Prepping Your PPC Strategy for the Holidays Yet? You Should Be!

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There might not be snow on the ground yet, but now is the perfect time to start preparing for the holiday rush. This is especially true if you’re an e-commerce business.

According to Statista, holiday season retail e-commerce spending in the United States amounted to 37.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. Since then, these numbers have been rapidly increasing. In 2013, retail e-commerce sales during November and December amounted to 46.55 billion US dollars during holiday season, up from 42.29 billion US dollars in 2012.

These are numbers are big, and they’ll only keep growing. By doing your research months in advance,  you’ll increase your chances of having a successful holiday season.

 

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, has proven to be one of the most important days for e-commerce. Move over, Black Friday. After all, Cyber Monday means you can get all the best deals without having to leave your couch.

On Cyber Monday in 2013, e-commerce sales amounted to 1.74 billion US dollars, up from 1.47 billion US dollars in the previous year. On average, U.S. online shoppers spent 124.82 U.S. dollars on Cyber Monday. Typically Cyber Monday falls around December 1st, so be sure to have a strategy in place far before then. This way, you’ll ideally get to the consumer as soon and often as possible in the hopes of getting them to commit to buying from you on Cyber Monday.

 

Why use PPC?

If you are looking for a quick, temporary boost for a holiday campaign, PPC is the perfect channel to test. Can you say “immediate results”? As soon as your search or social advertising campaign is set up, people will be able to see your ads and click through to your site.

Plus, PPC ads can be very targeted. You can choose where you want your ads to show geographically, what day or time of day you want your ads to show, and what keywords you want to target, among so many other things. Statista found that 24 percent of consumers were planning to use their search engine as a source of information during their holiday shopping. By having an aggressive holiday PPC strategy, you can be sure that your ads are showing on the first page of Google.

If you are already running PPC campaigns, here are a few tips to make sure you’re ahead of the game.

 

1) Plan and adjust your budgets accordingly

Take a look back at historical data (if possible) within AdWords and Google Analytics.

In AdWords, when did you see an increase in CPCs and a decrease in average positions? This will help give insight to when your competition started to take action and when you should expect to ramp up your campaign. Once you pinpoint this time, you should plan to start raising your bids and budget at that same time this year.

In Analytics, when did you see visits start to increase? How about transactions or goal completions? Looking at these metrics will give you a good idea on when your consumers start to shop and buy for the holidays. More people shopping means more clicks to your site, so be prepared to up the budget for the higher traffic months if you want to compete with your competitors.

 

2) Start to think of new keywords to add to your current successful keyword lists.

Since the holiday season is all about buying gifts for others, be sure to include “gift” and “present” keywords in your lists. Let’s say you sell children’s toys. Some keywords to consider adding to your existing campaigns would be ‘Christmas gift for grandchild’ or ‘what to get child for Hanukkah.’ It’s all about the keyword research and thinking outside of the box. Use tools like AdWords Keyword Planner and SEMrush to help. 

 

3) Plan promotions and write ad text early

The Holiday season creeps up on advertisers just as it does for last minute shoppers. By planning your promotions and writing your ad text months in advance, you can save time for other tedious holiday tasks that you cannot do so early. These tasks can be things like sifting through endless search query reports, testing promotions, and monitoring your holiday keywords daily and making keyword-level optimizations to ensure you are not buried away by your competition.

 

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Do you focus on parts of your PPC strategy for the holidays that we didn’t mention? Tweet us @Perfect_Search!

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