-People are at home, which means they are spending more time searching for products like yours,
-Your competitors are the rabbits resting during the race – you be the tortoise,
-With less competition bidding on keywords, you can end up paying less per click,
-Google doesn’t like it when ads go off for long periods, and can penalise accounts who halt their ads.

These are testing times we live in, South Africa. By now, you’ll either have lost your mind or you’ll have decided to self-isolate in the shed. While this ‘quality’ time we have with our families is great for strengthening the family ties, businesses across the nation are struggling to figure out how they might recover from this blow.

There is little chance that any of us – businesses included – will come out of this national lockdown unscathed in some way. In the marketing industry, many advertisers are fielding calls from frantic clients, ordering the immediate halting of their Google PPC adverts. While this is an understandable decision to immediately cut overheads (because who knows just how long we’ll still be out of action), it shouldn’t be made without first considering the negative consequences. In fact, there are actually benefits to keeping your Google Ads campaigns live during a shutdown:

More people are online

During this time of home-based isolation, you can bet your bottom dollar moms and dads are keeping their children entertained with things like Netflix, Disney+, and other internet streaming services. So too are the moms and dads themselves, keeping up with the latest news regarding the lockdown and the international calamity that caused it. More eyes online means your Google adverts should enjoy increased impressions, and if your service is something people will need urgently once lockdown has been lifted – you’re almost guaranteed clicks.

Competitors are pushing pause

As mentioned above, this is a scary economic time in South Africa and across the globe. Many organisations have completely halted their business operations and advertising activities, and those that have not are running ultra-lean marketing campaigns. This means that – should you decide to continue with your Google advertising momentum through the national shutdown – you’ll have a much greater chance of landing a top-of-page-one spot on Google’s SERPs due to less PPC advertising competition.

You pay less per click

PPC advertising is essential a bidding war involving words. Competitor advertisers try to outbid each other for specific keywords (which people use to search on Google), and pay that price every time someone clicks on the Google ad. When ad agencies stop bidding on your keywords, the competition decreases and therefore your advert cost per click (CPC) should also reduce.

Vaughn Lees, resident PPC specialist at WSI Durban, shares:

“Keeping your ads running keeps your momentum going. It does bring down CPC as competitors back off. It also allows you to bid on more competitive keywords (since they’re much cheaper) and gain a better position in Google searches.”

Google won’t penalise you

As Vaughn rightly reveals, a Google PPC campaign that has been running for longer than a few months is a stone rolling down a hillside. It has momentum, and picks up speed over time. Unfortunately, when Google Ads campaigns are halted for periods of time, this advertising foothold is loosened and adverts ultimately drop in ranking. Vaughn shares just why temporarily parting ways with Google might be a problem:

“The problem with pausing is that you lose ranking in Google Ads. When you switch your ads back on you may have lost too many positions, and will spend a lot more money just to get back to where you were.”

Bonus Brainfarts

  • Google ads only show when people are actively searching for you and your keywords. This means that you are still ONLY spending your ad budget on people who are looking for your products and services.
  • Keeping your Googla Ads running will help to keep your sales funnel full, for when the lockdown is lifted and it goes back to business as usual. You’ll need leads to close as soon as possible.
  • Even if you can’t sell to people or assist them right now, you still want to stay visible and keep your brand in the public eye.