Leland Dieno

Is the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Lowering Google's Cost Per Click (CPC)?
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Are we seeing a lower cost per click (CPC) in Google Adwords due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19)?


I’ve noticed a lot of marketers recently posting across social media (Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram primarily) that “Now is the time to start spending more on ads!” because of the pandemic bringing down Google’s CPC. Naturally, even as a digital marketing specialist, my mind pushed back against this. I am not a fan of fluffy marketing, I never have been, and I never will be. Fluffy marketing is what gets both marketing agencies and businesses into trouble spending thousands of dollars (sometimes more) on branding-focused exercises across their digital eco system which often leads to a pissed off client, and a fired agency.

I believe in logical, data driven marketing strategy that is executed to support a brand and communicate the brand’s message, while actually obtaining some sort of tangible ROI.

I wanted to look at my data and see if I could see a drop in CPC.

I run a pretty simple, minimal digital marketing campaign every month on about a 100$ budget to simply test CPC in a specific niche. It’s a broad niche, that covers many geographic areas in Canada.

Here is a look at one week segmented from the campaign for the months of January, February and March 2020.


January 2020:

february carona virus cpc

February 2020:

january carona virus covid-19 cpc

March 2020:

march carona virus cpc

I tested the third week of every month, and as you can see from the data above, the cost per click in January was 56 cents, the CPC in February was 49 cents and in March it was 52 cents.

These keywords are related to a retail, brick and mortar business that was impacted by the COVID-IP virus. Most of the businesses in this niche have now actually closed their doors.

While geographic targeting, demographic targeting and keywords all play a role here – I can safely confirm that in Canada COVID-19 did not bring down the cost per click (CPC) of these keywords. This of course is not applicable to every niche, as some businesses have pulled away from their digital marketing and the CPC would obviously go down in those business sectors.


It is irresponsible to paint a broad brush and said that all sectors will see a lower CPC. As e-commerce, delivery and many others business strategies come into play, keywords are still being heavily targeted in many areas of business.

As the pandemic continues, and businesses continue to close there may be opportunities, but don’t sign on with a marketing agency until you have some data to prove the strategy.



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