How to Prepare your AdWords Account for the Holiday Season

White Shark Media

10 years ago

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It’s that time of the year again! The season to be jolly! Time to bring out the Menorah! That’s right Christmas and Hanukah are here! Or, they will be here in about 2 months, which means it’s time to get your Google AdWords campaigns ready for the busy shopping season.

“But there are still 2 months till Christmas” you say! This matters not, as big retailers are already pulling out the big guns! Walmart opened up their Christmas Layaway plans since September 13, sans the $5 account fee; and Toys R Us announced their Christmas Price Match Guarantee just last week!

So if you want to attract 40% of consumers who begin their Christmas shopping before Halloween, you better get a move on. Below some tips to makeover your AdWords campaigns for the shopping season.

Sale, Sales, SALES

Shoppers love discounts! You don’t have any discounts? Well, you better get some! 25%, 15% or even 10% discount will catch shoppers’ attention. During this time, your Free Shipping offer is matched and raised by all online sellers, so step up your game!

Do you know what shoppers love more than discounts? FREE STUFF! Can you offer a “buy one get one free”?

Or how about a free $10 gift card with every purchase over $100? Businesses such as Best Buy, Applebee’s, Boston Market, and Dell can’t all be wrong. They all offer some sort of gift card with purchases ensuring themselves some repeat business while they are at it!

Special Landing Pages

Make sure your landing pages mention season deals and include special or discounted pricing next to the original pricing. Shoppers love to see just how much they are saving.

Special Landing Pages - White Shark Media Blog

Also, including a “valid through” date to create a sense of urgency never hurt anyone! Time-sensitive offers to create an added value that some shoppers just can’t resist.

All the above is the equivalent of the holiday aisle decorations you see when you visit brick and mortar stores, so make sure you create attractive landing pages that make your ads stand out from the competition.

Prepare For Black Friday

The first date we all need to be aware of is Black Friday, more so for local (brick and mortar) businesses, but even more important for E-commerce sites. This is the Friday after Thanksgiving and it has become synonymous with discounted prices, early morning mall stampedes, and the beginning of the Holiday Season.

This is one of, if not the busiest shopping days for retailers. On this day, many retailers will bring out their best offers and luckily for you there is a special ad extension made exclusively for this:

Offer Extensions in Google AdWords - White Shark Media

Google’s’ Offer Extension allows you to add a special offer to ads that place in the top 3 spots. The great thing about this extension is that it can turn online browsing into offline sales.

Customers are able to print out a coupon with a special offer on them! They can even spread the word and email it to a friend!

Black Friday is of course followed by Cyber Monday…

Don’t Forget Cyber Monday

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you are already familiar with Cyber Monday. For those of you, who have been, click here for a Cyber Monday crash course.

In order to get your piece of the $1.028 billion estimated spent by online consumers (2010) on Cyber Monday, you need to pull out all the stops; so bring your best or get left out.

Research from ComScore shows that 52% of shopping on Cyber Monday originated from work computers. So keep your sales process as quick and simple as possible, as research also shows that 7% of human resource managers surveyed had fired an employee for holiday shopping.

And we don’t want to be responsible for that!

Use Automated Rules To Make Your Holidays Carefree

Make specific ads for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Get creative and use both the date and your keywords to get your message across. Dynamic Keyword Insertion can help increase relevancy and Quality Score!

“Ads for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday”, am I crazy? “That would mean that we have to disable the Black Friday ads and enable the Cyber Monday ads during the weekend and frankly ‘Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!'”

Not to worry. I’m not trying to make you work the weekend and especially not a holiday weekend! AdWords has a very useful feature that allows you to enable and pause your ads without having to be anywhere near a computer. You can program Automated Rules to do all the dirty work for you.

Be Prepared For The Traffic Increase

Historically, search traffic increases incredibly during the holiday season. So although your current budget may be getting you through the day, you will want to increase it for the busy season.

Most businesses will make most of their sales during the holiday season… UNLESS THEY DON’T ADVERTISE. Make sure you assign a sufficient daily budget to your campaigns.

In order to make money, you will have to spend money. Now, I’m not saying throw your hard-earned dollars into a Money Pit. Use Conversion Tracking along with Analytics data to identify your money-makers and pause poor performers.

Get Ready For Increased Costs Per Click

The law of supply and demand states: If demand (traffic) increases and supply (available ad slots) remains unchanged, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price (cost per click).

This is true even in AdWords, so be prepared for somewhat higher costs per click which will (theoretically) be offset by higher conversion rates.

Merry Christmas to You

Now that we’ve shared some tips with you, get going! Like I said at the beginning it’s never too early to begin preparing for the holiday shopping season. Make sure you have a well-prepared, relevant ad campaign that matches your keyword to a specific ad, and that redirects to a highly relevant landing page.

Also, ensure your landing page advertises your special offers, discount pricing, and free stuff, and you are on your way to making it a great holiday season!

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