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Tis the Season – PPC for the Festive Period

The lights are up, the Christmas parties are in the diary and before you know it the festive season will be truly upon us. To get the best out of your Online Marketing during the Christmas period it is time to focus on your PPC account.  We know that Pay-per-Click advertising is a great for getting exposure online for your business and driving leads from potential new customers, but once set up your PPC accounts cannot be left just to run. Crucially your PPC campaigns should be optimised for seasonality. This is evident from the recent images and consumer behaviour that were seen on Black Friday!

These three steps will help to make the most of you Google AdWords and other PPC accounts over the festive season.

  1. Research (Ho-Ho-Homework)

Even if your business does not at first glance appear to be impacted by seasonality a little research may show otherwise. We tend to think of demand for retailers increasing over Christmas and New Year, but people will also be searching more on Google for other products and services. For example, do you need to get the oven cleaned before preparing the Christmas day feast?

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I would recommend firstly taking a look at your own analytics and CRM data to see how visits to your website and sales have performed during this period in previous years.  This should clearly give a pattern of when you need to have your seasonal campaigns in place, when you need to boost budget, as well as the products or services to focus on.

Another tool I can’t recommend highly enough is Google Trends (link – http://www.google.com/trends). While the data displayed in this tool is indexed using a Google calculation and not actual search volume figures, it is still great for identifying seasonal peaks and declines.

Seasonal PPC Google Trends

Once you have entered your term into the tool you can filter the data for location and timeframe. The map shows the difference in search volumes for the selected time period across the UK. You can also click on the map to drill down further. The related searches  section will provide some ideas for additional terms to research or add as keywords to you PPC accounts.

When researching you should also take a look at what your competitors are doing, are they appearing in higher positions or more often throughout the day? Maybe they have tailored their advert copy? This leads nicely onto the second tip.

  1. Relevance

The key to winning PPC Campaigns is relevance, right from the users search query, to your ad copy and right through to the landing page on your website. Relevance should be a focus in order to get the best of your seasonal campaigns

Throughout your research you will have identified which keywords to target. By adding these to your PPC account along with ad copy with Christmas or New Year messaging you will be ready for the seasonal searches and will increase the relevance. Here is a great example of an ad copy that has been tailored for Christmas.

John Lewis seasonal ad copy

When writing your ad copy don’t forget to mention if a service or product can be provided in time for Christmas or New Year. Also add a few seasonal sitelinks extensions for all of your campaigns, not just any new seasonal campaigns.

In order to continue the relevance from the copy onto your site you will need to think about your landing page. Do you have a suitable page that contains content specific to the keywords and ad copy. Take the search query ‘Winter Tyres’ for example, can you direct the user to a page specifically about winter tyres? If not you may need to update the content on your site and even set up a new page.

  1. Budget

Lastly, but certainly not least, is sorting out your PPC budgets. You need to make sure that your Campaign Budgets do not prevent your ads from displaying throughout the whole day, especially if you have added new keywords to your account. It would be a shame to work through steps 1 & 2 and not have a suitable budget set to take advantage of an increased click through rate and additional search volumes.

Similarly, you may need to consider altering your Max. Bids as new competitors may start bidding on the same keywords as you or they may appear higher up the results page, pushing your ad down lower on the page.

Take a look at the Impression Share Metrics in AdWords regularly to identify if budgets and Max. Bids need to be increased.

 

So finally, good luck with your seasonal campaigns and if you find from your research that your business does not peak during this period why not take advantage of the slow down and get your accounts into great shape for 2015!

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