There’s no doubt that businesses have taken a huge hit due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The economic ramifications of this pandemic will be felt for years to come. And as a local business owner, it’s important to try to analyze just how much your business model will have to change as a result.

And this is where it may become necessary to take the extra step and use a new tool to figure out just exactly what to change. This is where Google Trends comes in. Google Trends is a free tool that, as the name implies, monitors and records the trends in search terms over time. And the most important thing you can do with Google Trends is to find out what direction your preferred search term is going – and respond by increasing or decreasing ad spend. Here’s an example: movie theaters.

This is the trend for the search term “movie theater” in Florida over the past 12 months. Most movie theaters have closed as a result of COVID-19, and as you can obviously see on the graph, the amount they were searched on Google took a big hit around March, when the virus initially began shutting things down.

Some business owners may jump on this and say that they’ll spend on advertising because the trend is currently increasing, right? However, if you really look at the graph, this still may not be the time to spend on advertising, as the current interest of the search term “movie theater” is much lower than at a usual time. 

Despite what you may choose, using the Google Trends feature is an intelligent way to get the most accurate data about if your ranking key term is being searched for. It can influence ad spend in a big way! Since money will probably be tighter for most businesses after the virus slows itself down, the Google Trends tool will be a huge helper for determining if ad spend is worth the cost at the moment. It’s the best way to make analytics work for you, not because of you.

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