’Tis the season for PPC optimizations. If you haven’t started, it’s not too late, and if you have prepared, there still might be some tips to help maximize your return this season. Put your best foot forward with these holiday tips for PPC campaigns for a successful season.
Increase Daily Budgets
CPCs will jump, and competition will be stiff; you don’t want to run out of budget early in the day and miss out on revenue. This is especially important Thanksgiving weekend, but it’s best to look at historical trends to see when revenue for your business starts to increase, and flight your budgets accordingly. It’s best to set up an automated rule to increase your daily budgets. Then check and double-check your automated rules just to make sure they will run correctly.
If you are using smart bidding, be sure to factor in how long it will take to increase your daily budgets in 10% increments, and start those rules early enough to get the level you need to be before the holidays. If you increase in more than 10% increments you risk kicking the campaign or portfolio back into learning.
Just like you don’t want to miss out on revenue because your budgets were too low, you don’t want to miss out on potential incremental traffic. Take this time to analyze your keyword lists and expand upon them. Make sure you are supporting all of your products or services, and consider adding in more upper-funnel keywords. These can be combined with an audience strategy in order to combat the increase in competition. In addition to keyword expansion, check your search term reports, and add any negative keywords that may trigger your keywords that aren’t relevant to your business.
If you’re not already using audiences in your campaigns, now is the time to start. Add as many to your campaigns early and start gathering data, you can then use this data to increase bid adjustments based on audiences that are more likely to convert. You will want to make sure you have remarketing lists, customer lists, and other audiences added to your campaigns, then create similar audiences based on those. Audiences will help you maximize your return by being more competitive to those who know your business and are more likely to convert.
There are other ways to utilize audiences in addition to bid adjustments. RLSA campaigns are a good way to tailor messaging to your audience. Also, you can couple RLSA with upper-funnel keywords. This will allow you to only bid on these typically more expensive keywords, but only to those who are familiar with your brand if using RLSA, customer match, or other audiences with higher than average conversion rate.
Just like with your daily budgets, you should increase your bids during this busy time. This is another prime example of utilizing automated rules if you’re not already. It’s increasingly competitive and you do not want to miss out on potential revenue because your bids or position was too low. This is also a great time to analyze all your data and update bid adjustments for locations, audiences (as mentioned above), and devices. Since this time of year has different shopping patterns, you may want to adjust any time of day adjustments, especially negative ones.
Holiday Seasonality Adjustments
This is both important and specific if you are using any of Google’s smart bidding strategies. Algorithms take time to respond to sharp spikes in data, which isn’t ideal for the high shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Google has recently rolled out seasonality adjustments for smart bidding campaigns. You can set the date range and the device and add what you expect your increase in conversion rate to be. Google will take this into consideration and adjust your bids accordingly.
Taking advantage of ad extensions will help to increase your click-through rate and showcase any promotions or pages on your site that you want to highlight. Holiday is the perfect time to implement promotion extensions. They allow you to showcase discounts for the occasion you select. The extensions are easily scheduled which will allow you to spend time analyzing your data instead of implementing new tactics. Sitelinks are also a great way to promote certain pages on your site and sales in the copy.
It’s never too late to plan for the holiday season. With these holiday tips, your paid search campaigns will be ready to succeed. If you need any help with your holiday strategy, contact us to find out what we can do for your business. Root & Branch is a digital marketing team with operations in Pittsburgh, PA and Jacksonville, NC that provides a wide variety of digital advertising and analytics services for B2C and B2B companies. Root & Branch is a certified Google Partner agency and focuses on paid search (PPC), SEO, Local SEO, digital reputation management, digital analytics, and social media management.