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PPC…Gearing-up for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is vastly approaching! Is your PPC campaign prepared for the holidays?

According to our friends at Search Engine Land, Black Friday paid search activity hit a record-high in 2013.  Their research found that in 2013, retailers invested more, started their Paid Search campaigns earlier and saw steeper revenue increases than the post-holiday rush of 2012. Not only was there an increase in the click-through-rate percentage but the amount spent in Paid Search campaigns increased by nearly 50% for the holiday season! Another valuable trend that research also discovered from 2012 to 2013 was for online advertising performance on different devices. The share of clicks for desktops fell while the click share rose significantly for phones and tablets.

What does this mean for this upcoming holiday season? Well, we hope it means that 2014 will be even more profitable for businesses. What we can control is the condition of our campaigns going into the holidays. Historic performance of the five-day weekend, beginning from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, provides valuable insight on ways advertising managers of retail can improve their campaign and better position themselves for a successful holiday season. We’ve compiled a list of steps that could boost your online advertising campaign’s effectiveness during the shopping season.

1. When do your campaigns see high performance during the holidays? Analyze your campaign’s historic performance during the holiday to identify the days your online sales are at their highest. Once you’ve determined periods with higher traffic and conversions, plan to adjust your budgets and bids accordingly.

2. Shoppers expect to see the best deals…what deals are you running? Adjust your ad copy to include the promotions being offered and add calls to action. It is important that the “deal” is promoted directly in the ad copy to encourage online users to click your ad versus those surrounding it. “Free Shipping” and “% off Sale” are two common offers included in retailers’ holiday ads. Use calls to action that create a sense of immediacy to urge potential consumers to complete a purchase.

3. Have you shopped for shoes and noticed the same pair on an ad following you all over the Internet? This is called remarketing, and is pretty tempting for those of us with little self-control when it comes to shopping. Remarketing campaigns allow PPC managers to develop a list of site visitors, or more specifically, visitors of a certain landing page on your website. Specific ads can be created to target those users. Generate a remarketing list for your seasonal sale to capture those “already interested” visitors as additional holiday traffic.

4. Don’t forget potential customers can use different devices! As discussed previously, there was a year over year decline in holiday PPC activity on desktops and a rise on mobile and tablet usage. Creating mobile and tablet-specific ads with shorter, more direct phrases geared to individuals on the go, could help improve your revenue share among other devices.

5. Use ad extensions to make your ads stand out. Implementing ad extensions that are relevant to your holiday promotion enhances the appearance of your ads as well as provides more useful information to your target audience. Ad extensions appear directly below your ads in the search results and allow users to quickly navigate to the information they are looking for with a single click.

6. Create a Shopping campaign to include holiday-specific Product Listing ads. These ads have a unique format. These ads are displayed separately from text ads and allow retailers to include an image, title, price, promotional message and business name. Product Listing ads are beneficial in targeting those online users who are in the comparison portion of the “buying cycle” and can help shoppers become more inclined to complete a purchase from your website.

7. Do you search differently for holiday sales and gifts? Expand your keyword targeted lists to include more holiday phrases and purchase-based terminology. Use your search query report from past holiday seasons to help identify these keywords. There are also keyword tools available for different online advertising programs you can utilize to identify seasonal keywords or terms related to holiday gift buying.

 

Identifying and understanding business’ most profitable periods allows ad managers the opportunity to maximize efforts during those times. Holidays are one of the most important moments for retailers who are engaged in online advertising campaigns. The PPC team at Full Media can help to ensure that you experience a positive return on investment with your campaign. For more information on Pay Per Click Advertising Management, feel free to contact us today.