November 11, 2019
Yes, it definitely is! UK consumer spending in 2018 across the Black Friday weekend (including Cyber Monday) was over £8.29billion according to Statista. Google Trends shows Black Friday search interest increased by 5% in the last 2 years, whereas the number of queries increased by 15% from 2017 to 2018 according to Google internal data.
So now we’ve established it’s a huge opportunity for your brand to drive increased sales during this period, let’s discuss how you can use paid search to make the most of this opportunity!
It should be fairly obvious, but you’ll need some decent offers ready. The whole buzz for shoppers around Black Friday is that there’s fantastic deals and discounts to be had. Shoppers simply aren’t going to visit your website/shop if you don’t give them a reason to – never mind convert! It gets very competitive and crowded with offers during Black Friday so having a strong offer to standout is key.
Once you know what your offers will be and have the landing pages ready, it’s time to create your ad copy and ad extensions. We recommend tailoring headline 1 to your keywords but using the rest of your character allowance to discuss your offer and brand USPs with a CTA emphasising the sale is for a limited time so shop now. This will maximise CTR and conversion rate.
Remember to roll out both Responsive Search Ad and Expanded Text Ad variants to maximise how often your ads are shown. We also recommend adding tactical ad extensions such as callouts and sitelinks to augment your ads and improve your ad rank further.
This next step is not going to work for every advertiser. If you have the budget to do so and enough room to manoeuvre in your CPA, then bidding on Black Friday based keywords could quickly increase your sales and revenue. Bidding on terms such as “Black Friday deals” will drive a lot of traffic but the conversion rate will be lower because the intent is much broader. But if you’re a multi-product retailer then this tactic might work for you.
We would recommend testing your top volume keywords with “Black Friday” within the search term as a starting point. The CPC will be steep, but you can expect the conversion rate to be a lot greater which will help your actual CPA. Even if you don’t add keywords, you should see a sizeable uplift in search impressions anyway.
There is going to be a lot of new search terms in the market which you’ll need to cover to fully capitalise on Black Friday. Your broad match keywords should help you with this, but we would recommend utilising Dynamic Search Ads in conjunction. This will not only ensure you match against new and relevant (if you’ve set it up correctly!) but also maximise CTR and conversion rate by letting Google optimise the ad copy and landing page based on the user intent.
You should hopefully have prepared for the big day as much as you can but what can you do on the day to ensure it’s a success?
If you are using manual bidding then just keep on top of your bid management throughout the day. If you’re using Google Smart Bidding then you will need to tweak your bid model to force it to react to the increased intent and search volume. To do this, we recommend utilising seasonality adjustments. This not only helps your bid models prepare for expected peaks but also ensures your bid models don’t use data from this peak to optimise your bids when search volume and conversion rates return to their usual levels. You can also increase your bid model’s target KPI to force it to react to the peaks in traffic and conversion rate.
You should make sure your site is ready for the additional traffic and the pressure that will put on your server. Unsurprisingly, having your website crash will ruin your conversion rate and the sales and revenue you will track!
We would recommend increasing your budget caps before the Black Friday through either automation or manual adjustments. We would still recommend monitoring your spend closely as you may find you’re hitting budget caps faster than you’ve realised – particularly if this your first Black Friday and you don’t have historical data to base your optimisations on!
Aside from the obvious points of reversing your bid model and campaign budget changes to their usual levels, you should focus on reviewing your activity to find learnings for next year. Even the best campaigns can be improved so analysing the data you have available in Google Ads and Google Analytics will help you do this. It’s also worth reviewing your internal processes too. Ask yourself were there any difficulties you faced? What things would you change for next year?
Our final tip is to use the spike in traffic to your website to setup and/or refine your existing retargeting audiences. Whilst a lot of the non-converting traffic probably won’t convert as they were after a bargain or converted elsewhere, you should try and convert as much as this traffic as you can through retargeting. Pick out audiences with high intent and think about tailoring your ad messaging and landing pages to the user’s intent and give them a reason to convert.
Hopefully this article has been of use to you and thanks for reading it! If you’d like to discuss anything to do with Google Ads and how to get the most out of it, then please feel free to get in touch.