While it might only be mid-September, the time to prepare for your Christmas marketing campaigns is already here.
Whether or not you have already been utilising Paid Search this year is irrelevant. With up to 40% of this year’s online sales expected to happen during the Christmas shopping season, can you afford not to invest in Paid search during Quarter 4?
FACT: According to a Google Insights survey conducted in July, nearly half of the participants say they plan to buy Christmas gifts online this year.
Here are 8 top tips to get your Christmas pay per click strategy up-to-scratch
When it comes to Christmas shopping, online competition is going to become stronger. Many businesses that are yet to advertise online will soon begin to, and most will at least increase their budgets with many increasing their bids. Make sure you set aside a larger portion of your budget during this final quarter to fully take advantage of what is expected to be another busy online Christmas.
2. Trust the Past
A great place to start when preparing for the Christmas period is by analysing last Christmas. Review your trends and consumer behaviours to decipher which keywords worked, and make sure seasonal campaigns and keywords are no longer paused too.
3. Google Shopping
In the UK, this is the first festive period that Google Shopping has solely been a paid platform.
Since February 2013, many advertisers have dropped-out of the Shopping program – some couldn’t afford it and some left purely on principle. For those who have remained, some have conquered and some have struggled due to the more advanced demands of Google’s feed requirements. Now is the time to fix any outstanding issues, and if you left Google Shopping earlier this year, swallow your pride, set aside a budget and come back. This is a channel we fully expect to be one of the best performing features of search this Christmas.
4. David vs. Goliath
It’s an even playing field during the Christmas shopping period, so don’t be put-off by the likes of Amazon or ebay. Last year, 25% of online shoppers purchased from a retailer they had never bought from before according to Google Insights: Beat The Holiday Rush. Unlike other times in the year, many consumers are shopping for items that they don’t usually buy, so there is little loyalty to a particular brand – with the majority of shoppers aiming to simply get the best price.
40% look for the best price.
22% look for the best selection.
12% look for the best service.
10% look for the nearest store.
And don’t forget that consumers are not just looking to buy a preconceived item, approximately 33% of shoppers are researching what type of item to buy, the brand to choose, and where to get it
5. mCommerce is a must!
According to Google Insights: The Mobile Movement, shopping-related search queries from mobile devices were up 59% year-on-year in July. This is expected to grow throughout the Christmas shopping period and, with more than half of all mobile searchers having purchased as a result, can you afford to ignore mobile this Christmas?
Of course, mobile doesn’t just drive online sales. 84% of shoppers now use their mobile in-store to find product comparisons, and one in three shoppers turn to their phones instead of asking a shop assistant for help. Over 90% of mobile searchers are using their mobiles to find local businesses, with 44% of those searches leading to a purchase, either online or in-store.
6. Delivery & Opening Times
Make sure you adequately communicate your opening times and delivery charges. Many shoppers are influenced by the cost of delivery, so make sure you understand what your direct competition is offering and aim to beat it, if not provide the like for like.
7. Ad Copy, Ad Extensions & Landing Pages
Ensure you utilise Ad Copy to remind shoppers how long they have left to order if they want their items before Christmas, and if you have to be more expensive in terms of delivery charges only convey this information on your website, not your Ad Copy. If you are intending to showcase the prices of your products within your Ads make sure you remain competitive with others. To check, search for your products online and check that your prices are at least level with you competition, if not remove them from your Ads.
Make sure you are fully utilising all of your Ad Extensions as Site Links can help push a promotion, similar products or inspire new products. Number extensions will help to increase the amount of sales calls you will get over the holiday season and location extensions will help drive more footfall. And don’t overlook the offer extensions during the big shopping weekends – this could really help to maximise the effectiveness of your in-store promotions.
Lastly, make sure you are driving traffic to the right landing pages. Most websites move, change or create new landing pages throughout the year, so make sure that your seasonal campaigns are pointing toward the most relevant pages.
8. Remarketing & Display Network
Create seasonal image ads for these campaigns and make sure you breakout your audience lists to include seasonal landing pages. The lists might not be big enough to run yet, but make them live and they will soon kick in.
Undoubtedly there are going to be campaigns that are going to run out of budget on a daily basis, so make sure that you take advantage of search remarketing to keep your ads live even when campaigns run out of money. And if you are already running a Google Shopping campaign, make sure you take advantage of Dynamic Remarketing this Christmas.
For more information or an informal chat about how Mediaworks can help you achieve online success this Christmas, contact us.
Posted by John Cave on 19th September, 2013