Photo courtesy of Dave Dugdale on Flickr
By Manish Dudharejia
The holidays are here and it’s time to get the most out of your internet marketing to maximize that jolly feeling you get from raking in profits. It’s important to remember that all your competitors are trying to get the best out of their marketing activities, as well. So, you need to be on the button and focus on an activity that can be used to maximize revenue. One such activity is PPC; it should be a central part of the overall online marketing strategies of a business and should be used in combination with other activities like SEO to deliver the best results.
Let’s get back to the holidays. As a business owner, it’s your job to identify those times of the year when your business is likely to pick up and increase your promotional activities during this time. PPC helps you do just that and then some.
If you want to utilize PPC for the holidays make sure you keep these considerations in mind:
Plan for the holidays well in advance. Setting up a holiday-centric PPC campaign in advance and executing it when the time is right ensures you have enough time to create a successful campaign.
If you’ve set up a holiday campaign previously, make sure you research the analytics from these past campaigns and make use of any and all useful data that you might have gathered from them. Know where you went right and more importantly, where you went wrong, and only then start setting up your current PPC campaign.
Identify high-traffic periods (using your past PPC data) and make sure your campaign is promoting your products and services during this time. The key here is to set up automated rules that will make sure your PPC campaign is executed during this time.
Do not have a PPC campaign etched in stone. The holiday season throws up various scenarios and a flexible campaign allows you to plan for them. You might need to better your promotion midway through the campaign, if you find a competitor’s promotional campaign attracting more customers.
So how do you get the best out of your PPC when the holiday season is upon you? Let’s take a look:
Get your Keyword Research Right
Pull your sleeves up and get started on some focused keyword research for the holiday season. Begin by identifying the target audience that is most likely to flock to your website/brick and mortar store, in the holiday season. Now, make sure you search for the most accurate and the latest keywords that will help you target this audience. Keep your products and services in mind while searching for these keywords. Identify the current keyword trends and start adding keywords to your account. You cannot afford to get this part wrong. If you do, you’re in for some holiday grief.
How much are you willing to Invest?
The answer to this question helps you identify a specific budget and will also help your bidding efforts. If you already have a budget worked out for your PPC spending, it’s time to revisit it and look at it through the lens of the holidays. Upping your holiday spending will also allow you to bid for competitive keywords. If you’ve identified certain trending keywords and believe they’ll be a good addition to your keywords account, you might have to participate in a bidding war with businesses thinking along the same lines as you.
Give Double the Importance to Ad Copy
Great ad copy makes for a successful PPC campaign. If you’re using paid search to boost sales, you need to make sure your ads are creative and reflect your business offerings perfectly. When it comes to planning a PPC campaign for the holidays, the importance of the right ad copy goes up a notch or two. If you get your messaging right, it will have the potential to crush your competition. But get it wrong, and all the investment you made in bidding for those expensive keywords will just not deliver the returns your are looking for. Your ad copy must focus on product discounts, amazing deals and anything else you’ve come up for the customer for the holidays.
Also, make sure your ads convey a sense of urgency, so that target users don’t waste any time in coming to your site. More importantly, make sure the copy conveys a feeling that they’re missing out on something important if they don’t make their way to your site to shop for the products they want.
Make use of Ad Extensions
If you’re using AdWords for your PPC campaign, then the use of Ad extensions is a great idea to give your PPC campaign a competitive edge. In fact, today, you can’t find a PPC campaign that doesn’t use Ad Extensions. You can choose from sitelink extensions, call and location extensions, and review extensions to boost the potential of your PPC campaign, holidays or no holidays.
Site link extensions allow you to add more lines below the text ad; these could be used to offer more holiday themed information to customers. You could offer more information about product discounts, or offer links to landing pages expressly made for the holidays.
If you have a brick and mortar storefront, the addition of a Call and Location extension will be a great help. This will a help you add your telephone information to the ad as well as your store address.
Review extensions will help you add reviews with your Ad, so something like “these guys have a site that makes shopping so simple” might help you jack up the traffic to your site.
Gearing up your PPC for the Holidays is Not Difficult
To make the most of your PPC campaign, you absolutely need to gear it up for the holiday season. If you plan for it and set aside a PPC budget for this particular time of the year (along with your all year PPC budget), you’ll find, you will be able to generate a substantial revenue in the holiday season with PPC. With very little extra effort, you can see your revenue going north as a result of the holiday focused PPC campaign.