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SEM Tips to Prepare for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

21 Nov 2016 Stephanie Roth

in Paid Search

Black Friday & Cyber Monday are quickly approaching and before we know it, holiday shoppers will be heading to search engines to find the best deals. Last year, shoppers spent $4.45 billion online on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, and Black Friday e-commerce sales were up 14% compared to 2014. E-commerce sales are projected to increase 12% this year!

Whether your business is e-commerce only or you have a website that acts as your digital presence for your brick & mortar store, you need to prepare for the upcoming increase of searches by holiday shoppers.

1. Google Shopping – Make Sure Your Feed Is Optimized

First things first, if you are running Google shopping, then your feeds need to be optimized. We recommend you do an audit of your Google shopping campaigns a couple of months before Black Friday. One common mistake is not including the designer and product name in your product titles. Searchers are more likely to convert when the product name includes more than just the product category. Another title modification is to include top performing search queries in your title. This will make your ads more relevant and as a result, people will be more likely to click on your ads.

The goal is to appear for both specific and generic queries. However, you don’t want to bid on these two types of queries the same way. They usually have much different conversion rates, and you are going to want to bid higher for the specific queries. Although it appears it is not possible to bid differently on these queries, you can utilize negatives and campaign priorities to segment your search queries.

2. Schedule Your Holiday Ads In Advance
During Black Friday & Cyber Monday, it is important to schedule promotional ads so searchers are aware of your great holiday deals. You can possibly steal a “click” from a competitor who may be bidding on the same term and increase your CTR. You can create automated rules in Google AdWords to schedule your ads to go live at your desired time. The steps to set up an automated rule in Google AdWords can be found here.

3. Utilize Ad Extensions

Ad extensions allow you to advertise your holiday promotions without needing to create a new text ad. There are two types of extensions you should use during the holiday season: sitelinks and callouts.
We recommend utilizing sitelink extensions to link to your Black Friday & Cyber Monday promotion landing pages. Make sure you schedule these to run during your promotion dates. We also recommend callout extensions to call out your unique selling points during Black Friday & Cyber Monday. For example, you can add “Free Shipping,” “Black Friday Sale” or “Cyber Monday Deal.” Your ads will take up more real estate on the search engine results page, and it will most likely increase your CTR.

4. Boost Bids & Budgets

It is important to stay on top of your budgets during Black Friday & Cyber Monday. There is no need to be sitting at your computer constantly checking if you need to adjust it. Analyze how much you spent during the previous holiday season and use this data to plan how much you should boost your bids. Also, utilize scripts to notify you when you’ve run out of your budget so you can make adjustments through the day.
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Paid Search