Note: Mike will be leading a free PPC webinar – Divided by device: how to optimise paid search for mobile and tablet – this Friday (November 30th) at 2pm. Sign-up to attend here.
It’s not all mince pies, parties and inappropriate Secret Santa gifts in the build up to Christmas – a lot of businesses are gearing up for their make-or-break time of year as traffic and competition levels dramatically increase.
Our PPC team has compiled the following list to ensure your campaigns will give you a competitive edge in the run-up to Christmas and during the festive season:
1) Device Targeting. If you don’t already have it in place then you should! Also ensure you split out Tablet and Smartphone campaigns because user behaviour and results will be markedly different. Separating the campaigns allows you to segment data and control budgets with greater accuracy. Google still classes them both under the ‘mobile’ umbrella, but research has shown user behaviour on a tablet is more akin to that on a PC or laptop.
With this Christmas set to see the battle of the tablet, with Google’s Nexus, the iPad Mini & Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD all going head-to-head, you can be sure there’s going to be some armchair shoppers on Boxing Day playing with their new toys.
2) Seasonal Ad Copy. ‘Tis the season to…write seasonal advert copy. Searchers respond well to relevance; if your ad copy references the festive period then it might help you to stand out and attract the all important click. Think ‘Perfect Christmas gift!’, ‘Amazing Seasonal Offers’ or use the ads to create more urgency: ‘Order by 17th for Xmas Delivery!’. Be creative and you’ll likely reap the benefits.
3) Budgets, budgets, budgets. Plan it out and use historical seasonal data (if you have it) to project traffic and the likely investment levels needed. Make sure you have support to keep a close eye on the campaigns. If you’re expecting a big Boxing Day spike then don’t just set the budgets and hope for the best.
4) Day of Week Targeting. When it comes to e-commerce the Boom Town Rats were way off the mark, people do in fact like Mondays and parting with their hard-earned cash online. Look at your seasonal trending segmented by Day of Week (DOW) and ensure you are geared up for the Monday boom with budgets and bids to meet increased demand.
5) Ad Extensions. Christmas is a battlefield; the more real estate you can control the better! So ensure you have site links, product feeds, location extensions and Google+1 extensions active where applicable.
Also don’t be afraid to sprinkle your site links with some Christmas magic – even if it’s just a guide to Christmas Delivery times, this is a great way of being topical and standing out from the competition.
6) Google Product Listing Ads. This paid feature will be replacing the Google Shopping feed in the UK at some point in 2013 (a change that happened in the US this October). In the meantime they’re still available to use in the UK and are particularly well-suited to retail sectors where and image-based ad can have the most impact and give CTR uplift.
7) Seasonal Keywords. Be aware of how search behaviour can change during the build up to, and after, Christmas. Ensure gift keywords are included where needed, and if you have specific seasonal ranges ensure your highly-targeted ads are present to pick up the click around those keywords.
Overall, the key to paid search success at Christmas is a well optimised and managed campaign – sprinkled with a little creativity and innovation for good measure! And remember that shopping takes place throughout the Christmas period, not just before the main event.
Let me know if you have any other tips in the comments…
Image credit: Mike4354