Coronavirus and site traffic: what to expect 

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Last week, we discussed how COVID-19 is affecting overall search traffic and what this means for your business. This week, we’re going to dive into a bit more detail about what exactly coronavirus means for your site traffic and conversion rates.

Coronavirus, Website Traffic, and the Travel industry

COVID-19 is expected to cost the global economy $2.7 trillion, and one of hardest hit industries is the travel industry. This industry is expected to lose $820 billion due to the pandemic. 

Businesses in the travel industry are experiencing massive declines in revenue and one of the highest layoff rates. Ports everywhere are empty. Along with this severe revenue drop comes a coronavirus decline in website traffic and conversions. 

In the past couple of weeks, online traffic rates for travel industry sites have dropped nearly 50%, and conversion rates have taken more than a 40% hit. While the industry has been offering massive discounts to combat this drop, it has only slightly cushioned the blow.

Pay-per-click costs for the travel industry have remained relatively stable to slightly declining. This is a clear indication that competition in the ad market has not increased, which is not surprising given that the government has issued stay-at-home orders. 

Now would be a good time to increase ad spending and start driving people to a landing page so you can build a list of future customers when the market returns.

Coronavirus, Website Traffic, and the Financial Industry

On the other hand, some industries are seeing a spike in traffic from the pandemic. For example, those in the financial industry have seen almost a 30% increase in coronavirus-related site traffic during the past couple of weeks.

However, this increase has not been mirrored on the conversion side. Even with the jump in traffic, the financial industry has seen nearly a 20% decrease in traditional conversions. The exception, of course, is in the applications for the government-backed emergency SBA loans.

Media industry

Like the financial industry, media outlets and news stations have seen roughly a 35% jump in site traffic over the last couple of weeks. And to no surprise, this industry appears to be profiting all around with an accompanying 15% increase in conversions.

This rise of conversions can be accredited to certain media outlets charging people for additional information and offering paid subscription packages. For example, The New York Times offers unlimited access to their entire journalism library in exchange for weekly payments. People are signing up left and right to receive these “exclusive” updates on the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Other industries

All industries are feeling the wrath of the coronavirus. While most are suffering, a few lucky ones are profiting. This is what we’ve seen in the last few weeks:

  • Advertising industry
    • Site traffic: 17% decrease
    • Conversions: 22% decrease
  • Construction industry
    • Site traffic: 19% decrease
    • Conversions: 49% decrease
  • Food industry
    • Site traffic: 22% increase
    • Conversions: 58% increase
  • Healthcare industry
    • Site traffic: 16% increase
    • Conversions: 19% increase
  • Manufacturing industry
    • Site traffic: 16% decrease
    • Conversions: 22% decrease
  • Real estate industry
    • Site traffic: 14% decrease
    • Conversions: 31% decrease
  • Retail industry
    • Site traffic: 8% decrease
    • Conversions: 18% decrease

Should you be running ads right now?

While the majority of pay-per-click (PPC) costs haven’t seemed to change that much, cost per conversions have increased greatly for non-essential industries. In times like these with less competition in the ad market, you should see results more quickly than before for paid corona-related site traffic. In certain cases, you may even be able to get reduced rates on PPC ads.

Unfortunately, things aren’t going to snap right back to normal once the virus lockdown has passed. Regardless of your industry, it’s going to take a good bit of time to make up for the losses that you are suffering now. 

If you want to keep your business afloat and ensure your best possible outcome, now is the time to double down on marketing. With traffic down in the majority of industries, ramping up your marketing will help you combat the devastating effects your business is experiencing. 

We highly recommend investing in PPC ads and using social media marketing at this time with the goal being to build a list of prospects that you can market to directly in the future.

We hope all of you are safe and well. If you have any further questions regarding how to market during this time, check out the Bizzuka blog or feel free to contact us.