An overview of Q3 2020 search marketing trends in the waste management industry looking at queries, impressions, clicks, ad depth and devices.
As a Premier Google Partner, we have access to industry reports, offering up search, advertising and device trends to help us deliver better results for our clients. Here’s a summary of the key findings for the waste management industry, covering Q3 2020.
Before we get into the specifics of Google’s insights, let’s quickly summarise the key findings from the data we’re about to look at:
There are plenty more insights to take from this report, particularly how search trends changed around the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in the UK. By looking at key metrics, seasonal trends and device usage, we can see an overall year-on-year growth and where 2020 stands out as a major opportunity for waste management companies.
The first report shows an overview of search metrics for waste management in Q3 2020. As you can see, queries, impressions and clicks are up across all device types, except for a small drop in impressions on tablets although clicks are still up by 1%.
Overall, queries for this industry are up by 44% while impressions have also increased by 43% and this has helped clicks climb by 56% compared to Q3 2019. Mobile leads the growth rates for waste management searches but it’s worth noting that desktop growth metrics aren’t that far behind.
This tells us that mobile optimisation is crucial for companies in this industry but also sends a warning that desktop users matter, too. To maximise performance across devices you really need to deliver a cross-device experience, ideally using responsive design.
The other metric in the table above is Ad depth which shows how many ads show every time a query triggers ads in Google Search. This is calculated by dividing impressions by the number of queries that show ads but the key takeaway here is that more ads are showing in 2020 than Q3 2020.
Takeaway: Competition is heating up and you need a solid PPC strategy to make sure you can capitalise on these growing search metrics.
Expanding on the table above, the key insight is that searches for waste management are up by 44% in Q3 2020 from the previous year. This marks a significant increase in the number of people searching for companies, services and information related to the industry with 63% of all queries coming from mobile.
As with most industries, the majority of customer journeys are starting on mobile and it’s important businesses are responding to this.
We see similar numbers with the increase in impressions, showing a 43% climb since this time last year and, once again, mobile leads growth with 66% of all impressions. This makes perfect sense as more people are searching for waste management topics and we’re seeing a proportionate increase in impressions to match.
Crucially, Google insights show that clicks have grown at an even higher rate during the same period, increasing by 56% in Q3 2020. The vast majority of these clicks are coming from mobile, too, with 68% of all ad clicks happening on mobile devices.
Once again, this highlights the importance of optimising campaigns for mobile devices but you also have to make sure the post-click experience is strong enough to make the most of these clicks.
Separate data from Monetate (PDF) shows that mobile conversion rates have increased since Q1 2019 and even overtook desktop in Q1 2020. With mobile conversion rates increasing, it’s more important than ever to optimise your landing pages and sales funnels for mobile users – otherwise, there’s every chance you’ll end up paying for more clicks but fail to convert them.
At the same time, ad depth has also increased over the past year, meaning there’s more competition fighting it out for the increased search volumes, impressions and clicks. If you’re not going to outbid these competitors, you have to outsmart them with a more sophisticated PPC strategy and, in today’s data-driven landscape, you need fast, reliable insights to get ahead.
This is precisely why we built Apollo Insights, our intelligent automation software, that pulls in data from your campaigns and hundreds of third-party sources – including your competitor’s search performance – to identify new opportunities before your rivals get there first.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Google’s report is the seasonality section where we can see a stark rise in queries and impressions between February and May this year.
More telling than the upward curve, though, is the decline starting towards the end of April and this year’s peak in queries and impressions compared to the previous two years. While there’s a mild peak over the same period across all three years, 2020 has seen an unprecedented spike that coincides with the peak of the coronavirus outbreaks first wave and the height of lockdown in the UK.
Ad clicks followed a similar pattern over the same period and these three curves suggest that the spring months in 2020 were a major opportunity for businesses in the waste management industry.
The lesson here is that keeping a constant view on search trends is imperative and using technology such as predictive modelling can help you capitalise on opportunities, as they emerge, rather than miss out on curves such as this one.
As long as you’ve got this data, you can automate bid adjustments to adapt to industry trends and make sure you’re always taking advantage of emerging opportunities.
Another interesting insight from Google’s seasonal data is the correlation between waste management search volume and the rise/fall of CPCs. Over the past four years, searches have consistently peaked in May and fall to their lowest in November. Meanwhile, CPCs start rising in May and gradually climb each month until their peak in December before a slightly less gradual decline to their lowest in the following April.
This delayed response in CPCs compared to search volumes is important because it creates a window of highest returns between March and September every year where CPCs are disproportionately low in comparison to search volumes.
You can see how we’re now approaching the tail-end of the peak in CPCs in Google’s prediction, based on an 8-week period from last year, starting on September 23. Although we’re approaching the highest period for CPCs, you can see that queries are consistently low on Saturdays while CPCs are lowest on both Saturdays and Sundays, revealing another opportunity of disproportion on Sundays during the transition between Q3 and Q4.
Something else worth mentioning from Google’s seasonal data is that we can see a consistent year-on-year increase in searches, impressions and clicks, which reinforces the upward trend highlighted in the first section of this report.
Device trends help us understand where these year-on-year increases are taking place and tablet searches in Q3 2020 have shown precisely 0% growth compared to the same period in 2019.
Mobile leads the growth rates in subject queries for waste management with a 53% increase while desktop also shows an impressive 39% year-on-year rise. As expected for most industries, more sessions are starting on mobile but desktop searches and experiences are still important for a large chunk of searches.
To illustrate just how many of these searches start (and possibly continue) on mobile, 62.7% of all waste management related searches took place on mobile in Q3 2020. This percentage is likely to continue increasing in the years ahead but this doesn’t necessarily mean the entire customer journey is taking place on mobile.
You need to map out the cross-device journey users take as they interact with your brand to understand which devices individual actions are being completed on – discovery, return visits, remarketing clicks, conversions, purchases, etc – so that you can optimise campaigns at every touchpoint.
Based on the data that we’ve looked at so far, it should come as no surprise that mobile queries, clicks and impressions peaked in May this year but take a look at those seasonal peaks in January on mobile.
And the same on tablet
Interestingly, queries, clicks and impressions plummet on desktop devices during January’s mobile surge and there are several drops throughout the summer months – perhaps, reflecting the time taken off from work during the winter and summer periods.
Looking at all devices, we can see the delay between increased search volumes and the responding increase in impressions and clicks throughout the past three years.
Brands in the waste management industry can close this gap and capitalise on greater search volumes before their competitors and the wider industry. With enough historical search data, predictive modelling and the use of clever automated bidding, you can remove much of this delay and capture leads while the rest of the industry is playing catch-up.
Then talk to us today. We have a highly-experienced team of SEO and PPC specialists who, with the help of our software Apollo Insights, will ensure you make the most of these search trend opportunities and capture as much of this new business as possible. Contact us on 02392 830281 or drop us your details and we’ll call you.
George is an SEO Specialist at Vertical Leap.
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