The last PPC campaign I analysed in the ‘Analyse A Real PPC Campaign’ series was from Blue Host, who had, on the whole, a well optimized landing page. The keyword search phrase ‘wordpress hosting’ is always going to be a very popular search phrase, so it was good to use quantifiable data (price) to differentiate them from their competitors. On top of this, the landing page was also very good, except for the lack of a brighter and bolder call to action button above the fold of the page.

One area that has really take the world by surprise comes with Coronavirus. Yes, even the virus has spread its way into PPC. But, this is why looking at PESTEL is key to a PPC campaign:

  • Political changes
  • Environmental changes
  • Social changes
  • Technological chanhes
  • Economical changes
  • Legislative

For Coronavirus, at the time of writing this, a lot of China is quarantined. Italy just announced 16 million people in Northern Italy are quarantined. The stock markets have dropped considerably in value, and many countries have shortages of products, such as alcohol hand gels and toilet roll.

Of course, Coronavirus is a terrible virus that seems to be affecting a lot of people, both those who have it and even though without it. Putting on a ‘PPC hat’ this is an example of how PESTEL can completely shape the way advertisers utilize PPC:

  • Political changes – Yes – there are now new political movements to quarantines people to isolate the virus in many countries
  • Environmental changes – Yes Nasa released details that the air quality of China, due to the quarantining, has actually improved quite a lot
  • Social changes – Yes – the way people are interacting, or not interacting, has been impacted due to the virus. People are less likely to go on public transport and big gatherings.
  • Technological changes – No – technology hasn’t been impacted by the virus, as of yet.
  • Economical changes – Yes – just by looking at all of the largest stock markets, most have taken a serious hit from the Coronavirus outbreak, with even some holiday-dependent companies, such as Flybe, going bust. As an automotive engineer, Aston Martin has unfortunately taken a hit from this, due to a large market for their cars being China. With the release of the DBX coming soon, now is not a time that Aston martin needed for a virus outbreak to quarantine people from travelling.
  • Legislative – Governments are quarantining people and bringing out new legislation all the time, in an attempt to have more power and stop the spread.

From this, it is very clear that the Coronavirus will have an impact on PPC too. What should you do?


If you can offer something to counter the virus, make a PPC campaign for that

A great example of this is with Amazon, that have a PPC campaign specifically at bulk buying products – they know exactly what people are trying to do, and have made a PPC campaign to address this:

If negatively impacted, reduce your PPC budget 

If you rely on people being out and about, or have found the virus to negatively impact sales, reduce your budget allocated to PPC accordingly. Unfortunately, in this situation, it’s all about weathering the storm until the virus passes, likely to be towards the end of summer 2020.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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