Brace Yourself Black Friday is Coming – 10 Tips for Online Retailers to Get Their Campaigns Ready for Black Friday

Over the last few years, Black Friday has become a key date for online retailers all over the world. As Google stated in December 2013 Black Friday is not limited to only one day anymore but is rather a multi-day and multi-device event. Therefore, it’s important to get your Shopping and Search campaigns ready for the entire Black Friday/ Cyber Monday weekend nice and early.

In the US Black Friday has been the shopping event of the year for some time. Over the past few of years it has gained importance in other parts of the world as well. The graph below from google trends shows the search volumes for Black Friday related keywords in 2014. We can see while US was of course the highest, other markets such as the UK and Romania were not far behind.

Google Trends search interest index


Let’s have a closer look at the search volume trend for Black Friday keywords year on year in the different countries. The graph below shows the Google trends data for five key markets. We can see that the United Kingdom and France had a very high increase. The step changes from 2013 to 2014 are huge. The same was visible in Germany and Brazil with the difference being that in these two markets Black Friday had already been at a high level in 2013. In the US we can see the reverse trend. Here the volume seems to be decreasing at a slow rate.

Google Trends search interest index over time (Source: Google Trends)

1) Activate Black Friday and Cyber Monday Keywords

First of all you/ your customer should create a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday landing page where you can link relating keywords. These keywords should be activated about 2 weeks prior to the actual event. This way you will have the possibility to inform your customers early on and build up keyword history which will ensure that your Quality Score is as strong as possible when these keywords become more competitive.

2) Aim for a High Position

Aim for a high position in the lead up to the Black Friday Weekend which will generate a strong CTR% and at the same time boost your Quality Scores by achieving a high ad rank.

3) Prepare Countdown Ads 10 Days Prior to Black Friday Weekend

Countdown ads enable you to inform your customers early on that you will be offering a Black Friday discount. The ads will be automatically updated on a daily basis and they will inform your customers each day that the big event is coming closer and that they should visit your website on that day. This is a good way of transmitting a sense of urgency through your ads.

4) Use Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)

Using DSA is a good way of targeting relevant search queries based on your website content and at the same time can fill keyword gaps and generate additional traffic. Therefore you should activate them in order to capture traffic that you might be missing out on otherwise. Remember to add your existing Black Friday keywords as negatives to make sure that you are only filling gaps.

5) Make The Most Out Of Your Extensions

Add sitelinks and callout extensions over the Black Friday Weekend that clearly state your discount offer. This is an easy way of enhancing your ads and giving users more reason to click on your ads instead of your competitors’.

6) Add a Merchant Center Promotion

Let’s not forget Shopping on the biggest weekend of the year. Make sure that your feeds are well prepared for the Black Friday weekend and don’t forget to also advertise your Black Friday offer through the merchant center promotions. This is an easy way to make your products stand out in the Google Shopping results page.

7) Don’t Miss Out On Mobile Traffic

Adjust your mobile bid modifiers on search and shopping as mobile will play an important part on the Black Friday weekend. As we can see in this report from IBM Mobile accounted for one third of the traffic in 2014 in the US. We expect the same if not even higher numbers this year.

Traffic Report


8) Adapt Your Day Parting

You should also adjust your day parting on Search and Shopping as search hours differ from normal days. People are usually looking early in the morning for Black Friday offers so there will be an uplift in the morning hours. You can read more about that here .

9) Exclude The People You Already Sent Newsletters to via RLSA

If you want to target your new customer audience you should exclude the people who already received your newsletters from your target audiences. This way you can make sure that you don’t pay for traffic that you would probably have got either way from existing customers.

10) Campaign Budgets

And last but not at all least, do not forget to increase your campaign budgets. Check your budgets and make sure they are not capped on the Black Friday Weekend. You can set alerts that will notify you when your budgets are close to their limits.


Following these best practices will ensure you’re one step ahead of your competition. We’re happy to hear your feedback in the comments below!



Veronica Gota

Veronica Gota is a digital marketing expert with 4+ years experience in digital marketing and a proven track record with driving successful projects across multiple markets within the fashion industry. With a strong focus on UK, Veronica is one of crealytics` mobile experts.

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