To manage these shifts and understand patients’ needs, healthcare marketers are looking to coronavirus search trends on Google in August for guidance.
Healthcare consumers are grappling with the nuances of changing hours, safely returning to medical facilities and using telemedicine. Search trends give us a genuine picture of the thoughts, questions and concerns that healthcare facilities and offices must address in their listings and communications.
In this article, we break down August’s Google Search data to understand what types of information healthcare consumers are looking for. Here are coronavirus search trends that marketing teams should monitor.
August Google Search Trends for Coronavirus
COVID-19 has, expectedly, been all over search queries and business listings in the past few months, though related searches have gradually declined since March.
Here are some notable August trends on Google Search gleaned from our healthcare partners:
According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations dipped more than 60% in March but climbed back up, now at about 25% fewer weekly searches than pre-pandemic levels.
Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, now up 17% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by a whopping 60% from pre-outbreak levels. Healthcare marketers must ensure their local listings have updated phone numbers and other contact information for each facility. Otherwise, they risk losing significant patient volume.
For a full picture of the search landscape, Google Trends has daily updates for the top 100 places searching for coronavirus and the top related queries – what people type when searching for the virus.
On Aug. 20, the top coronavirus queries on Google in the U.S. were largely symptom-related. The past week’s highest-trending COVID-19 questions were:
- Is nausea a sign of corona?
- Is throwing up a symptom of corona?
- Is sneezing a symptom of coronavirus?
- Is sore throat a sign of corona?
- Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?
You’ll notice the shorthand “corona” is appearing more frequently now, so it’s a must to add it to your keyword lists for any social listening initiatives. Here is how different symptoms of the virus are being searched:
The search engine is also keeping track of trending general searches related to coronavirus risk, which in the past week were:
- Coronavirus cases
- Coronavirus US
- Coronavirus update
- Coronavirus Florida
- Coronavirus news
Clearly, news and updates about COVID-19’s spread – especially locally – are in high demand from consumers. As local authorities on the topic, healthcare brands need to include this information in brand communications, business listings, review responses and social media.
Meanwhile, searches about face mask regulations have surged in the past week, mostly revolving around two topics: “Joe Biden mask mandate” and “Today Show masks.” The spikes come as consumers prepare themselves for preventing the virus’ spread while starting to resume jobs, school and other activities.
Other COVID-19 Google Trends
Though most searches regarding Covid-19 are currently related to tracking the spread and health guidelines, there are other search trends healthcare organizations should monitor.
Employment and economic uncertainty remain top of mind for consumers, with rising search volume for jobless claims and unemployment benefits. These trending searches offer insights into the other factors that can weigh into a patient’s decision to seek care.
Unfortunately, school closures are just as pertinent to U.S. searchers. Be on the lookout for search terms including “school closure covid” and “coronavirus school closure,” which have spiked in recent weeks.
You should also be prepared to fight misinformation, which spreads as quickly as the virus. Searches for “flu shot raises risk of coronavirus” have increased by 1,000% in the past week. Northwell Health answered this question in its web content, leading to Google displaying it in the Knowledge Panel and increasing its brand visibility.
Another top-trending Google Search query to monitor is “coronavirus testing,” which is relevant to the many healthcare facilities with Covid-19 testing sites. Follow these instructions to get your coronavirus testing site listed on Google Search.
Helpers Search on Google, Too
Not all coronavirus search trends are negative. Healthcare marketers can’t forget that people search for ways to help in crisis situations. Brands should answer these questions – on Google listings and otherwise – about how to support local providers.
Google recommends the following methods of using its platform to help consumers and support healthcare workers:
- Let people know that solutions are available whenever, wherever.
- Assess when people need you most, whether through your own first-party data or Google Trends.
- Frequently update or publish content that informs, entertains, connects and promotes wellness.
- Consider who the heroes are among your employees, your customers or your local community.
For more on managing your business listings and brand reputation during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resources Page or browse these resources:
- Every Google My Business Attribute Available to Healthcare Businesses
- Here’s How to Get Your COVID-19 Testing Center Listed on Google
- Lessons from COVID-19: Using Local Business Listings for Crisis Management
- Ask an Expert: How to Optimize Your Listings for COVID-19 Reopening
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist