Impact of COVID-19 on Tradies in Australia (May 2020 Update)

It’s been 6 weeks since the lockdowns were announced in Australia (Week of 29 March 2020); and we have seen a massive transition in the way that we live our lives, the way that we go about our business, and we also consider what the future holds for us.


When the lockdowns kicked in - I was interested to explore how this would be impacting Google search data for tradies, I had questions about which tradies would be suffering most, and which tradies needed our help the most – and so I went about conducting research on the Google search data trends.


Now that our COVID-19 transmission rates have decreased massively, and there have been announcements from the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the country will be open for business again soon.


I wanted to take a fresh set of eyes, and look at the data again.


This time I have looked at the search data vs 6 weeks ago (when the lockdowns commenced); and, I have also decided compare this data against the same period last year to see the larger economic changes by trade and industry.


How I sourced the data


I sourced the data from Google Trends, this is an open tool that Google provides and shows us how individual search terms, phrases or topics are trending around the world.


What’s more, we can then isolate the data to specific countries and/or regions – which then allows us to put a lens over how searches are trending for each individual trade.


In this instance - we are focusing on the whole of Australia and breaking it down by individual trades.


Whilst Google do not share search volume within Google Trends (that is the absolute number of searches conducted), it gives us a “relative position” data set.


Relative data is useful, because we can begin to understand what the relationship or trend between each individual “tradie” over a fixed period of time –


In the case of our research, 12 months to the current date is the data set that I have opted for - to both make the data meaningful and useful to us for this exercise.


What The Latest Search Data Tells Us For Tradies In Australia?


The good news is that for most tradies, search trends are on the up compared to 6 weeks ago – this is a good thing, consumer demand has risen in the past 6 weeks and many of you will be experiencing growth and phone calls coming in for more jobs.


The big winners being Bricklayers, that have seen search data increase by 222% over a 6-week period.


Followed by Boilermakers at a 56% increase, Electricians at a 55% increase, and Handymen at a 49% increase.


Unfortunately, not everyone is a winner – There is one “trade” that has suffered in the past 6 weeks and that is our Landscapers, the search trends across Australia have contracted by 10% for Landscapers overall.


I have published my numbers pulled from Google Trends into the table below ordered by the highest growth tradie, through to negative growth tradie (6-week period to date, 12th May 2020).


Google Trends Search Data Tradies COVID-19

What about compared to a year ago?


Comparing the search data to this time last year - there are some obvious clear winners and losers here.


Top 3 search data growth compared to last year is: 52% growth in Fencing, 27% growth in Handyman, and 17% growth in search trends for Roofing Contractors.


Interestingly, Plasterers and Builders have maintained their search data at 0% and maintain the same level of demand as per last year.


There are two losers compared to last year: Boilermakers at -33%, and Landscapers at -29%.


Google Search Data Tradies Australia

Looking Forward For Tradies


Most trades have seen a rebound over the past 6-weeks compared to when lockdowns commenced - we have been very lucky in Australia with our rates of transmission and overall impact in comparison to other western nations.


Not only have most trades seen an increase in search data over the past 6 weeks, but trends are also higher in comparison to last year – a positive sign for the future and an opportunity for significant business growth right now.


The data demonstrates that consumer demand has increased for many tradies, at least by looking at the Google Search data – and this is a good thing.


Tradies can capitalise on this significant increase in Google search traffic by ensuring that their Websites, SEO, Google My Business listings, and Google Ads campaigns are correctly optimised (and fit for purpose).


How would you rate your current Google Search presence on a scale of 1 to 10?


COVID-19 has caused the cost per click (CPC) of Google Ads to decrease by as much as 50%, meaning more bang for your buck.


We are also now seeing positive impacts of well executed SEO campaigns for our tradie clients by our SEO agency - with increases of customer actions by as much as 400% compared to 6 weeks ago.


Please get in touch if I can help you at all.

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