Every December, Google provides a summary of the top search trends from the preceding 12 months. The trends reflect the interests and concerns of users around the world: last year, searchers focused on the onset of the pandemic: How would their lives change? How can they adapt to public health restrictions? When will vaccines be available? In 2021, the trends corresponded with the reopening of society: searches relating to in-person events, healthy living practices, and life changes soared. All this has implications for search engine marketing professionals.
While the Omicron variant has put a temporary pause on Canada’s reopening plans, the trends uncovered in Google’s 2021 search data can help search engine marketing advertisers adjust their current SEM strategies and prepare for a (hopefully) more open 2022. Below are some notable findings from Think with Google’s December 2021 dispatch; read the full report here.
- As public health restrictions lifted and vaccines rolled out, people searched for terms relating to reunification. There was a surge in the use of terms like “online dating,” “makeup artist near me,” “wedding dress shops near me,” “stadium seating,” “in theaters now,” and “concert tickets.” With officials mulling new restrictions due to Omicron, marketers may be able to prep for similar search trends next year.
- Perhaps driven by a feeling of renewal brought on by lifting restrictions, Google users searched terms related to healthy living and life changes: “skincare,” “treadmill for sale,” “fitness apps,” “online learning,” “how to invest,” and the particularly thrilling “how to write a resignation letter,” “good career path,” and “address change us post office” were all notable. When (if) the pandemic truly begins to wane, expect consumers to consider big changes.
- Some pandemic-era trends are here to stay. While many consumers looked forward to in-person events and life-altering career changes, others doubled-down on safe, socially distanced pleasures. Searches relating to online gaming and multiplayer gaming increased, as did searches for how to host virtual meetings, work-from-home setups, investments in the home, and more.
It’s not easy to discern what these sweeping trends mean for your business, but it’s safe to say that many Canadians live different lives today than they did in December 2019. Changes that took place over the past two years are here to stay, and more changes are coming. Your search engine marketing campaigns should reflect your customers’ shifting priorities and acknowledge the fact that new customers may be just around the corner.
Happy Holidays, from GrowthEngine Media!