Should I Turn Off My Google Ads During COVID-19?

Apr 2020

With all the uncertainty of the coronavirus, many business owners are making tough decisions about keeping their marketing efforts going or putting things on pause. should-i-turn-off-my-google-ads-during-covid-19

At KWSM: a digital marketing agency, we have several clients who are running Google Ads as a part of their integrated digital marketing strategy. It can be easy to justify the need to keep your social media content going; you will help maintain your organic reach and inform your customers that you are still in business. The reasons to keep your Google Ads turned on are not as clear.  

In this article, we will provide you with a few arguments for and against keeping your Google Ads active. It’s really a decision that needs to be made on a case by case basis. If you decide to keep your ads enabled, we’ve also provided you with a few ‘pro tips’ to ensure your ads are appropriate for the current climate.

Reasons to Deactivate Your Google Ads During COVID-19

Reason #1 – Your Services Are On Pause

The most obvious reason to turn off your ads is if you cannot service your clients during this time. Google Ads are meant to help those individuals who are in the research phase of the buying process. If they land on your website and learn you are not taking appointments until June 2020, they will quickly bounce back to the search results to click the next link. Over time, this user behavior will indicate to Google that your ads are not giving people what they are looking for. Even if this is just a temporary situation, it can have a negative impact on your ad cost in the long run. 

Reason #2 – Other Channels Generate More Return

Another reason you may need to put your ads on hold temporarily is that you need to cut back on costs. If you have other marketing channels that produce more high-quality leads for you or leads at a lower cost per conversion, it might be sensible to focus your efforts there. Just make sure that your Google Ads are not pivotal to your marketing funnel. If they are, you may want to consider lowering the budget for Google Ads rather than pausing the account. 

Need help identifying what role your Google Ads play in your marketing funnel? Contact us for a free 30-minute audit. 

Reasons to Keep Your Google Ads Active During COVID-19

Reason #1 –  It’s Business As Usual 

In contrast, if little has changed for your company during this time, you may want to continue running your ads. Your employees may have moved to their home offices and are maybe clocking fewer hours. But if there isn’t any disruption to your services, you may want to keep your pipeline full. Pausing your ads now may have a long-term impact on your sales numbers.

Pro Tip: Be sure to add a notice to your landing page that reaffirms to your website users that it is business as usual. It is a small change that can have a positive impact on your conversion rate during this uncertain time. 

Reason #2 – Your Customer’s Needs Have Changed 

There are several industries where protocols, priorities, and processes have shifted. As a business, you may realize that you can innovate and pivot your services to better support your clients through this difficult time. If you are in this unique position to fill a growing need, this might be the perfect time to leave your Google Ads active – and potentially even grow the keywords you are bidding on. 

Pro Tip: Be sure to adjust your Google Ads copy to more closely reflect the wants and needs of your customer today. You will have to avoid any mention of “COVID” or “coronavirus” because Google will not approve those ads. To get your ads approved quickly, we suggest duplicating your existing ad and making small changes from there.  

Reason #3 – You Want the Ad Credit 

As a part of a larger commitment from Google to support small and midsize businesses, health organizations and government agencies, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic, Google is planning to give an ad credit to its customers. They have committed to giving $340 million in ad credits to small and midsize businesses worldwide. Those who have been active advertisers since the beginning of 2019 will see a credit notification appear in their Google Ads account in the coming months. That said – if you want to claim your share of this ad credit, it may make sense to stick around! 

Find out the latest news and a list of who qualifies for this credit by visiting the Google for Small Business site.

What other reasons are you weighing when deciding whether to pause your Google Ads? Let us know in the comments below! 


75% of users say paid search ads make it easier to find information.

How easy are you making it for your customers to find the right information? At KWSM: a digital marketing agency, we build outstanding landing pages that help you convey the right information to help convert website visitors into leads. 

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