Optimize your PPC in the Pandemic

With the pandemic pushing on and more businesses are forced to adjust to the new conditions. Let me share with you five ways to future-proof your PPC Campaigns. Hopefully, this will help you ride through the wave and succeed beyond.

1. Search terms report

Are your ads triggering any search terms related to the Covid-19 pandemic? You may find that these are not searches you want to be showing up for. It may not be suitable for your brand image, or most of these people are just looking for something else (like the news). If you find that it applies to your business, make sure to thoroughly exclude words like “covid, pandemic, virus, epidemic, vaccine.” Exclude them as broad matches so that they can get the widest coverage of blocking. Remember that the nature of negative keywords is the opposite of their positive counterparts. Close variants do not match in negatives. So for the keyword “vaccine”, you also want to include “vaccines.”

2. Update your Google My Business and existing ads

Your business hours may have been adjusted to reflect the new conditions. Make sure to actively update them in your GMB listing so that they see the updated business hours when customers search for you. Most likely, you may need to update your ads for any old information such as operating hours, locations, and services. Check your ad extensions, especially location, callouts, and structured snippets. Are there any services that you no longer provide or have temporarily paused? Update accordingly, so it is easier for your customers. If you require customers to be pre-tested or temperature screened before entering the premises, do include them in the ads.

If you are working in any personal services such as HVAC, you may also want to assure your customers that your staff have been vaccinated or will be wearing proper protection during work. So make sure to review your ads again.

3. Decrease spend vs. stopping ads

If you are planning to decrease your ad budget during this period, make sure to evaluate whether decreasing or stopping ads is the right decision. Here are a few guidelines to help you. First, are you planning to resume your campaigns in the foreseeable future? If it is only a temporary pause, we suggest decreasing your spending instead of stopping your campaigns entirely. Google Ads are a bit like a plane. Bringing it to a halt means that when you do resume your ads, it will take some time to reach where it was before you pause it. Just like a plane landing and trying to take off again.

To counteract the inertia of stopping your campaigns, reduce your spending gradually to ensure your plane is still “flying in the air”, though at a lower altitude. At least it will be much faster to regain your momentum once it is back to normal.

4. Shift your budgets

Shift your budgets to the most profitable campaigns. You may want to reduce excessive testing and look to consolidate your budgets to the campaign with the highest demand or return. This is also the time to do a “spring cleaning” for your account. Check for underperforming ads, keywords, ad groups, and campaigns. Consider if you need to pause them or relocate the budget to a better-performing one.

5. Update your website and landing pages

We all know that the ads part is just half the battle. What happens on the landing page determines the conversion. Your ads may be updated to reflect the new conditions, but are your landing pages updated as well? Is there any new information and guidelines you need to inform your readers? For example, change of opening hours and pre-tested user requirements; make sure to update them in your landing pages. Use your website to convey key information during this period, where most customers will not be engaged in face-to-face communication.

In conclusion

That being said, re-align your goals and messaging towards the new consumer behavior. Do not go around flipping things and start panicking. The sun will still rise in the east tomorrow. And there will still be people looking for your services. If you made the necessary changes above, you should be fine and onward to more prosperity with your advertising!