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We as Internet Marketers talk about search intent a lot, whether it’s for organic searches on SERPs or for content. I even wrote about it previously in my last blog post about the benefits of SEO during the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can use search intent to your advantage. But, let’s go into a broader approach rather than narrowly focusing on intent. So what is consumer behavior and how has it changed in 2020?

The Nitty Gritty of Consumer Behavior

According to Psychology Today, consumer behavior is defined as: “Consumer behavior—or how people buy and use goods and services—is a rich field of psychological research, particularly for companies trying to sell products to as many potential customers as possible.” From traditional marketing on billboards and in print media, to modern digital marketing of influencers and digital ads, one can hardly escape the current marketing landscape. Why do you make the purchasing decisions that you do? Who and what has influenced you to do so? In a nutshell, this is consumer behavior. You may pay no mind to your own purchasing decisions, but this year especially, consumer behavior has changed.

COVID-19 Insights

As I stated earlier, you have to take a broader approach rather than narrow to really understand the psychology of what your potential customers are seeking. We are still living through the COVID-19 pandemic, and you have to think about this with some common sense.

Improving Searches: Think of industries that were highly impacted by the pandemic that included mass gatherings, or future planning. Concert venues, travel agencies, hotels, airlines, and physical restaurants (not including curbside) all dropped significantly in late March and early April. These industries are just now recovering as more people aren’t stuck inside their homes in most states and are planning for the not-so-distant future.
Searches Flattening Out: Once COVID-19 impacted the population and stay-at-home orders were issued, more people searched for grocery delivery, video gaming (physical products and streaming such as Twitch or Mixer), and collaboration (whether it be working, projects, or music), and terms for these groupings surged. They’ve now flattened out as more people are leaving their homes and doing other things in person.
Still Rising Searches: For things such as digital marketing, health and wellness, home improvement, and pet adoption, searches are up. Why are these searches on the rise? The short answer: Businesses are trying to find ways to still turn a profit. People are stuck at home trying to improve their health (since gyms are closed in many parts of the country) or find things to do, and single individuals are lonely without human contact. These are the people that may still be too afraid to leave their homes and practice social distancing to an extreme degree.

What Do I Do With This Information Now?

Using this broad approach alone won’t get you all the results you want. Combining broad thinking like consumer behavior as well as the narrow scope of search intent will give you the best results possible. One should do their research to encompass all aspects of consumer behavior to really hone in on what people want and are searching for in their lives. Using this method hand-in-hand with industry research will certainly get you more positive results.

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