As more and more people are working from home and staying home, life has taken a turn from what was a physically engaged world to a more digitally engaged world.

The digital landscape is changing rapidly, and consumer needs are shifting based on news, COVID-19 updates and current needs. With this, search engines are one of the best ways of showing the current interests and what people are looking for.

How is NI responding to the “new normal”?

Apart from COVID-19 and Coronavirus dominating users search, people have other searches in mind.

These are the top 10 searches in NI for the past 30 days: (These results will change daily and hourly)

top 10 searches in NI for the past 30 days

The best way to look at these user search terms are by preference:

User search terms by preference

In the past 30 days, this is how the users within NI are using Google to find out information. One interesting point this table shows is that educational needs are now being fulfilled by the Seesaw and Zoom apps which allow students to directly connect with teachers and lessons.

And of course, both Tiger King and Tesco are ranking high!


It is not all doom and gloom!

As more and more people stay indoors, there have been massive increases in search terms containing ‘how to’, with people trying their hands at everything from baking to making face masks and cutting their own hair.

These are the top 10 search terms in “how to” for NI, with each term reporting a 5,000% search term increase.

top 10 search terms in “how to” for NI

As we can see with the NI audience, facemasks are a priority, followed by our next priority: local breads. Where would be without soda bread? More frighteningly, cutting your own hair is on the rise! After lockdown and self-isolation are over, it is clear we are all going to be amazing bakers with great complexions and even better haircuts.

Another interesting point of this table is the “how to delete houseparty account” search term which was extremely relevant on the 1st & 2nd of April as a result of an apparent rumour of the house party app being hacked, which was spread about social media and messaging apps. This shows (and warns) that your relevancy and interest can fall just as quickly as it rises.

When comparing Top 10 general search terms within the UK to NI, we can see:

Top 10 general search terms in the UK compared to NI

As you can see, there are quite a few similarities in terms of people’s intent: furlough, the Tiger King documentary, booking grocery home deliveries and the Hantavirus. But it appears virtual home schooling and working is of more interest in NI (Seesaw and Zoom) – what a hard-working bunch we are!


Time to adapt and thrive.

As businesses are shutting their physical doors, they are opening their digital platforms like never before. Technology is currently being utilised to its full potential as online grocery shopping is no longer just a novelty and time saver for some but is now a necessity for the vulnerable. On top of this, elderly users are adapting by taking full advantage of smartphones and devices to keep in contact with their friends, families and even ordering online groceries. Once a small target market on the digital landscape, they are now an emerging and expanding audience.


Will these habits continue?

Will people go to the gyms whenever they open?

Will we become a nation of bread-bakers and face-mask-makers?

Will virtual communications and conferencing become a staple of daily working?

Time will only tell. But to say that this will not influence certain aspects of society in the future is possibly naive. Some changes could ultimately be for the longer term good.

For now, embrace what’s happening, look at this as an opportunity for your business to evolve and take advantage of the ever-changing landscape by attracting the interest of your potential consumers and meeting their needs either physically or digitally.