Holiday planning is already underway for busy wholesalers and retailers. If you haven’t started yet, it’s time to map out your winning pay-per-click (PPC) strategy!
Don’t skip paid search – Adobe found last year that organic and paid search brought in the most revenue during the 2017 holiday season, with search driving 44.8% of all online holiday visits (paid search at 23.5% and organic at 21.3%). To help, we’ve outlined seven steps to optimize your PPC plan to increase ROI this holiday season.
1. Lookback to Last Year
First, take a look back to last year’s paid search strategy. What combination of keywords, bids, and timing worked best?
Note the keywords, ad copy, and promotions that targeted the most relevant traffic, and the time of day or day of the week traffic times peaked. Use this combination of keywords and timing to bundle the perfect paid search plan and adjust your budgets for bidding.
2. Start Early
Once you review last year’s strategy, it’s time to kick it into high gear for this season — and we mean now.
To maximize revenue during the holiday season, use a cohesive marketing strategy across all channels. Your paid search ads, email marketing, and social media posts work together to communicate a unified message tailored to your goals.
A calendar is especially helpful to ensure your paid ads start and stop at the right time. You don’t want to be the retailer promoting Black Friday deals after New Year’s!
3. Jump on the bandwagon – increase spending
To maintain the same impression share cultivated during the rest of the year, it’s time to ramp up your spending.
All your competitors are increasing their budgets and bids on premiere ad space, and you’ll need to do the same. Use last year’s bids, the bid simulator tool, and the estimated top position data to decide bids. Often times, year-over-year bids increase drastically with competition.
Next, make sure you monitor ad performance weekly, or even daily. Ad spend is prone to skyrocket during the holidays.
4. Update your ad copy
Instead of using the same ordinary copy you’ve used all year, adjust your ad copy to promote holiday sales or promotions. Engage potential customers with clear CTA’s and relevant copy, while enabling a variety of ad extensions, such as callouts, sitelinks, promotions, and more.
5. Expand your Horizons
Use ad space to promote more than just products—think themed gift guides!
Around the holidays, buyers are searching for products for the special people on their list, and they don’t always know what to get them. Create and promote focused content like, “stocking stuffers” “this year’s trends” or “gift ideas for game lovers.”
Don’t limit yourself to advertising one product, show an array of products to boost the chance of customers purchasing more than one item. Just make sure your landing page backs up your ads (your gift guide ad should lead customers to a gift guide page that links to specific product pages).
6. Get your remarketing strategy up to snuff
Add your paid advertisements to Google’s Display Network to target customers who left your site without purchasing and are now on another site. Build lists based on products viewed, add to carts, or general product categories.
A retargeting ad reminds your customer that you have the exact product they’re looking for! (Need inspiration? Our client Mud Pie combined standard Facebook ads and retargeting ads for their holiday campaign and saw a 954% return on ad spend (ROAS)! See Mud Pie’s PPC Campaign here.
7. Think Omnichannel
Create a cohesive holiday campaign this season – from your store, to your emails, social media accounts, and paid search advertisements.
Promoting a contest? Direct content in the ad to a landing page. Collect email address and other information on the page, then follow up with an email campaign. Please, don’t forget about mobile. Include call extensions to ease users’ friction of searching for a number and optimize all landing pages for mobile users!
That’s a wrap
Follow each of these seven steps to enhance your PPC strategy this holiday season. If you’re already trying some of these tactics, dive into the ones you’re missing, measure success, and see what works. If you’re not optimizing your PPC for the holidays—step it up, because your competitors already are!