Preparing PPC Campaigns for the Holidays: 7 Clever Steps to Success
It’s almost that time of the year again. The weather’s getting cold, holiday decorations are starting to pop up in shops and homes, and Christmas songs are beginning to play from various radio stations. Pretty soon, shoppers will be scouring various stores looking for presents and other holiday supplies. Many of them will be using the internet to find the items they want. This is where a new and improved PPC campaign comes in. Your ads need to be revamped attract more holiday shoppers and get better conversions. Here are some clever steps that will help you accomplish this:
Study your campaign’s holiday performance last year
Past data can give you great insight on what to do and what not to do for future campaigns. Review the performance of your PPC ads last year, putting special focus on the following areas:
- Ad copy test review
- Ad extension performance
- Day parting
- Key days traffic and spend
Make sure you identify the mistakes you’ve made as well as the lessons you’ve learned from them. Figure out how you can apply those lessons to your present campaign. It’s also a good idea to determine exactly which days your ads generate the most online sales. By identifying these lucrative periods, you can change your campaign bids and budgets to gain better results.
Identify main online shopping events
The holiday season as a whole brings an influx of consumers to the online market. But there are specific periods when traffic and sales goes through the roof. In 2014, these major online shopping days fall on the following dates:
- November 27th – Thanksgiving
- November 28th – Black Friday
- December 1st – Cyber Monday
- December 8th – Green Monday
- December 17th – First Night of Hanukkah
- December 25th – Christmas Day
- December 26th – Boxing Day
Knowing when exactly when these shopping events will occur can help you make changes to your marketing strategies to boost online sales. For instance, you can create a special PPC campaign specifically targeting one event like Black Friday or Boxing Day. This will allow you to take advantage of the flood of shoppers during that day and help you reel in more conversions for your website.
Establish your budget
Just like with any other campaign, you must make sure you have a realistic budget for your holiday ads. You can refer to last year’s ad performance data to determine what budget to set for this year. Also, make it a point to set aside some extra money for days when you get the highest traffic and sales. On the other hand, remember to use day parting to cut down on periods when your ads get less traffic. This way, you can balance your spending and stay on budget.
Get in the holiday spirit
Once you’ve set a budget and identified the main shopping dates you’ll be targeting, you can start making changes to get your campaign into the holiday spirit. For instance, you can include holiday greetings or messages in your ads. You can also push products that consumers will need or want to buy for holiday festivities such as Christmas decorations and presents. Another great idea is to offer special holiday promos and deals on your PPC ads. Make sure your promotions only run for a short period during the season so you can generate as much excitement as possible from consumers. This will help you attract more shoppers, especially those who are on a budget or are looking to save.
Optimize ads for different devices
When upgrading PPC campaigns for the holidays, it’s important to remember that consumers these days use different devices to access the web. In fact, we’ve recently blogged about a recent study by Marin Software that shows 30% of Google ad conversions happen on mobile gadgets like smartphones and tablets. Take advantage of this opportunity by creating ads that are specifically targeted for mobile devices. Make sure these ads feature shorter, more direct and more engaging phrases so they could capture the attention of users who are on the go. This small change will not only widen the reach of your ads, but also improve your conversions significantly for the holiday season as well as for other times of the year.
Take advantage of ad extensions
Ad extensions enable users to quickly find information about your company, making them crucial for generating online sales. Make sure you choose what type of ad extensions to use for each holiday campaign. They should fit the kind of action you want target consumers to take when they see your ad. For instance, if you want a potential customer to find directions to your physical store when they see your ad online, you can use a local extension. On the other hand, if your ads are targeting mobile users, a call extension would be the best choice. This way, they can directly call your shop from their phones. Also, make sure the information that appears on your ad extensions is accurate.
Use holiday-specific PLAs
PLAs or product listing ads feature a more unique format than other ads. They appear separately from text ads on search results and allow you to include information that will set your ads apart such as images, prices and promotional messages. Since they are more eye-catching than text ads, PLAs are extremely effective in convincing consumers to visit a business website and complete the buying process. Setting up a shopping campaign that includes holiday-specific PLAs can give your online sales a big boost. Make sure your PLAs feature products that your target customers will want to purchase for the holidays. The holiday season is arguably the busiest of the year for businesses and advertisers. Many will be competing for the attention of your target consumers. By following the tips mentioned above, you can make sure your ads will stand out and get the results you want.