Okay, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be fully aware that the holiday period is almost upon us, and with it the manic rush to capitalise on the online shopping frenzy.
With time of the essence, getting your Google exposure right is now critical. If you want to fast track your business to the top of Google where most shoppers will be commencing their retail therapy, then Google AdWords is probably the answer. You can have your ads up and running in a matter of minutes or hours depending on your experience level.
Whether you’re starting out or working with an established Google AdWords program, I’ve detailed my top 10 tips to fine tune your campaigns for the holiday season below:
1. New ads with a holiday theme
Consumers are in a different frame of mind in the holiday sales rush. Whether they’re happy to be embrace the craziness or in a mad panic to find last minute gifts, ads carefully crafted to capture their attention will be sure to improve your results. Tie your ad copy and tone into the season. Try to incorporate holiday season trigger words such as “sale”, “gifts”, “discounts”, “free shipping”, “fast delivery” etc to stand out from the pack.
2. Add holiday keywords – capture the holiday long tail
Search behaviour will change during the holiday season, so refine your keywords to capture the search term variations. As above, consider the keywords that people are likely to use when searching for your products e.g. “gifts for men – free delivery” or “cheap presents for children” etc.
3. Create new ad groups – holiday specific
With the creation of new ads and potential holiday specific keyword sets, create new ad groups for them so you can manage and refine your efforts without impacting your other campaigns.
4. Re work your existing ad copy
Use the holiday season to see if your existing ads are following the best practices of ad design. Remember that Google AdWords ads are just like any other form of marketing in that they need to capture attention, engage the viewer and elicit a response through effective calls to action.
5. Quality score refinement
What have you done to improve your quality score? A poor quality score will mean you’ll have to work harder to keep up with your competitors. By improving your quality score, you can reduce click costs and improve exposure – ultimately assisting you improve your campaign ROI. Quality score is driven by relevance between ads, keywords and destination pages – so check make sure that yours are all aligned and thematic.
6. Refine targeting and parting
The great part about Google AdWords is the level of targeting available. It goes far beyond just geographic targeting. You can target based on platforms, demographics, publishers, time of day and much more. Is it time to refine your targeting?
7. Clean out the poor traffic
Often we get caught up with trying to maximise traffic that we forget that “not all traffic is created equal”. You could be wasting valuable budget on keywords and searches that generate clicks but will never convert. Use Google’s search report to find the search expressions that are driving your traffic and then use keyword match types and negative keywords to clean out the poor traffic.
8. Turn on and test the content network
Are you using the content network? If done correctly, the content network can provide a great source of cost effective traffic and also provide some valuable branding on important publisher websites, especially during the holiday season. It’s always best to keep your content network and search campaigns separate so you can tweak each independently.
9. Link with your local
Google’s made significant strides over the last year to link and boost their local marketing solutions and AdWords. If you have a local focus, then I highly recommend connecting your Google Places and Google AdWords efforts.
10. Test display advertising
Google have made it really easy to leverage their display advertising network. Given many businesses haven’t taken the plunge, there could be some great opportunities for your business by carefully selecting your publisher sites and creative. And what better way to communicate that holiday season than through image driven advertising.
With Google AdWords campaigns, the key is to Test, Test, Test! As it’s such dynamic advertising channel, you can’t afford to set it and forget it – especially during the holiday season.
If you have any Google AdWords tricks and tips you use to boost your campaign performance, share them with our readers below.