How your website can offer help and support, right now

3 min read

how search behaviour has changed. Inform and educate users

Google tells us how search behaviour has changed during the Global pandemic.

The data has been compiled to assist businesses, organisations and marketers with more accurately offering their customers help and support.

Google has identified the 5 top ways search behaviour has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and how businesses can be useful at this moment in time.

  • Help them get the information they need
  • Help them connect
  • Help them in their “new” routines
  • Help those that need support
  • Help them by enriching their lives

High growth areas in Google Search

For example, an area of high growth area is around “how-to” topics. The Google trends graph below clearly shows rapid growth in the UK searches around these types of search.

Of course, you’d expect people to want to learn how to make their hand sanitiser, how to design a face mask and similar how-to searches, these are a “sign of the times”.

But Google also points out some rapid growth in a whole range of “staying at home” type searches, such as, “games to play at home”,” home baking” and “learn a new language”.

The coolest (and also hottest) UK search topic over the last couple of days is all about the launch of Percy pig ice cream, no doubt, released to keep us extra chilled as the lockdown continues.

So, what are these shifts?

Assembling critical information to help them get by

  • What they say – life is no longer “normal”, schools are closed, people are largely working from home and retailers are adapting to delivery and online models.
  • Google suggests that businesses and organisations can help by offering clear, specific information with details about where, how, and when to get the things the customer needs.

Discovering new connections

  • What they say – people are discovering new connections and nurturing new relationships, both, in the home and via the web. For example, there has been a sharp increase in the number of “with me” videos, this is where people are filming themselves doing everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning; cook with me, clean with me etc.
  • Google recommends looking for ways to connect your customers locally and globally and consider whether your business can play a role in creating or enhancing shared experiences.

Adjusting to changes in routine

  • What they say – people are adjusting their routines and schedules as they continue working, socialising and playing in isolation. This explains the uptick in DIY, why “home workout” routines are getting an overhaul and the growing search interest for “running machines” and “dumbbell sets”.

  • Google recommends finding ways to help consumers as they modify and adjust to their new routines. Let them know what and where solutions are available. Use data from your analytics or Google trends to adjust how and where you communicate with your users (through an understanding of how search behaviour is changing). Provide content that informs, educates, entertains, connects or promotes wellness. There is a growing need for this type of content!

Praising everyday heroes

  • I’m sure we have all noticed a growing appreciation for the “everyday heroes” among us. Whether health care workers on the front lines saving people, delivery people keeping us supplied, or the police ensuring we appreciate the new rules of social distancing. The point is many are risking their health or safety to help others. For instance, there’s been increasing search interest across the world in “clap NHS workers” as the U.K. recently celebrated its National Health Service workers in a moment of solidarity.

  • What can your brand do? Look for people who are helping and find ways to support or celebrate them. Consider who the heroes are among your employees, your customers, or even your local community. Consider whether you have nonhuman heroes that can contribute, like your technology, your operational skillsets or your equipment.

Taking care of themselves and others

  • As boredom, anxiety and uncertainty set in, people are looking to care for their own physical and psychological needs as well as those of their family and friends. Google has seen a corresponding rise in searches for puzzles, relaxation and virtual tours of famous landmarks, museums and places.
  • How can brands enrich people lives at this moment? Can you help facilitate virtual collaborations with outdoor spaces and places people want to see? Join in the conversation about keeping healthy and well. Use platforms and formats that tie-in with the “at home” mentality.

Google wraps up its report by emphasizing that the more useful businesses and organisations can be now the better off they’ll be on the long run.

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