It’s no secret that Google Ads campaigns are the best way to advertise businesses online. Yet the coronavirus pandemic has changed common PPC campaign management tactics in an instance.
It has left online advertisers without a solid strategy for Google Ads and SEM campaigns from now on.
Meanwhile, in the new world of COVID-19, much remains uncertain. With online conversion rates plummeting since the beginning of the pandemic, paid advertising has taken a backseat in almost all industries.
So along with everything else, the pandemic has shifted online trends as well.
Despite all the uncertainty, one thing is for sure; advertisers will have to be creative and tactful in how they manage their campaigns.
Besides, learning how to optimize google ads campaigns in an uncertain time adds to advertisers’ overall skill set.
So today, we’ll be going through some of the best ways to manage and optimize Google Ads campaigns during COVID-19.
These techniques will help you maintain a respectable conversion rate in a time of crisis and build a solid foundation for future campaigns.
How has COVID-19 changed SEM Campaign Management?
Before we can understand how to navigate the changes of COVID-19 to SEM campaign management, we need to know what those changes are.
Understandably, the first casualty has been traffic generated by Google search ads and SEM campaigns. By March 2020, advertisers saw a sharp decline in the ad impressions of up to 7%.
Even though some part of this decline could be explained by the holiday season, most advertisers did not expect a 7% drop below average.
With consumers scrambling to get their hands on essential supplies, it’s no wonder most advertisers have put a stop to their ad schedules.
This development has particularly rattled local and small businesses that relied on a steady stream of online traffic sales.
As a Result
Overall advertising ad spend has taken a big hit across all channels. Paid advertising from Google Ads campaigns has reduced by up to 30%, whereas social media advertising has decreased by 33%.
At this point, you might be thinking SEM campaigns must be hanging on by their fingernails, but that’s not the case.
Essential and online delivery businesses have made fair use of PPC optimization techniques to generate traffic and grow sales online.
A comparison of March 2020 with last year shows that categories such as disposable gloves, cough, and cold medicine are rapidly increasing in popularity.
A vast majority of small businesses dealing in these categories are using Google Adwords campaigns to maintain conversion rates and provide essential services to consumers.
On the other hand, we see that nonessential categories such as luggage and suitcases, bridal clothing, and athletic wear have taken a plunge. We can expect these trends to continue so long as some semblance of normalcy isn’t restored.
All in all, paid online advertising hasn’t lost its potency. The dynamic market conditions have allowed some businesses to remain relevant.
Particularly for businesses offering essential products and services, effective SEM campaigns during COVID-19 can benefit themselves and consumers alike.
Why do Google Ads Campaigns matter now more than ever?
It’s no question that traditional advertising channels have taken a mammoth hit during the pandemic. As a result, Google ad campaigns and online advertising channels have become even more invaluable.
During these unprecedented circumstances, businesses have a moral obligation to contribute positively to society. So whether it’s through Amazon PPC ads or Google Ads campaign, brands need to reach out.
With social distancing and quarantine in effect in many countries worldwide, online businesses could be the only method of sustenance most consumers have. And what better way to connect with those consumers than through Google search ads?
The existence of a sophisticated online advertising system is an asset that needs to be utilized to its fullest at the moment.
With the focus of companies and consumers alike diverted towards savings, online businesses can generate traffic and increase their sales while allowing people to access essential services.
Besides, the market dynamics during the coronavirus pandemic have allowed some businesses to benefit tremendously. To take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity and help their consumers simultaneously, sem campaign management is the key.
Not to mention, traffic generated from online advertising campaigns allow businesses to stay open and keep people employed. This staves off poverty for countless families who are already struggling because of the pandemic.
What are the Best Google Ads Optimization Techniques during COVID-19?
With such a profound effect of COVID-19 on our way of life, Google has been quick to adapt. The core benefits of user convenience and customer experience maintenance have been preserved by Google’s policy update regarding Adwords and search ad campaigns.
