As the Coronavirus pandemic surges on, consumers are purchasing and doing business online more than ever, so it’s even more important to tighten up your SEO and paid search game right now. But if you’re thinking, “Great! I have a service/product that people really need right now so I’ll just bid on coronavirus-related keywords and watch the orders start rolling in!”, unfortunately you have another thing coming.

Google has blocked the use of all Covid/pandemic-related keywords in PPC ads. While this is a smart move in order to prevent people from using those keywords for the wrong reasons (you can read Google’s full policy and reasoning here), you may have a really valuable offering that directly relates to pandemic-related needs, like e-learning, telemedicine, cleaning supplies, online meeting software, or food delivery services, just to name a few! How can you make sure that you’re reaching the customers that need what you’re selling without the ability to use terms like Covid-19, pandemic, or Coronavirus? Here are 5 tips to help you stay on top of your search game during the pandemic:

  1. Use related phrases. Unless you’re a hospital, government agency or other qualified organization aimed at getting information to the public, words like Covid-19 and Coronavirus are off limits. But you CAN use words like social distancing, work from home, essential workers, etc. Highlighting the benefits of your product or service in this light will speak more directly to your target customers.


  1. Fine-tune your budget. If you’ve seen a dip in ad performance and are concerned about budget, you can tighten things up by setting ad schedules to capitalize on your visitor’s most active times, set demographic targeting, device targeting, or other settings that can get you the most value for your investment.


  1. Highlight benefits with Ad Extensions. If you’ve never used ad extensions before, now is definitely the time! This gives you free additional search real estate to highlight benefits and features of your offerings to searchers. Extensions are a great place for the related phrases we touched on in tip #1.


  1. Tweak content on your landing pages. While you can’t use Covid-related terms in your ads, you can create content on your site that more specifically addresses how your product or service can help during the pandemic. Once you’ve created a compelling PPC ad, you can use the appropriate coronavirus-related messaging on your landing page to create a clear path to conversion.


  1. Do a keyword research refresh. While continuously refining your target keywords is an essential part of any successful paid search strategy, now is a perfect time to do a bit more digging as searcher behavior changes and new search term trends emerge. You may discover a keyword with less competition at a better price that can make a world of difference for your business!  For example, insulated jackets for women has less competition than winter jackets for women so we pivoted our strategy for a client there.

We hope these tips help you navigate the uncertain landscape with a bit more search marketing confidence. If you’d like some help making your paid search budget work for you, there’s never been a better time to reach out for a little help from a PPC expert.