Insights

The current state of search

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Our SEO experts at Visualsoft took to the keyboard to provide an update on the current state of search

The first UK lockdown created huge ripples in the world of organic search. People were frantically searching for information, updates, and recipes for banana bread. Aside from trying to understand Coronavirus and the impact it was bound to have on their lives, what users wanted back in March were ways to protect themselves, and ways to keep themselves occupied during long spells of furlough.

Searches ranged from ...

The practical:
how to set up a home office

To the trendy:
how to get a sourdough starter going

And even the longing: do Greggs do takeaway

The impact this had on eCommerce search was significant – calls for PPE, parent & toddler care, home office furniture, garden furniture and more each saw a huge increase in demand, which our Visualsoft clients were only too happy to accommodate!

Even though our lockdown freedoms were short-lived, the newfound confidence gained before Covid-19 started ramping up again in September was enough to change the search landscape once more.

This leaves us wondering, what does ‘Lockdown: the sequel’ have in store for search trends?

Let’s take a look…

A thirst for updates

While users may be feeling more confident about the ongoing pandemic, there are still plenty of broad searches being made in the hunt for updates and clarification of the rules:

  • Lockdown (1M+ searches 31st October)
  • Coronavirus (500k+ searches 31st October)
  • Tier 3 rules (200k+ searches 29th October)

An appetite for online shopping

It’s no secret that Q4 is tipped to be the biggest ever for online retailers. Some of the biggest winners of Q4 2020 search are predicted to be those in:

- photography
- consumer electronics
- gaming
- baby & maternity
- beauty
- apparel and footwear

Conversely, some of the search categories seeing a decline are:

- restaurants
- hotels
- concerts
- sporting goods
- health & wellbeing

While some of these are seasonal (we expect to see sports and wellbeing come back swinging in Q1!), industries such as tourism and live entertainment have sadly continued their decline since March.

It’s clear that online shoppers are planning to take advantage of key dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with interest in these events steadily increasing over the past few months.

The festive spirit crept in early for many. Shout out to everyone who started searching for All I Want For Christmas Is You back in August! Festive shoppers also began searching for Christmas presents as early as August in 2020 with early signs that search volume for Christmas presents and Christmas gifts is already much higher than it was this time last year.

With so many users searching for small comforts in one of the most comforting seasons of the year, it’s no wonder that shoppers are planning for a truly enjoyable Christmas season at home, even if it looks a little different from their usual celebrations.

A return to normality

In the first lockdown in March, certain search trends really stood out from the pack. A quick look on Google trends, however, tells us that even as we enter the second national lockdown, search trends have largely returned to “normal”.

Entertainment and politics searches top the Google Trends charts daily. Searches from users range from following the US election to the lineup for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and the start date for The Crown Season 4, with plenty of celebrity news and gossip in between.

Of course, normality is measured in a different way nowadays, and the “new normal” is still developing. On Monday 9th November there were 50k+ searches for “Aldi Click & Collect” and 200k+ searches for “Primark” on Saturday 7th November as both retailers announced online shopping initiatives for the festive period.

It’s changes like these that pique the national interest and influence the current state of search in late 2020. As everyone searches for a way to move forward, businesses need to ensure that they adapt to deliver the right information to the right customers, provide small comforts where possible, and allow consumers to stay safe while shopping.

If you need help staying up to date with changing search trends, our SEO team at Visualsoft are on-hand to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.