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COVID-19 insights & trends (April 28 edition)

As consumers remain home, search has grown in increasing importance. It helps brands stay connected with consumers and highlights new and emerging behavior trends.
Our goal is to continue to provide you with new and updated search trends on a weekly basis as you adjust to the ongoing changes in search behavior. To keep up with these trends, subscribe to the Microsoft Advertising Insider newsletter to receive blog updates automatically.

Here are a few of this week’s themes:
  • Automotive: In the U.S., keywords with incentives surged and user interest has peaked, but ad options have decreased, enabling advertisers to re-enter the market with a +10% more cost-efficient cost per click (CPC), as well as the opportunity to message consumers in a less convoluted space.
  • Health & Wellness: In the U.S., there was an increasing volume of searches for “depression” and “anxiety” from March 13 to April 11, 2020, with searches being 3x and 2x higher for each, respectively, and an overall higher volume compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Retail & CPG: Across Europe, refrigerator and freezer searches are increasing as people stock up on food items. There are interesting local differences, however, with the Italians searching for food makers/processors and the French looking for coffee makers since all the cafés are closed. Not only are searches up but click-through rate (CTR) is increasing substantially, which indicates a strong commercial intent that advertisers should pay attention to. And there continues to be persistent advertiser opportunity across all European markets, with increased search volume and declining CPC. Many advertisers now have a bigger chance to drive conversions by reaching the mainline with the same search ad spend.
  • Tech & Telco: In Australia, weekly Home & Garden searches and clicks have gained significant momentum when compared to start of this year. It also seems Australians are missing their café-style coffee and therefore it has resulted in a strong spike in searches for coffee machines. And as Australia is entering its cooler months, searches for heaters and fireplaces are skyrocketing.

Search trend & behavior changes during COVID-19




Financial Services


Health & Wellness


Retail & CPG


Tech & Telco





We also launched a COVID-19 insights and resources for advertisers hub where you can get additional information to help you as you evolve your search marketing tactics alongside changing consumer behavior. To learn more about strategies and recommendations, check out our Digital Advertiser’s Guide to COVID-19.

We're here to support you and your team, and we’re committed to helping you every step of the way. Please keep in touch. Reach out to us on LinkedIn or Twitter with questions, as we’d love to hear the strategies you are taking to adapt to the new reality of today.