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SEO Trends and Shifts During the Current Crisis

The world has changed beyond recognition over the last few months, dramatically impacting the way people live their day-to-day lives. People are working under different conditions, staying home more, or having less to do. These changes are having an impact on the amount of time people are spending online as well as what they are searching for.

Trends have shifted

Trends have been shifting and new search terms are emerging as a result of the reduced number of industries that have a physical presence open, such as retail. Although the retail sector is slowly reopening, hair salons, bars and cafes remain closed, which is, in turn, increasing the number of searches for online learning and video tutorials.


Covid related searches have not only grown and continue to do so, but they are also creating completely new terms that industries have to consider. This article will look into which search terms have been increasing and which industries have experienced a change (both positively and negatively) due to the current crisis.


Over the recent months, search trends have been increasing on a large scale to fill the gap left by the companies that can no longer provide services directly to the public. Many of these search terms have been questions or how-tos such as 'how to cut hair' and 'how to dye hair', with increases of up to 300%.
Industries that produce hair products have been positively affected during the pandemic: for example searches for hair clippers have increased by 1,150% and include a reference to specific brands such as Babyliss, Braun and Remington.

Industries feel the impact

Other industries have experienced a decline, including the travel sector, with searches for cancelling flights or flight policies rising each day, with a spike occurring in mid-March at the start of the lockdown period. The food sector has also seen big changes, with takeaway businesses experiencing a big surge now that people are unable to eat out at restaurants or leave their homes.


We have also seen an increased interest in the UK for people to make their own food, with bread in particular being a popular home bake. As shopping trips became less frequent, consumers found they had more time on their hands, resulting in a huge increase in home baking.

The search term 'bread recipes with yeast' has seen a 400% increase over the last 5 months. Coupled with this, search queries for baking at home with kids have also risen sharply, as lockdown forced families to find ways to keep children entertained.
It is apparent that users are getting bored with hobbies, as online learning and board games related queries are experiencing an increase with 'make your own board game' up by 350%, 'scrabble board game' up by 160% and 'Cluedo board game' up by 130%.


People have also resorted to making their own quizzes with family members, either at home or via webcam, and have been searching for quizzes to do online, with search queries experiencing a breakout (where the term grew more than 5,000%) particularly with phrases such as 'lockdown quiz', 'pub quiz questions 2020' 'zoom quiz questions' and 'virtual pub quiz youtube'.

 

While people remain at home, searches for betting have been on the rise, with users also causing a breakout by asking 'when will betting shops reopen' and 'coronavirus betting', however, the main increase has been betting via online games like poker, as sports including football, horse racing and cricket have been minimised during the lockdown.


Furlough has given many workers some extra free time and a huge surge in terms related to new hobbies and apps have risen, mainly within the music and fitness genre. 'Hobbies at home' has experienced a 300% increase in the last six months as well as 'hobbies to do at home' and 'Fender guitar lessons'. Online learning has proven to be of interest in many households, whether that be by choice or necessity with having to home-school children.
Languages are another query which has seen growth as people use their time to learn something new or to pick up an old talent or skill.


Most businesses, like us here at Hydra, have had to move to working from home, which has seen a rise in searches for laptop and desktops as well as office furniture and desks in order to create a good working environment.
Video meetings have been essential when talking to clients and we can see that users are using video calls as a platform to host these meetings, with 'how to install zoom on laptop' experiencing a 4,750% increase in the last six months along with 'how to get zoom on laptop' and 'how to use zoom on laptop'.

 

Business loans

The search trends have shown that many businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic; 'bounce back loan', 'coronavirus business loan', 'covid 19 business loan' and similar related topics have been surging. People have also shown an increased interest in health and safety since the outbreak of the virus, as searches for 'what vitamins are good for the immune system' recording an increase of over 5,000% in the last six months, along with 'vitamins for immunity'.


We can also see users' worries for their pets, as questions about whether pets can catch coronavirus have been consistently rising over the last few weeks and months.


Although we could never have seen this coming, having an adaptable SEO strategy in place means that when the world as we know it changes overnight, you can adapt your strategy and relaunch it based on your new business plan, whether via SEO for the long-term, or immediately via Paid Search. As it has become more important than ever to be able to adapt easily, we have recently written an article illustrating how some local businesses have done a great job of doing just that; you can read about them here.


If you need help or advice with your SEO strategy, don't hesitate to contact the Hydra team today.