COVID-19: Search Behaviour Insights

It’s now more than 8 weeks since the UK went into lockdown, yet we’re still seeing changes daily. Every single day, we track over 100,000 phrases for our clients all around the world. While most have to rely on the rolling 12-month average search data, we’ve invested in building internal systems that allow us to track positions and monthly search volumes. This extensive (and exclusive) dataset not only means we’re able to identify positive and negative emerging trends fast, but we‘re also able to react fast. In a climate that’s changing day by day, this has never been more important.

Evolving search behaviour

So how is search behaviour evolving? Looking at search volume year on year, our evolution in search behaviour becomes really clear. Logistics, finance, retail and eCommerce industries have all seen a huge amount of growth. Which makes sense considering we’ve been stuck inside, bored, and turning to online shopping. Law, motoring, travel and property, on the other hand, are some of the industries that have been more negatively impacted, likely due to restrictions on travel and financial concerns.

By displaying this data in graph format, the differing impact on YOY search volume by industry is even more stark.

The unfamiliarity of working from home and barely leaving the house has slowly become a new normal alongside an emergence of exercise fanatics, a Mary Berry in every household and a sudden uptake in DIY. It comes as no surprise that these changes are being reflected in our search behaviour:

  • Somewhat unsurprisingly, hair clippers were one of the most searched terms throughout March and April – up over 15,000% in searches YOY!
  • Shower trays and showerheads both made it into the biggest growths in search volume. Could this be indicative of people spending more time doing DIY?
  • Private Jet searches were up over 7,000%!
  • Also unsurprisingly, micro business loans saw a 4,333% increase in searches in April-20 compared to April-19 .
  • And “how to trade oil” was searched 2,600% more in March to April after the news that Oil contracts for May declined into negative pricing.

Week by week recovery

Taking a look at week by week insights, we can also see some pretty positive movements for many industries. The first table shown below highlights YOY weekly comparison, of which 10 sectors, including eCommerce, retail and logistics, are up.
Perhaps of most interest, the second table shows the week on week difference in search volumes since lockdown began which, overall, has extremely positive indications. This growth in search volumes across various industries shows how consumer confidence and interest is, once again, on the rise. Comparing it to the first signs of lockdown (15 March 2020), there is a clear positive trend of organic traffic improving.

Investing significantly in in-house developed tech, we’re able to keep on top of trends as they emerge. Thanks to our diverse client pool we’re in a strong position of to understand wider market changes, using this insight to inform our clients and digital strategies with an overarching view of market performance.

Do you want to know more about evolving search trends and performance in your sector? Get in touch with the team to receive your free, no-obligation SEO analysis.

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