Even during a pandemic, advertising is important. You may have a decreased budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop your advertising cold turkey—you may just have to change the way you advertise. Now’s the time to stay visible and connected to your customers and prospects! We’ve laid out some strategies that might help in shifting your Google Ads spending to run a lean, mean ads machine for cost-effective advertising during pandemic conditions.
1. Decrease your cost-per-click (CPC) and daily ad spend.
Some of our clients have chosen to dial back their daily ad spend and/or decrease their cost-per-click to adapt to the amount of work they are able to complete at the moment. Depending on your situation, you can think about doing one or both of these. Here are a couple examples:
John the roofer is getting fewer roofing calls during the pandemic because he can only take on emergency work. He wants to keep his ad spend the same and focus only on emergency searches. Therefore, he should shift his budget from non-emergency keywords (or pause ads for those services) to increase his cost-per-click for emergency searches. This will ensure he’s showing up at the top for these searches. After all, if someone has an emergency, they’re most likely going to click on the companies at the very top of the Google search results.
John the roofer is only able to handle half the work as he was prior to the pandemic because he only has half of his crew working. He wants to save money on advertising, but he still needs to show up when people search for roofers in his area. He should cut his ad spend in half and keep his cost-per-click the same to continue ranking in a top position.
John the roofer isn’t able to take on any new work right now, but he will be ready to do so in about a month, so he still wants to stay top-of-mind with his customers. First, he should decrease his ad spend (by anywhere between 30-40%) and lower his cost-per-click. Next, he should shift his focus to lower-cost ads that still keep him in front of his audience during this transitional period. Lower-cost ads include retargeting ads (see item #2), brand keywords, and long-tail keywords.
2. Double down on display advertising and retargeting.
If you haven’t set up display and retargeting ads, now is the time to look into it. Clicks for display ads and retargeting are much cheaper than clicks for search ads, so you should take advantage of them, especially if you’ve had to lower your overall budget. In addition, see if it makes sense to update your location targeting to a more local audience during this time. Keep in front of your service area. This way when they need you, you’ll be top of mind.
To illustrate, say you’ve had to decrease to a $33/day budget where you were previously at $75/day. If your cost-per-click is $10+, getting only ~3 clicks per day via search ads may do very little. But that $33/day could drive thousands of daily impressions through display ads, video ads, and retargeting. Make sure to diversify, track your efforts, and plan for your budget to evolve so you’re able to adjust your spend over time.
3. Consider your leads a little less valuable from a revenue perspective.
If you’re not able to go out on as many service calls, or if you won’t be able to for some time, some of your customers may not have a need for your service when you’re actually able to go out again. Or, they may not be able to afford your product or service because of financial difficulties, resulting in a lower closing percentage. If each lead produces a 10-20% lower amount of revenue, you need to get 10-20% more leads to balance it out.
How might you do this? Good news! It’s possible that it will be done by default. Since there are fewer companies advertising during the pandemic and competing on Google Ads, the cost-per-click for most keywords has gone down. What this means for you is more clicks for the same ad spend, because you’re paying less per click. If this means you get 10-20% more clicks, and thus more leads because of it, you might be off to the races right out of the gate!
Advertising During Pandemic Times: Google Ads Gives You Options
Running a business with significantly less or no revenue coming in is scary. In some cases, it may seem like your only option is to cut ad spend. But if you’re able to adapt, change your strategies, and continue to advertise in some way, you will be rewarded for it when the pandemic is over. Why? Because you’ll stay top of mind with your customers and prospects, and your competitors won’t leave you trailing behind.