While other companies may be ramping down for the holidays, retailers are ramping up for what promises to be the biggest shopping time of the year. Christmas.
The holiday season is the most important season for digital marketers around the world. People not only shop on the big holiday days, but all the days leading up to a major holiday like Christmas see greater traffic. And with that traffic come higher budgets.
So, how do you make the most of this opportunity without blowing your budget?
Here are a few tips to help you get through the last weeks of the year with the best possible results!
1. Adjust your budgets early
The absolute worst thing you could do is miss out on increased traffic (and sales) by setting your budgets too low. You want to make sure your whole team – and management – are aligned on an adequate budget as soon as possible.
Don’t ramp up your spend all at once either. You don’t want to blow through your budget too soon. We always recommend ramping up slowly and steadily. This helps the efficiency of your accounts stay healthy.
The final thing to keep in mind when deciding when to amp up your budget is the last date you can guarantee pre-Christmas delivery. After this date, your conversion rate will drop significantly.
Take a look at the previous year’s performance to give you an idea of how quickly and when to start ramping up your campaign spending.
2. Adjust your dayparting
Higher bid adjustments are usually a good way to make sure that you get as much traffic on your campaigns as possible – allowing you to stay competitive during the Christmas season.
But, search behavior around the holidays is not the same as search behavior for the rest of the year. This means you’ll want to adjust your dayparting so that your budgets don’t cap out too early and miss important traffic.
A good reference point for adjusting your dayparting is usually the performance of the previous year. Since the competition is high and Cost Per Clicks (CPC) are inflated, it’s important to save when you are less efficient, and spend when your opportunities are highest.
3. Adjust your messaging (but not too much)
Resist the temptation to rename everything to be Christmas related. It’s still important that your ads stay relevant to the product you are selling. You also want to avoid changing ads that already have a long history of good performance just to promote a flash offer.
It’s much better to promote seasonal offers through ad extensions such as site links, callout extensions, and promotion extensions. Extensions will have a positive impact on your Click Through Rate (CTR) while still retaining the ad’s history – which keeps your CPCs low.
Another easy way to promote different offers without having to change ads regularly is by using ad customizers. These will allow you to adapt your text ads to what someone is searching for, which device she’s using, where he’s located, or even the date, time of day or day of the week. They can insert a price, the time left before a sale ends, and any other text that you define.
But, keep in mind that there always has to be one static ad live per ad group for the ad with ad customizer to be displayed.
4. Know your merchandise
It is very important to know what you have in stock and especially what is worth pushing. Coats might be good to push in the UK, but in Australia it’s summer. Maybe your shoes aren’t competitive at this year but your skirts are. Do you know which products are low in stock?
Again, it’s important to save where you are less efficient, and spend where your opportunities are highest. Holiday keywords including “Christmas” are often touted as great opportunities but don’t get sucked into the hype. They tend to have little intent to buy, but a large amount of competition, which can lead to high costs for no benefit.
5. Optimize for mobile
You’re probably getting tired of hearing that “this is the year of mobile”, but it’s true! People are increasingly shopping with their phones, so creating a positive mobile experience beginning with the ad they click on and ending with the purchase experience is crucial.
Recommended reading: Make bid modifiers work for you
In terms of advertising spend, you’ll want to adjust your mobile bid modifiers according to your account’s performance regularly. And, think of ways you can improve the mobile shopping experience. If your mobile site sucks, no one will want to buy from it.
Recommended reading: How to get the most out of your Mobile Landing pages
Ready to reap the rewards?
Following these five tips should help you prepare your Google Shopping campaigns for Christmas. It may be a stressful time of year, but setting up your campaigns right and doing it early will go a long way to making your holidays a happier time.
For a more in-depth strategy on how to setup your campaigns, check out Maximize your Google Shopping campaigns in time for the holidays.