eCommerce Insiders

4 Holiday Paid Search Tips for Mid-Season Success

So, you’ve survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the holiday shopping season isn’t over. Sure there are fewer days for shopping this year, but that doesn’t mean you should put your paid search campaigns on auto-pilot for the next couple of weeks.

Great paid search campaigns require daily attention to make sure key performance metrics are in-line with your ecommerce goals. As you push through the volume of orders from the past weekend, take a few minutes each day to implement these quick mid-season paid search tips that will keep your ads running profitably through the end of the holiday season.

  1. Watch for capped campaign budgets. Holiday search volume is significantly higher for retailers. Some retailers see up to 4x the search traffic volume through their paid search campaigns during the holiday season. If your budgets are set at normal levels, you could be losing out on sales. So, watch for campaigns that are reaching budgets (or getting close) and consider increasing your budgets during peak holiday shopping days.
    Budget Cap Tool on Opportunity Tab

    Budget Cap Tool on Opportunity Tab

    Holiday shopping hours also shift during these few weeks. Hitting your budget at 10pm can still cause you to lose sales in the late night hours. In addition to watching for capped campaign budgets, look at your sales by hour on the Dimensions tab to see if your ad scheduling adjustments should also be lifted.

  2.  Bid for top positions on profitable keywords. The top 3 positions on the search results page can see as much as 10x the traffic. While not all of your keywords will make sense to be in those top positions, your most profitable keywords should be bidding for those positions. Bidding higher than normal will ensure you hold those top spots and a competitor won’t come in and knock you out of positions 1-3.
    AdWords Bid Simulator Tool

    AdWords Bid Simulator Tool

    Using Google AdWords tools, like the Bid Simulator will tell you a ‘Top of Page Estimate’ and help guide you to finding the right bid for your campaign, ad group or keyword. Like any other Google tool, make sure you are analyzing the recommendation for your own goals before making any changes.

  3. Keep an eye on competition. Your competitors are probably being more aggressive than normal this time of year. You want to keep an eye on what they are doing to win business so you can remain competitive. Watch their promotions and adjust your ad text to combat their offers. Get creative with your ad copy to include pricing, discounts, or shipping offers. Don’t forget to add key ad essentials that will make your ads standout.
    Competitive Opportunity Suggestions from Google

    Competitive Opportunity Suggestions from Google

    Keep an eye on their ad position (see tip #2). New features on the Opportunities tab now give you some ideas for keyword and bidding changes that will keep you competitive with your closest competitor (they actually tell you who you will be beating if you make the changes). Another word of caution about the Opportunities tab: Just because Google suggests it, doesn’t mean it make sense. So, implement changes that make sense for your bottom line.

  4. Check for product feed disapprovals. If you are running ads in Google Shopping through Product Listing Ads, you don’t want product feed disapprovals to halt your ads from showing. Google has been stricter about their product feed requirements in recent months. Now is not the time to get your products taken off Google Shopping.
    Product Feed Impression Drop

    Product Feed Impression Drop

    Watch your Product Listing Ad campaign impressions daily so you can catch any major traffic shifts. Double check your Google Merchant Center section to ensure you didn’t receive a surge of product disapprovals for one reason or another. To read more about setting up a success Google Merchant Product Feed, download the 5 Feed Fixes whitepaper.

You’ve put a lot of time into planning and preparing for the holiday season. Paid search is a valuable source of traffic that intends to buy somewhere. Don’t let a few days of neglect tank your holiday success with paid search. The few minutes each day that it will take you to perform these 4 paid search tips will pay off with sales and profits during this season of giving. Learn more about holiday paid search essentials, download the Holiday AdWords Essentials Blueprint that is designed exclusively for ecommerce retailers.

Let’s hear from you, what’s your biggest hurdle with paid search during the holiday season?

One thought on “4 Holiday Paid Search Tips for Mid-Season Success

  1. Pingback: 4 Holiday Paid Search Tips for Mid-Season Success | Smart phonesSmart phones

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