How To Generate Hot Results in Cold Weather

Over the weekend, the US East Coast was hit by blizzard ‘Jonas’. Two feet of snow hit some of the most populous areas of the USA, affecting over 50 million people.

The question was: Will these weather conditions change the behaviour of shoppers during the weekend and with an increased number of people at home would they spend more time online?

Crealytics put this to the test by implementing bid-adjustments across affected states based on reports from NASA and other sources. Here we will provide details on the method and results, along with tips on how to implement this in your own campaigns.

Traffic increase throughout blizzard Jonas compared to the previous weekend


How To Generate Hot Results in Cold Weather

N.B. The Heat Map above shows traffic changes comparing traffic during the weekend of the 2016 Blizzard Jonas in the US across PPC text ad campaigns. Hotter areas saw the biggest increase in traffic. The grey ring outlines the states where bids were adjusted using geo-targeting..

Method and Results

We used various weather reports, for the states most likely to be affected. States that were mentioned as high-risk in numerous reports were chosen to be targeted with bid adjustments.

crealytics raised bids by an increment of 10% in 9 States and one city across US PPC campaigns. Traffic increased the most in the states which were targeted with bid adjustments, as you can see in the heatmap diagram above.

Traffic increase by Geographical Area:


How To Generate Hot Results in Cold Weather


Not only did traffic increase, but the conversion rate of these targeted states rose 13% compared to a drop of -43% in the states which were not targeted. The combined traffic and conversion rate boost meant conversion volume tripled across these states.


How To Generate Hot Results in Cold Weather

Conclusions and How to Implement Geo-Targeting

The timeframe for this test is very small, but it seems to show that targeting weather events which are likely to increase traffic by raising bids, delivers an increase in conversion volume.

Geo-Targeting on this large scale is easy and quick to implement, follow these steps to make similar adjustments in your account:

  • Download the Account you want in Google AdWords Editor
  • In the sidebar, go to “Keywords and targeting” and then “Locations”
  • After highlighting the campaigns you want, click the “Add Location” button, then click “Edit/find location” for the new location element
  • Using the bar you can search all sorts of geographic locations and an estimated reach, select your desired location
  • After selecting you location, enter your desired bid modifier in the bar near the bottom of the window

And done! If you want to prepare your locations for the future, but don’t want to set any bid modifiers yet, then you can set the modifier to 0%.

Keep an eye out for more performance marketing tips in our crealytics Blog and please post your comments below!


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James Richardson

James is a PPC expert at crealytics since summer 2015. With a passion for data, he is a UK market expert working for our leading international ecommerce customers within the fashion retail industry.