How COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Different Industries & their PPC Campaigns

Recently updated: June 1st, 2020

More than 3 months have passed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the whole world has felt the tremors of its massive impact. Nearly every business is being influenced in some way due to its quick spread and the resulting lockdown orders of the legal authorities. Though there is a lot of uncertainty and having all answers at present is difficult, we certainly can take a look at how different sectors are going through swift changes in terms of ad campaigns.

Global events have always impacted PPC performance and so have the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more people are turning to online searches, checking the news for answers, and finding solutions to their new needs. It means their search behavior is altering in an unprecedented way and businesses have to modify their ad campaigns accordingly to stay relevant.

Which industries have been affected badly by the COVID-19 pandemic? Let’s check out.

Industries Badly Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

Travel and Tourism

Unsurprisingly, with people ordered to stay and work at home, the travel and tourism industry has been hit the hardest. Only fewer people are booking travels and that too in those areas where it is comparatively safe.

Correlation of Coronavirus News and Travel Industry in the USA

Image Source: PPC Hero

In countries where there is nationwide lockdown to prevent and control the spread of novel coronavirus, for instance, India, travel advertisers are finding it hard to attract the attention of people. The most struggling sector is tourism that deals with vacation packages.

Restaurants and Bars

During the phase of social isolation, these small businesses will face the real heat of this crisis. While many restaurants are opting to add home delivery and take-out services, they are already at the pressing end.

Live Entertainment

Social gatherings are not allowed even if they are about spreading happiness and adding interest to mundane routine. As such, performers including stand-up comedians, motivational speakers, and singers have to cancel their shows across the globe. Therefore, search volume for live entertainment shows has dropped by 24% and conversion rates have plummeted by 30%.

Sports and Fitness

The majority of sports leagues have had to cancel all their upcoming events to ensure public safety and health. Besides, due to social distancing, a huge number of gyms have been closed down until conditions return to normal and those that are still opening will be welcoming fewer members. Most areas related to sports and fitness, such as water recreation and sporting goods, are witnessing a steep fall in conversion rate.


The building and construction industry is going through a sudden pitfall as future projects are getting postponed, being delayed or stalled. Consequently, people are less likely to convert. Since seasonal advertising costs are already getting higher, the time for this industry seems to be very unfortunate these days.


As mass gatherings are not allowed even at workplaces, fewer workers are showing up at production plants. In some regions, manufacturing units are completely shut down as per government orders. In short, manufacturing operations have been significantly slowed and as such PPC campaigns for goods are also getting affected. The search traffic for industrial terms has greatly reduced.

Image Source: WordStream

However, there are also some sectors that are showing positive growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industries Responding Better than Ever During the COVID-19 Crisis

Health and Medical 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are being asked to stay safe and healthy and keep themselves protected from the novel coronavirus. As a result, the majority of people across the globe are searching for more information about the pandemic, how to stay healthy, and how to protect themselves.

They are turning to the online stores and the SERP to purchase everything right from over-the-counter painkillers to important medications to stock for a longer period. Therefore, a lot of advertisers in this industry are experiencing uplift in ad clicks as well as conversion rates.

Image Source: WordStream

Non-Profit Organizations and Charities

During these tough times, people are more inclined towards non-profit organizations and charities. People are trying to help various foundations and charities through little and large donations so that victims can get more help.

Business Consultancy and Management

Survival during this pandemic is getting hard for small businesses. Consequently, this industry is booming. More startup and enterprise owners are turning towards business management experts to find ways. Business management agencies are helping small businesses in setting up employees to work remotely, communicate virtually, and maintain continuity in business operations as much as possible.

According to WordStream, there is an increase of 90% in searches for office supplies, 35% in paid search and clicks, and 41% in search conversion rates.

Personal Care Products

Various fast-moving consumer goods companies are seeing an unprecedented hike during the last couple of months. A huge number of people are searching for products, like soap and hand sanitizer. Various verticals related to this domain are also seeing boost at a considerable rate.

Image Source: PPC Hero

On the other hand, some segments, such as retail, home furniture, home improvement, real estate, automotive, and legal services are experiencing a mixed impact of this pandemic.

Image Source: WordStream (Data Via Andy Taylor of Tinuiti)

A Few Suggestions to Mitigate the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Your PPC Campaigns

At present, people are searching for different topics than before. Though this may seem the most obvious trend, coronavirus terms are likely to be hindering your search queries right now.

Even if your business has nothing to do with novel coronavirus or any other term related to it, check out your search queries multiple times to spot any difference.

You should find out ways to tackle the sudden-changed people’s search behavior to stay relevant. For instance, in the tourism industry, people are more focused on flight cancellations, delays, and restrictions.

To alleviate this impact up to some extent, you can:

  • Use negative keywords for COVID-19, advisory, and cancellation related searches
  • Offer and promote easy cancellation and adjustment policies
  • Provide suggestions to address the concerns of your customers

Tracking PPC Performance – An Overlooked yet Important Step

If you are an advertiser and running PPC campaigns, it is critical to get useful insights to check how your PPC campaigns are performing. You can use Google Ads Script that overlays the government actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic to check Google Ads performance metrics. It will help you see if there is any drop or spike in the performance of ad campaigns.

You can easily install this script. Just open your Google Ads account and add a new script in it. Add your email address to receive notifications when a new report is done, and schedule it to run every day at least one time.

Image Source: Search Engine Land

The script captures geo-segmented data for the past 30 days and adds this data to a Google Sheet. To see the data of a specific location, you can use the filter option. The chart will automatically be updated for that particular region and overlaid with the government actions in that region.

Our Tip for Advertisers

A huge number of businesses will be negatively impacted during this crisis, but if you find out problematic areas, develop proper strategies, and work on them to mitigate the impact, you will be able to get considerably more clicks through your PPC campaigns.

So, don’t just run campaigns for the sake of advertising; make them more relevant and useful for people according to current situations. Only then, you might expect some pickup in click rates and conversions.

Vijaya Tyagi

Vijaya Raj Laxmi Tyagi has been an avid content writer for over five years with a keen interest in writing SEO articles and blogs. She also finds great enthusiasm in writing about a vast variety of topics, including gardening, interior designing, health & wellness, and tourism. Her educational background in Computer Science and Engineering has given her an edge to write about technologies that tend to mark a great impression on daily lifestyle and behaviour, while her intrigue towards Mother Nature drives her to discuss green topics.