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Updating Your Keyword Research During Coronavirus

| 3 minutes to read

SEO is constantly evolving and what is right one month may not be right the next. We’ve known this for a while, but with the increased reliance on web services it’s more important than ever.

One of the biggest changes to the SEO world has been how keyword volumes have changed over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. As well as the general increase in internet usage, online purchases have seen huge growth (over 100% week-on-week in mid-April).

This is good news for online retailers, but it definitely doesn’t mean you can relax and let the shoppers come to you. Keywords across nearly all sectors have seen changes in volume – be it good or bad. Now is the perfect time to re-assess your keyword targets to maintain traffic and to make sure that you reach new users.

Keyword Volumes

One example of growth is searches online for bikes. Various factors have led to this increase in search, including good weather, entertaining the kids, people wanting to improve health and more.

The image below shows keyword volumes from ahrefs – good search volumes, relatively low ad costs and plenty of clicks. This looks normal and would be a good starting point to work on expanding your keyword targets.

Putting the same data into Google Ads Keyword Planner shows the true trend behind the raw figures (based on UK data).

Highlighting ‘adult bikes’ shows a massive upturn.

This represents over ten times as many searches for this term compared to just under a year ago. If you projected this back in 2019 you’d probably be laughed at.

Looking at a different example shows how even with very similar terms, the intent can control the search volume for better or worse.

The spike for ‘hair cut’ will have greatly increased traffic to pages targeted at helping people cut their own hair or cutting it at home. The ‘hair dresser’ term loses 50% of the volume it would normally have as people didn’t bother searching when they knew they were shut and couldn’t get their hair cut.

While this example does not affect online sales, it is important to recognize the change in trends and to focus on the intent of keyword terms. Should you be looking at pushing different products? Creating solutions for new problems? Offering cheaper alternatives as money is tighter? Adapting to these changing trends is key.

Mobile Versus Desktop

Going back to the bike terms above (‘bikes’, ‘adult bikes’ & ‘kids bikes’ combined) and focusing on the difference in device, we see the following:

This adds an extra depth to the figures, letting us see when and across what devices this upturn happened. These figures are not up to date and will change as restrictions change across the world, but it shows a good example of how you need to be on top of your data.

How This Can Help

This more granular approach helps you isolate the areas to focus on and to recognize the changes more easily. If you stick to high level statistics you might just see a slight change in overall search volume or behaviour, but you need to look in-depth to see where these changes actually occur.

This knowledge will help you to create different actions for your site, such as changing the featured products on your homepage, increasing PPC bids on certain devices or expanding your blog content to reach new search terms.

Next Steps

Looking into the search volume, search intent, devices and the wider competitor landscape will help you formulate a plan to get the most out of the changing keyword landscape. Each industry and sector will be different, but collecting and digesting this information will help you create an effective plan to see how user behaviour is changing.

Analysing this data can be a daunting task, but we can help you make sense of your marketplace. Get in touch with us today to help your online presence grow and get the most out of your website.

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Gary Hainsworth

Senior Organic Data Specialist

Gary is our technical SEO specialist and boasts more than 10 years’ experience in the industry. With in-depth knowledge on site migrations and all aspects of technical SEO, he’s a valuable asset to our team. Gary’s worked with the likes of the V&A, Warburtons, the NHS and the Lake District National Park. He has a passion for guitars too, be that playing them, modifying them or even building them. Gary has appeared in Startups Magazine, Portsmouth News and

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