Just like the COVID response point we made earlier, be careful not to market the promotion in a way that’s explicitly taking advantage of the situation for profit. 

Never-ending Optimization 

Despite everything going on now, you still need to keep your eye on the prize and optimize towards the company’s long-term goals. Campaign optimization is never-ending and shouldn’t stop now, especially since drastic changes are more prone to occur. Continue to maintain your costs-per-lead, sales revenue, and impression shares targets. Put less emphasis on cost-per-conversion or cost-per-acquisition at this time. It may be tempting to optimize for current profit to avoid sinking finances, but focusing on high-quality lead conversion is more valuable now.

You can always leave it to us to look after your keyword research, bidding management, and PPC campaigns by getting a quote on our SEM services. 

Analyze Competitor Changes

Last but not least, it’s easy to get caught up in analyzing trends, reports, and carrying out corresponding changes, but it’s crucial to keep your competitors in mind throughout the process. Continue to assess those who are ranking above or below you and who’s cutting back on their campaigns. If for some reason, your competitors have pulled back on their campaigns, it may be the best time to swoop in and claim their position. This may require allocating more budget when their traffic defers in your direction, which will require careful risk assessments before following through. 

Cracking the code to a successful Google Ads strategy post-COVID is all about monitoring and optimizing. Begin by assessing your reports and current campaigns to differentiate between what’s working and what’s not. Make the necessary adjustments accordingly, but don’t cut back completely because your ads play a critical role in your overall digital marketing strategy. The best approach is to be considerate of the situation so your target audience considers the brand as informative, supportive, and relevant. 

If you’re still having a difficult time, contact us and we’ll help you find that silver needle out of the pile of hay. 

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