Marketing 5 min read

How Search Behavior is Changing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

Google has published data on recent search trends, which reveals the five ways search behavior is changing during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recently published data on search trends, Google revealed the top five ways that search behavior is changing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

No organization is exempt from the shift in search behavior caused by the pandemic. Furthermore, the data reveals that consumer search behavior is changing every day.

By publishing the search trends, Google hopes to help marketers understand ways to help their customers during this challenging time.

In the blog post, an executive at Google Search, Consumer Insight, Tara Walpert Levy wrote:

“Consumer behavior is changing daily, and the question I’m getting most often from people right now is how we as marketing professionals can be more helpful to our customers in these fluctuating moments.”

The search engine company summarized shifts in consumer search behavior into the following:

  • Providing vital information
  • Discovering new connections
  • Adjusting to changes in their routines
  • Praising everyday heroes
  • Taking care of themselves and others

Let’s delve a little deeper, shall we?

5 Shifts in Consumer Search Behavior During Coronavirus Pandemic

Here are five ways that search behavior has changed during this challenging period. 
Image Credit: thinkwithgoogle.com

Here are five ways that search behavior has changed during this coronavirus pandemic.

1. Providing Vital Information

As more people are staying at home to curb the spread of the virus, access to specific information becomes critical.

According to Google, search interest has increased in topics related to “retail”, and “mortgage rate suspension”. Other areas of interest include “short term work employee” and “home delivery.”

Marketers that want to help consumers right now should consider creating content about any of these topics. Aside from creating content, Google also offers the following recommendations:

  • Acknowledge the new reality
  • Provide credible, detailed, and current information about your operation. Let your customers know you’re there to help.
  • Update communications across your website, blogs, social media page, as well as Google My Business page
  • Be flexible enough to help customers with issues such as cancellation, refunds, and other services

2. Discovering New Connections

Everyone is currently be practicing social distancing. Yet, search trends suggest that they’re not only nurturing existing relationships, but people are also creating new connections.

For example, this could either involve connecting with people over the internet or strengthening household relationships.

With that said, search interest is rising for topics such as “With me” videos on YouTube. These include “Study with me” videos — which is up 54 percent from last year — and “disinfect with me.”

Other popular trends that involve connecting with others are Multiplayer video games and virtual happy hour.

To help customers in this area, Google recommends:

  • Looking for ways to connect your customers, locally and globally
  • Considering if your brand can create or enhance shared experiences virtually or otherwise

3. Adjusting to Changes in Routines

People are currently revamping their routines and schedules to meet the demands of isolation. As a result, their online habits are also changing.

Google points out that search interests in DIY topics, as well as “stationary bikes” and “dumbbell sets”, has increased. People are also interested in watching how other people are adapting.

For example, interest in late-night shows has increased since hosts began creating content from their homes.

Google offers the following recommendations in helping customers adjust to new routines:

  • Let people know that solutions are available whenever and wherever they want it
  • Use first-party data — like site analytics — or Google Trends to understand when people need you most. Then adjust your communication strategy accordingly.
  • People need content that entertains, connects, and promotes wellness. So, update or publish as often as you can

4. Praising Everyday Heroes

People are praising others that are still going in to work every day — individuals risking their health to do their jobs. These include health workers, cashiers, and delivery people.

As a result, the search interest for “thanks essential workers” has increased in the last few weeks. Google recommends the following in this area:

  • Look for people who are helping in this challenging period. Then, find a way to either support or celebrate them.
  • Consider the heroes among your customers, employees, and local community
  • Consider whether you have non-human heroes that can contribute. It could be your technology, operational rigor, or equipment

5. Taking Care of Themselves and Others

In recent weeks, people have shown interest in taking care of their physical and psychological needs as well as others. Accordingly, search interest for activities that can ease boredom, anxiety, and uncertainty has increased.

Whether it’s virtual or real-life activities, people are now considering topics like “puzzles and “relaxation.” Other areas of interest include virtual tours of galleries and museums.

Here are some recommendations to help people find ways to enrich their lives, according to Google:

  • Consider virtual collaboration with the outdoor spaces and cultural institutions people yearn to visit
  • Participate in discussions relating to home-based health and well-being

Finally, focus on the platforms and formats that make sense for people that are staying at home.

Read More: Google Suspends Changes to Partners Program Until 2021

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