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Tips to manage your PPC campaigns during the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak

Tips to manage your PPC campaigns during the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak

PPC advertising and marketing changed overnight with the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Majority of commerce is shutting down across the US and the world. This situation will require advertisers to be brave, agile, creative, and patient with this minute by minute changing environment. We shared PPC search campaigns tips with our customers and want to share them with you to help you better manage your campaigns during this pandemic.

Review your messaging

Analyze your campaigns and individual ads to determine if the messaging still is a good fit to accommodate the current environment.

  • Examine your copy, CTAs and revise as needed
  • Utilize images with people in groups
  • If available, add curbside pickup details
  • Include shipping information with features of free, next day, same day delivery etc
  • Any changes in business hours of operation
  • Share your company’s response to the Covid-19 virus
  • Don’t forget to utilize ad extensions such as sitelinks, calls etc to convey the information

The do’s and don’ts

  • Use: “contribute,” “connect,” “play a role,” “navigate,” “cope,” “respond”
  • Do not use: “capitalize,” “advantage,” “offer,” “gain,” “profit”
  • Be careful with: “opportunity,” “make the most”

“Call now” or “Book now” buttons are fine; but excitement- or scarcity-driven copywriting, like “Don’t miss out!” or “Grab your spot before it’s too late!” is not going to resonate with consumers or businesses right now. Nothing is as urgent as COVID-19, and this type of tone is more likely to cause you to come off as unaware or ignorant.

Value proposition

Can your product or service be considered as essential? If the answer is yes, consider promoting these products and services first. If your product or service can be modified to fit into one of these areas, pivot to promote these initiatives.

  • Essential and medical services
  • Social distancing
  • PPE and other medical equipment
  • Family togetherness
  • Working remotely
  • Home schooling education
  • Entertainment

We also see businesses exploring virtual consulting and providing online workshops and webinars. Webinar platforms utilized the most Demio, WebinarNinja, JetWebinar

Budgets & Spend

Now is a good time to reevaluate your budgets. Take the time to review budget vs spend to find unused funds and apply them to the campaigns that need it most. Consider to shift budgets towards more relevant products or services during the national emergency. At this time, you want to shift budgets to best performing campaigns to maximize results. Depending on the platform, instead of daily budgets, consider settings lifetime or monthly spend limits to better pace campaign spend. This will free up your time for more important account management tasks.

Search behavior

The coronavirus has made normal life anything but normal these days. With retailers adapting to delivery or online models, schools closing, and much of the workforce staying home, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when to get the things they need.

Google data gives us insight into behavior across markets, reflected in how people are searching.

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

WordStream also researched tens of thousands of advertisers to understand the impact of COVID-19 on PPC advertising and impacted industries.

Using negative keywords

Adding relevant negative keywords will limit your ad from being displayed for queries that are deemed irrelevant or can impact the brand image.

We looked into existing accounts to identify possible variations of coronavirus that can be added as negative keywords. You should ideally pick these set of terms and create a shared keyword list from it, applying it to active campaigns.


“corona virus”





“novel corona virus”



Possible misspellings and close variations of this search term would be be:




“Kovid 19 corona”



“coroner virus”

“cv 19”



“covi 19”


You must also consider adding the umbrella terms too, such as:




A great resource with the latest information on search behavior is Google Trends: Coronavirus Search Trends.

Opportunities worth exploring

People staying at home are consuming more content such as news and videos and using more online communication tools. During a March 2020 survey of social media users in the United States, 43.1 percent of respondents stated that if confined to their homes during the coronavirus, they would use Instagram more during that period. YouTube and Facebook were also popular social platforms that users were estimating to increase their usage during physical distancing at home. Many counties and cities in the United States have called upon residents to stay at home during the global coronavirus pandemic and subsequently, internet users turn to digital video and video-on-demand platforms to keep them entertained.

Opportunities worth exploring now as people consume more content:

  • Display ad expansion on the Google Display Network and Microsoft Audience Network
  • YouTube and in-video ad placement options
  • Pandora as many people consume audio streaming

We’re all in for change over the next few months – both online and offline. Stay safe, healthy, and practice social distancing. While you’re stuck inside, keep an eye on your PPC accounts and keep your account’s performance healthy.



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