Many businesses are now facing unprecedented challenges from every angle, including marketing which is one area that business owners tend to cut first. But is that really the right choice?
Regardless the industry you are in, there are two scenarios on how you can approach PPC at the moment:
- Pause everything, save the investment for post-pandemic activity and see what happens.
- You keep spending time and budget, with a revised approach and strategy until things get back to normal.
Scenario 1 will inevitably cause an immediate drop in all traffic coming from paid search, at least to your website. If there are still users actively searching for services or products like yours, they are more likely to go to other websites or, even worse, your competitors!
Based on how much your business relies on PPC, this drop could represent a significant amount of traffic going onto your website. Furthermore, pausing marketing activity also means that no action can be taken by your PPC specialists to protect your brand or to try to reduce the loss of leads and conversions.
This scenario may save you some money in the short term but just resuming all PPC activity from exactly as you left it could leave you behind your competitors who have been keeping on top of their accounts à la Scenario 2.
Scenario 2, on the other hand, provides alternative solutions for transforming what looks like a challenge into an opportunity. So, exactly what options are available to you if you decide to keep your PPC activity running?
1. Don’t take your SEO volume of traffic for granted.
Many businesses are seeing a significant drop in organic traffic, due to less search demand. Although there is little control on search demand, having a strong PPC presence, especially in those most affected areas, can help your business to maintain/reduce the loss of leads or conversions.
2. Audit your PPC account
This is a great opportunity to review your account in depth, close any gaps you might have and make all necessary enhancements. Google regularly produces updates and releases latest features that are always worth testing.
3. Review your conversions and KPIs
People are still searching for products or services despite the fact they cannot have them right now. Being able to address this necessity from users can be translated into opportunities for business. Leads can still be generated if users’ expectations are being managed in the right way and with the right messaging. For example, if a product or service is currently unavailable but it will be in the future, messages such as “Register your interest today for a 20% discount” could help acquire future customers.
4. Review your PPC landing pages
Focus on making improvements to your conversion rate. It’s a great opportunity to create more landing pages, variants and run A/B tests in order to figure out what leads users to convert. In a few months’ time, your increased conversion rate will help the business to generate more conversions or leads without increasing the investment. Suggestion: if your business is operating during the pandemic, ensure you have a note/section about “Covid19”, so users know that you are still operating “Business As Usual” and know what to expect from you.
5. PPC Competition is dropping
There have been several businesses that have reduced/paused their PPC activity. This means that for those who are still using PPC, they can experience a lower cost per click (CPC). If you are working with a tight budget, this is another reason to use PPC to drive cheaper traffic to your website right now.
6. It’s time to think differently
Many people are now being told to stay at home. Considering that almost everyone has a device connected to the internet, this represents a unique opportunity for local businesses to increase their brand awareness in their local area. Remember, although you might not be able to sell your service right now, people will begin to become familiar with your brand and could become a customer of yours soon. Using paid social media, you are able to reach thousands of people in a very cost-effective way.
7. Beyond paid search
As search behaviour shifts and volume of traffic becomes even more unpredictable, PPC can provide additional valuable solutions to keep driving relevant traffic to your website. Google allows advertisers to run not only paid search ads but also display and video ads on platforms such as YouTube. If you already have good video content, then this is the time to put them in front of your audiences. Instead, if you don’t have any video content or creatives and would like to run display activity, MRS can help you with the creation of digital banners and images for your business. Get in touch for more.
8. Plan for post-pandemic activity
Make sure your PPC activity and accounts are also ready post pandemic, where volume of traffic is expected to increase and slowly get back to normal. If well planned, businesses can also take advantage of a potential profitable initial period where CPC is still relatively low, customer demand increases, and several businesses are still out of competition regarding paid search.
Of course, not all these options might be suitable for all industries as they face different challenges. However the question that business owners and marketing managers need to answer now is “which scenario will help the business to come out stronger at the end of the pandemic?”
Finally, both Google and Facebook have announced their intention to provide grants to small businesses. This is something definitely worth looking into.
Info about Google grants:
Info about Facebook grants: