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Desktop Search Saw a Resurgence Thanks to Work-From-Home Setups

The pandemic changed systems and processes in a heartbeat. What was once impossible now made possible through rapid digital transformations. And, as Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft Advertising’s corporate vice president said, “Search is more important than ever.” During the 2008 economic downturn, asserted van der Kooi, “search outperformed all other formats. Given stay-at-home and online media consumption, consumers are doing more online research, search and shopping.” In a Microsoft Elevate's live-streamed event, the vice president encouraged marketers to learn to adapt to consumers' shifting behaviour. He also mentioned several drastic changes.

Shifting Online Behaviour

Firstly, brick-and-mortar revenues were hit hard while online retail revenue experiencing manageable disruptions (ratio of 90/10, respectively). According to van der Kooi: “It’s going to shift. We need to think of it as permanent to some level. Think about how to maximise exposure to consumers in this environment.” As mentioned in a previous blog post, more and more companies were forced to transform digitally to accommodate ongoing consumer needs by running their business through online means. They had to do this quickly to prevent more losses.

Desktop Search Back to the Fore

Did you notice an increase in desktop impressions or traffic in March? Were there better responses to your PPC campaigns? Several websites are experiencing the same. Microsoft noticed a resurgence of PC search share since governments commenced lockdowns and advised people to work from home. Van der Kooi expressed how “we’re seeing that [PC]’s the device of choice when people have the choice.” This also the turf of Bing, a search engine giant second only to Google and installed on 1 billion Windows 10 devices.

Customers Need to Stretch Their Patience

With quarantines and lockdowns still in full force, there will be delays in deliveries and fieldwork. Moreover, customers will have a completely different experience of systems and processes. Van der Kooi said: “As you think about attribution modelling, as you think about ‘Where do I want to show up,’ ensuring that your advertising campaigns and remarketing opportunities are really maximised as consumers do more research and visit more sites.” For your business to cope, loosen up your ROI expectations. Be more flexible with your goals and standards. This will “ensure that you can still close the deals” during wait times (unless your services are completely web-based).

Pandemic-Driven Industry Changes

Search tractions for advertisers in key industries are also changing. Travel - Travel agencies, airline companies and booking businesses are emphasising the need for safety and social responsibility. Users are looking to cancel or reschedule their flights. Automotive - Consumers in this industry receptive to messages promoting unity and encouragement. Web developments and mobile apps would greatly benefit automotive buyers who want to complete transactions online. Financial services - As the world economy descends into recession, more people are searching for refinancing options while terms related to brokerages were popular among millennials. More people are taking an interest in credit cards. Retail - Parents are now considering e-learning as a good way to keep their children's education despite the global situation. Home-related purchases like furniture and hardware have increased. Queries for online delivery, DIY and fitness are also on the rise.  
  Source: [1] Photos courtesy of Darknut via Pixabay


Arthur Choi

Arthur Choi

SEO Strategist

70% technical SEO, 30% offsite optimisation. Loves to strategise and build organic SEO campaigns for plumbers, excavators and e-commerce clients.

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