By Rachel Cassidy, Campaign Delivery Manager for Vertical Leap.
That joyous time of the year is once again beckoning – with shops boasting stockings, advent calendars and all singing Rudolph figurines; all great big flashing signs that the countdown to Christmas has officially begun.
No longer is there really any excuse as to why you couldn’t find someone a decent or even in the case of my boyfriend, a half decent present, for at Christ mas time the internet turns into the biggest department store imaginable. If you can’t find it it’s likely you (or they) don’t need it.
Now in this shiny store, imagine your PPC ads as the rows and rows of helpful and polite, not quite jostling staff in this department store, all extremely eager to direct these customers to the exact product they want in the hope they purchase and convert, giving your account an excellent CPA and ROI as a lovely present.
With such an expected increase in customers and traffic your PPC campaigns need to be fine-tuned, prepared, checked and very compelling. The competition for search marketers is on.
Now to get on the ‘nice’ list there are some things you need to consider before the Christmas PPC push. First, if the campaigns were on last year and the product base has not drastically changed, then consider what worked. Obviously trends change but if your product is essential or seriously Christmassy then use that data as the foundation for this year.
Always think competition, competition and competition. It is not a case of just increasing your CPC’s and Ad Position; your Ad needs to be the most compelling there. Bung in Christmas terms and reference to make your Ad stand out on the page. If your Ads have an image, update it to have a Christmassy tint.
Think about the type of searchers you are targeting. Have different Ads ready for the run up. Tailor some for the prepared shoppers such as ‘Full Stock for Christmas’, or for the semi-prepared ‘Items Available, Fast Delivery’ and for those, that first start thinking about shopping on the 23rd December ‘Fast Delivery’, ‘Next Day Delivery’.
With all the competition, if you’re cheap – put it in the Adtext. If you have free & fast delivery put it in the Adtext! If it’s something that is personal such as clothes then mention your great return policy. With the mad rush that Christmas is for some people, supportive Customer Service may be what places your site above the rest.
Landing Pages – If your client has the know how ask them to decorate their landing pages with a few baubles, Christmas trees, bit of mistletoe, nothing which makes the page look confusing but something that makes it stand out and decorative – get in the spirit of things! Christmas is a significant event for many and little details such as these make all the difference.
Hopefully this goes without saying, and I’m sure you do regularly, but go through the account and check keyword selection & match type, add negatives, add some Christmas ad groups & keywords if appropriate and check and then double check all your links.
Ensure the conversion tracking is all up to scratch. With the massive boast in com mercial traffic, it would be rather depressing if you were chasing all this traffic, advertising on non-relevant keywords and directing all this great traffic to an un-great 404 and wondering why you had no conversions. Doh.
When the big day is nearly at the door, consider if you want PPC on over the Christmas holiday period. If everyone at the company is going to be out the office till New Years, this isn’t a great service for the customer and they may not have the patience to wait for them to get back to work.
If so, arrange that they have this information on their website and find out what they want PPC to do for them this time – if they are at work, then great, if there out the office then consider a drop in budget or pausing the campaigns– if budgets are tight this is a compelling reason to argue redirecting this spend into the Christmas push.
All this PPC work can be done offline and just left all nicely wrapped up in you r Editor ready to go live when you are. Happy PPC Christmas Preparation!
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