Seasonal AdWords campaigns are a fact of life from Black Friday through to New Years Eve. Here’s how to run campaigns without losing your holiday spirit.
No matter where you are in the world feeling the increased activity and production of the holiday season is inevitable. Of course in places like the U.S things can get a little wild. If you manage to survive or already prepped for Black Friday you certainly want to be prepped for whole holiday season. Especially for ecommerce businesses. And what goes hand in hand with increasing online traffic? AdWords!
As if your business and personal life doesn’t have enough to think about during this season, you will probably want to give your AdWords account some extra attention as well. From prepping for increased traffic, revisiting your budgets, and understanding the takeaways from the holiday activity. It will certainly be an exciting time as well as a overwhelming one. So we are here to assist like Santa’s elves to help your seasonal AdWords campaigns through the holidays.
Busiest Season For Ecommerce
Taking advantage of this increased time for E-Commerce is an absolute must. Your competitors know this as well. So for almost any businesses its a good time to ramp up marketing, create more sales and promote your brand. It is a time to optimize. So make sure you are ready for an increase in valuable shopper data.
“65% of Americans who shop during the holiday season aren’t sure if they get the best deals when shopping.”
The most important thing to get AdWords right for shopping Holidays is to plan ahead. Set goals, prep your website, marketing content and order fulfillment ability. Then you can begin looking at adjusting your campaigns. People begin thinking of their holiday shopping early so you must too. You know how stores begin play Christmas music the day after Halloween? You’ll have to begin marketing just as early to be at top-of-mind for eager shoppers.
Creating Seasonal AdWords Campaigns
One of the first adjustments to your campaigns you may want to consider for the holidays and any holiday is to make a special campaign. Creating a new campaign will help with any confusion and new adjustments you could have when trying to implement to an existing one. Also helps with your accounting by being able to set a separate budget. Another separate element will be reports and data that don’t co-mingle with your existing numbers. Once you have this seasonal campaign created you can save, edit and reactivate for next year.
Best practices with a seasonal campaign:
- Make sure it is approved before the holiday time you want your campaign to be active.
- Target your best holiday shoppers, and adjust your keywords, location, copy and landing page for it.
- Add a backup payment method. To avoid pause during your campaign, add a backup method for your existing payment plan. Especially if it shared with other campaigns.
- Make sure you have the budget to implement a separate campaign, you certainly don’t want a stressful holiday of depleting your campaign or business.
- Implement conversion tracking early. This is so you can make sure it works so you can know if you are getting conversions and which keywords work best.
Keep An Eye On Your Ad Budget
One of the most concerning parts for many business when working with AdWords during the holidays is their budgets. Just like the rest of us. But if you are going to take on this holiday endeavor we encourage increasing your budget. The biggest reason for this is because holiday traffic can be random, sporadic and unpredictable. Allocate some extra wiggle room for the chance of high traffic days.
There are shoppers that begin in October, so watch if your budget’s burn rate begins to increase. This is a sign things are beginning to ramp up. You don’t want a situation where you have conversions and clicks coming through and you find budget issues or caps in the middle of the day or half way through the holidays.
Bids also depend on your budget. Your competition may have the same idea so it could get competitive. So you will need a budget increase if you want to aggressively compete. If you are using Smart Bidding you make sure you have enough budget for Google to auto adjust which could unexpectedly be a lot. When watching your campaign make sure your bids are competitive for your most profitable keywords first. Keepings bids up for keywords with low margins and movement should be secondary.
Think About How Your Customers Are Shopping
With an expected increase of shoppers, try to to think of how they shop for your products. Number one is to make sure your landing page is loading quickly and is easy to navigate. Show those holiday specials up front! This is especially important for mobile shoppers. The mobile version of your site should be easy to purchase on. With autofill forms, easy to see prices, discounts and of course easily adding items to cart.
Maybe these seasonal shoppers have seen you before or maybe they are new customers who are similar to your regular audience. This is where you will re-engage or spark interest with a remarketing list. You can target those who almost bought products or have purchased from you before. Very useful to those who have been eyeing you out for awhile. Here is how to enable remarketing for your site.
Lastly focus on the customers around you first, before expanding more globally. Buying things in-store is certainly not dead, it even has a higher chance of purchase than online. By targeting areas nearby and using location extensions your ad can show to customers looking for products like yours nearby. So make sure to have near me in your local keyword list and to list store hours clearly. If you do feel the itch to expand to other countries, begin with countries with high interest in your products like yours that also speak the same language.
Brands should keep in mind that their understanding of consumer behavior plays a major role in a successful holiday season. Data collected throughout the year, such as previous purchases or frequently visited locations, can be leveraged to reach consumers via mobile devices, influence last-minute purchasing decisions, and even grab business away from competitors using geoconquesting.
– Ed Haslam, PlaceIQ
Seasonal Campaign Quick Tips
Highlight Your Seasonal Promotions Clearly – Holiday shoppers are looking for a good deal and fast shipping so have your specials clearly displayed and is cohesive through all of your links and marketing channels.
Prepare Your External Links – Whether it’s landing pages, website links or extensions make sure they can handle higher traffic, easy to see and lead shoppers to easy holiday purchases.
Shopping Doesn’t Stop When The Holidays Do – While you may be ready for the holidays make sure you are ready for the post holiday shopping as well. Look towards mid January to start scaling back or stopping your holiday campaign adjustments.
Keep Watch On Your Metrics – After all is said and done for the year’s busy holiday shopping, look for new insights regarding customers, keywords and campaign performance you can use to improve AdWords all year around. Or at least to understand and grow for next year.
Set Sometime Aside For Holidays – You and your business can get really caught up in this shopping and commerce madness! Most importantly take some time to break and enjoy the holiday.
Tis The Season To Use AdWords
Tackling seasonal holiday shopping can always be an exhausting time for many businesses. Some businesses have their marketing thrive during this time. But if you seasonalize your campaign, have an appropriate budget, and prep for an increase in customers you should be better set to handle it. In AdWords at least. This is more so you understand how to taking advantage of a hot time for shopping and ecommerce. And yes it will be overwhelming…but doesn’t have to be. We could be the best holiday helpers by handling AdWords during this busy time for you.