The Major Search Trends of COVID-19
Consumer behaviour can rapidly change even during non-pandemic times. But, the impact of COVID-19 has caused a more significant shift in consumer behaviour than usual. With everyone stuck at home, consumers are looking to purchase products online or locally and find ways to entertain themselves without travelling outside their homes. Adapting to consumers’ shifting behaviour is essential for businesses to survive during these challenging times. It is time to rethink your SEO strategy and cater to current consumer preferences. Some of the current search trends related to the outbreak of COVID-19 are outlined below, and we hope they will help you adjust your business model as circumstances gradually improve.
Target local consumers
Due to the risk of travel at this time and travel restrictions, consumers are not making any concrete plans to travel anytime soon. The number of travel related searches have dramatically decreased by 90%. Instead, consumers are looking to find services, products and entertainment that are available closer to them or online. Make use of this opportunity by targeting local consumers who are looking to find ways to fill their needs, interests and time, with services close to them. With the number of ‘X near me’ searches increasing due to isolation restrictions, it is a good idea to advertise to customers about how you can benefit them in their local area without the need for them to travel far. People are more prepared to support local businesses during this time.
eCommerce is rising
Although searches for eCommerce products have increased across all industries during this time, there has been an especially high spike of interest in searches for essential items that are available for purchase online, including toilet paper, hand sanitisers and essential food items. Businesses who offer eCommerce have a great advantage over their competitors right now, even for non-essential purchases. For many people, COVID-19 suddenly caused plenty of time in the day left wide open for online shopping, with restrictions limiting options for spending money on gatherings or activities. Even as we start to reopen the country, you should target consumers during this time by advertising any eCommerce options you have available. COVID-19 has changed the way consumers shop. If you don’t already offer eCommerce services, now is the time to start thinking about implementing it into your business model.
DIY Projects & Hobbies
There has been a huge increase of interest in DIY projects like gardening and renovations. Consumers are making use of their suddenly available free time by picking up new hobbies. Searches for these new hobbies and related DIY projects have increased, including genealogy, arts and crafts, bird watching, outdoor recreation activities (while social distancing, of course), gardening, cooking, model building, and home brewing.
Consumers have also been looking to make time spent at home as comfortable as possible, especially with the weather getting colder. Searches for patio heaters have increased by 200% in Australia. Searches for mattresses and fresh cut flowers have both seen a 50% increase each. Many other home categories such as decor and blankets have also seen a rise in search trends.
Recipes & Home Cooking
The amount of people who are cooking at home has also increased, so accordingly, searches for recipes have seen significant growth. There has been a 55% increase in searches regarding Thai food and a 53% increase of searches regarding pizza and fast food. Consumers are looking to purchase products that help them to cook the recipes they are searching for, as well. For example, searches for deep fryers have increased by 70%.
There has been a particular spike in personal grooming, too. Consumers have been purchasing products they can use at home to maintain their personal hygiene and grooming, with salons and other beauty services closed. There has been a 79% increase in searches about personal grooming and 146% increase in clicks. Searches about hair dyes have increased by 36% and clicks have increased by 118%. What a better time than iso to try a radical hair colour you couldn’t rock at the office?
Virtual and Video Products
The terms ‘virtual’ and video’ is being added to many usual search queries, especially celebratory queries. For example, earlier in the year, during Mother’s Day, consumers were looking for ways to celebrate with their mums virtually. ‘Mother's day gifts for isolation’ was a trending search term in April. As expected, the need for products that can be consumed virtually has increased. During this time, many consumers are streaming virtual workout videos, movies and other forms of entertainment that is convenient to access from the safety of their own homes.
Health, Hygiene and Wellness
As expected, the health and wellness industry has seen a huge increase in search queries. Earlier in the year, health queries relating to Coronavirus were especially high. People were also looking to purchase masks, hand sanitisers, cleaning products and toilet paper in-store and online. However, only 3% of the new queries relating to COVID-19 actually mentioned ‘coronavirus’ or ‘COVID-19’. Consumers’ fear regarding COVID-19 drove an increase in searches related to home remedies, hand washing techniques and antiviral food.
Fitness & Exercise
There has also been a surge of interest in home fitness due to exercise limitations. Searches for at-home fitness equipment has increased by 162%, searches for hiking by 135% and mountain biking by 119%. People have been consuming more fitness related videos online to get started or improve their fitness journey. Fitness apps and related products have gained an interest as well due to people wanting to get fit and find gym alternatives.
News outlets have seen a dramatic increase in their online traffic with regular searches for news and updated information regarding COVID-19. Many paid news services have offered unlimited news related to Coronavirus updates without subscription to allow readers to access information. Consumers being worried about the unstable time has caused them to access news sites more often, especially to find updates regarding COVID-19.
Use these search trends to adapt your SEO strategy and offerings to consumers. But, stay informed about changes in search trends, as preferences can change rapidly during unpredictable times. Catering to current consumer preferences and adapting your SEO strategy is essential for helping your business find relevant customers that are in need of your products or services.