So there’s plenty of ways to keep your ad spend low and conversions high even during the pandemic if only you know a few handy tricks.
We have gathered here some of the best ways to optimize your Google ads account campaigns during COVID-19.
It is important to note that these techniques require you to extract actionable insights from Google Analytics. If you’re unsure of how to get those, check this out.
Switch to Location-based targeting
Budgets are tight, and people are reluctant to come out of their homes. So there’s no need to waste your ad spend on broad-based geographical targeting at a time like this.
Stick to what you know works for you. Trust your local consumers and provide them with the same privilege by targeting your ads for a local audience.
As long as the coronavirus pandemic lingers, so too will social distancing. It requires you to be smart and work with what you have. If you know people need your essential products or services, you know they will be searching for them.
Even if you run a small business, you will have a general idea about your most frequent customers. Focus on them and consolidate your ad broadcast locations.
Not only will this save you valuable time and money, but you’ll only get impressions from willing customers who have the highest chances of conversion.
Take this opportunity to experiment with day-part advertising. Day-parting allows you to show your ads at peak engagement times.
Some essential KPIs can help you pinpoint when day-parting can be most effective.
Make Effective Use of Ad Scheduling
This technique requires equal knowledge of your product and your target audience. It relies heavily on data-driven marketing strategies that can optimize your ad spend.
One of the best ways for ad scheduling is day-parting, as mentioned above. Secondly, you can always use historical sales data to identify when consumers are most likely to purchase from you.
However, it would be understandable if you’re hesitant to trust historical data in the middle of a once in a lifetime pandemic. It still pays to pay attention to the necessary consumer behavior.
For example, if you sell coffee, you can probably schedule your ads to run in the day but stop in the evening. Similarly, if you sell hygiene products, you can design ads to run on the weekends when people are more likely to come out and stock up.
Using Google Analytics to pinpoint peak engagement times during the day will help you in ad scheduling and optimize your Google ads campaign during COVID-19.
Effective ad scheduling will also save you a ton of money and get the most out of your Google Ads campaign.
Shift to Smart Bidding Strategy
If the pandemic’s stress is preventing you from effective SEM campaign management, then just let the machines handle it. That’s where the smart bidding strategy comes in.
With Facebook’s CBO or Google Smart Bid, you can set specific goals for your SEM campaign and let the AI adjust your bid accordingly. Some may even go so far as to say the AI does a better job optimizing SEM than humans ever could, but that’s a debate for another time.
You have to be careful in choosing your campaign goals, however. Since Google Smart Bid only optimizes the CPC for your particular campaign goal, the wrong plan could lead to substantial revenue loss.
The best way to set your campaign’s goals during COVID-19 is to keep it as simple as possible. This allows you to keep a close eye at the adjustments made to your bid strategy without losing sight of the ultimate objective.
Identify & Target Best Performance Device
Much like identifying the peak engagement times, this technique focuses on the best performance device. If you live in an area locked down, chances are office desktops will be out of the equation.
Similarly, if your target audience is a professional working from home, they might prefer laptops to tablets.
Identifying which device leads to the highest and lowest cost per conversion and the cost per lead is crucial to your PPC campaign management.
Through fundamental analysis, you will be able to identify which device is yielding low-performance levels. You can then choose to reduce or even remove bidding for that device.
How is SEM Campaign Management likely to change Post COVID-19?
Once (hopefully soon) this pandemic is behind us, economies will start rebuilding and fast. As significant industries come back into action and trade explodes into overdrive, SEM campaign management will likely undergo another shift in trend.
However, stating that things will go just as they were before would be wishful thinking. The strategies and techniques for optimizing PPC campaigns and managing Google Ads campaigns during COVID-19 will likely stay with us for the decades to come.
As more and more businesses learn to get a handle on ad spend and increase traffic and conversions through smart tactics, an evolution of online advertising norms will likely be seen.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take another pandemic to initiate some innovation in how SEM campaigns are managed and optimized for the future.