Seven months into the global pandemic and in the UK we are slowly starting to see light at the end of the tunnel – there are advantages to be had, such as the lower Google Ads cost per clicks during COVID-19.
It’s clear that COVID-19 has caused an economic crisis with businesses; both established and new companies, large and small, all suffering the consequences of shutting their doors. We have witnessed the fall of high street names from Cath Kidston to Brighthouse, and recently Laura Ashley; who have subsequently fallen into administration as a direct result of the Coronavirus.
Being stuck indoors meant our buying habits changed. While many speculated that eCommerce businesses would boom during the lockdown, many did not experience this. In fact, uncertainty, financial strain, and furlough meant many of us stopped purchasing in the same way we normally would.
There was no longer a need to buy new clothes, travel was banned, and luxury items were pointless with no one to flaunt them too. Our habits merged into indoor activities, online pub quizzes, and baking. While many of us found great comfort in the chance to breathe, relax, and enjoy some long-overdue family time, businesses were caught in the crossfire of our inability and desire to spend.
The demand for marketing dropped
With less disposable income available and a change in shopping habits, businesses quickly noticed a drop in their demand and therefore their sales. One of the first things to go was marketing. Instead, businesses turned their marketing and PA efforts to:
- Assembling critical information
- Discovering new connections
- Adjusting to changes in their routines
- Praising everyday heroes
- Taking care of themselves and others
No longer was it a time to advertise new products, promote business benefits or push sales. It became a time of culture, praise, and looking after one another.
How Google tried to keep businesses online
Google reacted quickly, as expected, to the decrease in businesses marketing themselves online. In April, they offered an incentive for all current Google Ads advertisers to receive “COVID-19 relief” in the form of a credit applied to their account in June. The credits were based on the current level of spend and continuation of spend during the official lockdown period within the UK.
Those businesses lucky enough to have remained open online or able to operate emergency services may have been able to benefit from these incentives and continue to drive some form of online activity. As for others, the incentives were not enough to keep them spending. This meant a reduction in competition online which had direct implications for cost per clicks. When competition is diminished, there is no one driving the cost per clicks up, therefore many businesses saw a reduced ad spend and a greater yield.
We analysed the results of five previous three months. The industries we analysed included plumbing and heating, logistics, packaging, retail, and charity.
Across the board, on average, these businesses received a 30% reduction in cost per click during April, May, and June of 2020 – with the largest reduction in the plumbing and heating industry. This particular client we analysed experienced a drop in cost per click at 51%, which helped make their continuous marketing more affordable and ensured they were still being found for emergency call outs and essential work.
The trends are continuing
While the UK is slowly coming out of the lockdown period, with non-essential shops and hospitality reopening in early July, this downward shift in cost per clicks is still present as many businesses still appear wary of the uncertain climate. For anyone restarting or considering a Google Ads campaign, now is the time.
The government is encouraging spending; with various incentives being passed around parliament. Therefore if your business is open, now could be the perfect time to scoop up some interest and get more bang for your buck!