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There are a number of external factors that can affect the performance of your PPC campaigns. From the latest cinema blockbusters to the ever-changing society we live in – all can have a huge impact on the way we advertise and whether or not our methods are successful.

Major Events:

With the recent Coronavirus outbreak, we’ve noticed some of our clients’ ads have been triggered by searches relating to the new Wuhan hospital. For example, one of our clients does construction timelapse videos for businesses. We had a search term come through for ‘Wuhan construction timelapse’ which is highly likely to be a user looking for a video of the fast construction of the new hospital built to tackle to the outbreak. With major events like this, it is difficult to preempt what words we need to negate from account to stop spending on irrelevant terms before the said event has occurred. Luckily, big media outlets are hot on the heels of major news stories all around the world which helps us quickly and effectively add words and phrases to our negative keyword lists.

Image result for wuhan hospital construction"

Weather/Environmental Changes:

After the recent flooding all across the UK, PPC ads for flood defence products have seen a huge increase. One of Repeat’s clients has a website dedicated to flood defence and prevention products. Naturally, we have seen a spike in searches for said products. This begs the question – should we be monitoring predicted weather forecasts to set relevant bid adjustments when we’re due to have heavy rainfall? Similarly, the same could be said for snow ploughs and de-icer products as we head into the cold winter months.



Politics – Brexit has created a wave of uncertainty for a number of sectors in the marketing industry. This has left many businesses unsure if they will be able to trade once a deal or no-deal has been done. This creates a lot of uncertainty for not only businesses who trade with the EU, but also for agencies like ourselves whose clients may stop running ads to prepare for more expensive shipping costs and imposed tariffs.

Consumer buying habits – Over the last 5 years customer buying habits have drastically changed. More people are buying online compared to in-store which has increased competition in PPC. This gives businesses running PPC campaigns a lot more users to target, including demographics who are late adopters. This can provide exciting new sales opportunities for businesses with a strong online presence.

TV & Movies:

No one can predict the impact new TV shows and movies can have on PPC, but Repeat saw first hand how, if you’re not careful, ad spend can be spent on keywords with double meanings. One of our clients, a private health care provider, runs ads for the keyword ‘sleep doctor’ for people who suffer from insomnia. We had broad match modified keywords running as well as phrase and exact. This meant that when the new movie Dr Sleep was released, this triggered our ads to show due to our broad mod keywords including the words ‘sleep’ and ‘doctor’.

Doctor Sleep Movie Poster

Another key example of television impacting the number of search queries is The Apprentice. Google Trends saw a huge spike in users searching for ‘Finland Holidays’ on the same day the Finland episode aired in the UK. If you were a travel company and knew the episode was about to air, it would have been a prime opportunity to increase your budget to cope with the huge surge in searches. It looks like Visit Finland will have a big influx of new tourists thanks to Lord Sugar!

Increase in Finland Holiday searches

Competition Increases/Decreases:

This one is pretty self-explanatory, a rise and fall in your competitors’ marketing habits has an effect on your own PPC. It all comes down to Search Impression Share. The higher your search impression share, the better and the fewer competitors you have using Google Ads. You are therefore more likely to see success.


Similar to the impact weather has on PPC success, seasonality of products will obviously have an effect on how well your ads perform. For example, there is always an increase in gym clothing sales in January. This is after customers make a New Years Resolution to start a healthier lifestyle. Companies will also see spikes in swimwear sales in the run-up to summer when everyone has booked holidays.

Rise in swimwear searches

National Newspaper Crosswords:

Crossword enthusiasts can also affect PPC ads when users search for the clue answers online. This is where Broad match and Broad match modified keywords can waste spend on Google Ads by showing ads for users looking for answers to questions rather than the actual product/service. For example, one of our clients, a company who supplies welding gas, had a search term come through for “gas used for welding crossword clue”.

As you can see from all the above examples, there are numerous external factors that can have either positive or negative impacts on your PPC campaigns. From pop culture to weather forecasts, the ever-changing world around us can be a make or break for your Google Ads advertising. It’s important to think and plan around these situations as much as you can.

If you would like to learn more about Repeat Digital and what we can offer your business, give us a call or drop us an email!

Call: 0115 858 1605

Email: [email protected]