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With holiday season approaching advertisers plan to make optimal use of the rush and target customers to their business. This is the time that businesses can leverage their marketing strategies and help customers make shopping decisions from the myriad offers they are bombarded with. Marketers can take this opportunity to optimize their campaigns and maximize its impact on customers.
In this post we look at the various features that marketers could adopt in their AdWords campaign during the shopping season. These will ensure that your account delivers relevant ads for customers at the right moment and right place to evoke immediate action.
1. Get customer behaviour insight from ‘Google Shopping Insight’
Google recently introduced a new tool to let advertisers understand what customers are looking for. With shopping insight, you get insight on the products people are searching for, the popularity and trends of a given product, data of cities available for targeting, the devices people are using and more. With the tool currently available in US, marketers can make use of the findings and plan accordingly. For instance if the insight report shows people in California searching for ‘Christmas decoration items’, marketers can prepare their inventory and use this information to target any new customer searching for related terms.
2. Get started with Shopping Campaigns
Shopping campaigns are a great way to showcase your products to your target audience. If you haven’t yet started with it, this is the best time to get going with shopping campaigns. There is no doubt that its performance in comparison to text ads is more appealing, as users get the desired information (price, product, offer etc.) at the first go, hence simplifying the shopping process.
Once initiated you can make use of the newly launched Shopping Assortment Report in GMC (Google Merchant Center) that helps discover products that you don’t offer yet. You can plan your product assortment accordingly and connect with more audience with the insight shared from this report.
3. Guide from Google on planning Holiday Advertising
Here’s a helpful guide on how marketers can pre-plan and set up campaigns for business success during the shopping season. Google , understanding the deep impact on businesses during Oct-Dec period, offers help for marketers to win customers and meet increased demand expectations.
4. Enhance you ad by using of Ad Extensions
Ad extensions optimizes your ad and improves its visibility. It offers additional information about your business that can make decision making easier for customers. You can select from manual extensions or automated ones and showcase unique features such as customer ratings, sitelink extensions, call out extensions etc. For instance if you want your audience to call you immediately after viewing your ad you can make use of call extensions or if you want your audience to view your ratings you can add that in your ad. This is a great way to push your ad on top of your competitors.
5. Time you campaigns effectively
This is the moment to make optimal use of of the Ad Scheduling feature. With ad scheduling you can plan your campaigns for those times or days when traffic is most affected. The other use of it can be when businesses plan a timed offer led campaign. In such a case it would be wise to set an end time so that communication is not lost amidst the many offers you are running. To ensure consistency across ad scheduling can help plan thins effectively.
6. Customize ads with real-time updates
You can optimize your ads with the help of ad customizers which lets you make customized changes in ad text. For instance you could insert the time when an offer is about to end or any other text against which you would want to set an emergency. It could be ‘Offer expires in 3 days‘ or ‘$99 sale ends in 5 days’. As you would have planned promotional offers already, you can make use of ad customizers in your campaign and double the impact.
7. Reach out to your Remarketing List
The objective as much is to retain existing audience than to get new visitors. To meet that objective remarketing list play a pivotal role for businesses. They help you reach out to audiences who have already visited your site but left because of some reason. That customer is indeed valuable as he has already engaged with your website and chances of conversion are higher in this case than in any. So, the holiday season is the right time to set campaigns for your remarketing list. With Google having incorporated RLSA for shopping campaigns as well, the scope is huge to conquer. With this feature you can enhance you bids to re-establish contact with customers who either abandoned your shopping cart or are your loyal customers. You can engage with them more effectively through RLSA and expect high ROI.
8. Watchout for new features being introduced by Google
With the onset of the holiday season, AdWords is testing and introducing new features. Keep a close watch for such new features which you might want to incorporate or utilize to benefit during the shopping festival. Some recently launched features are the launch of a new metric ‘Click Share‘ that helps you determine percentage of clicks received via your Shopping Ads, Mobile Bid Simulator to optimize your mobile bids, the Shopping Trends as studied by Google or testing new format to make users receive offer details on their phone via text message etc. and more.
The holiday season is wrapping up, and with it has gone the effectiveness of your holiday PPC tactics. But no worries—that just means it’s time to dive back into your Google Ads account, make some strategic tweaks, and get your campaigns in top shape for the new year. Here are our top suggestions for helping your ads ring in the new year with success.
Before you start on a new campaign, take a moment to look back on the performance of your holiday ads. Since they’ve been shown to many users very quickly, these ads have accrued a ton of great data on what does and doesn’t resonate with your audience. Look at product performance, but also see if you can find any copy similarities between successful ad groups. Once you’ve identified some common characteristics of top-performing ad copy, you can integrate them into your new ad copy strategy.
During the holidays, it’s common for businesses to increase advertising budgets to compete for visibility in search engines. Now that the season is over, however, you’ll want to reevaluate your spending. Although a higher budget does mean your ads will be seen more frequently and by more people, it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be shown to the right people. When it comes to the traffic you get from your ads, quality trumps quantity every time, so decrease your budget while you re-strategize for the new year and slowly work back up once you determine what is most effective.
These can include—but are not limited to—keywords such as “gifts for mom,” “christmas gifts,” etc. With the holiday season over, a majority of this traffic will disappear on its own. However, it’s important to remember that every time someone clicks on your ad, it’s coming out of your pocket. Chances are that your target audience already knows what they want and how to search for your products, so take your money and spend it on visitors who know what they want rather than those who may or may not be interested.
Duplicate keywords can accidentally find their way into your PPC accounts during basic optimization or keyword research. While they often go unnoticed, they can wreak havoc on your advertising budget by reducing Quality Scores, which in turn may drive up your cost per click. Use Ads Editor, Google’s free offline editing tool, to identify and remove duplicate keywords without having to manually sift through individual keyword lists and view statistics for your campaigns.
Most advertisers tend to focus on the perfect keyword lists and bidding strategies while leaving their ad copy alone. Learn from their mistakes and review all enabled ads in your account for any copy specifically related to holidays or gifts. Old promotions can deter users from following through to your site, and they can also cause unnecessary spend by users clicking through and not finding the information or sales promised.
Now is a good time to evaluate landing page performance by seeing if there are specific categories or product pages that outperformed the rest. We recommend evaluating landing pages individually per ad group to make sure users are being sent to the best pages on your site thanks to tightly-themed keyword lists. Google incorporates landing page value and relevance when calculating Quality Scores, so having high-quality landing pages is key. Many other factors are impacted by poor quality landing pages as well, like cost, impressions, and clickthrough rates.
Find your top-performing holiday products and consider creating new ad groups around them—these products clearly piqued the interest of your target audience, so playing them up can maintain sales momentum achieved over the holidays. Creating new ad groups can increase focus on that category or product, allowing for more in-depth optimization and greater control over search queries and ad copy testing.
Remarketing campaigns are a great way to identify and customize advertisements to visitors based on specific pages they viewed on your site. Take advantage of remarketing ads by implementing a custom remarketing tag assigned by Google and building audience lists by creating rules specific to visitors you’d like to capture.
One great audience list to build would be those who abandoned their shopping carts. By creating a custom rule to include users who reached the shopping cart or check out page but didn’t reach the order finish page, you can customize specific messaging to target them. Try using specific calls to action such as “Don’t forget to complete your purchase” to capture the user’s attention and encourage them to come back to follow through with their order. Additionally, offering a unique discount to specific audience lists can further engage your customers and promote additional sales.
As the holiday season concludes, you may notice a drop in performance and traffic volume. Don’t panic—this is normal for many advertisers. Right now, there are significantly fewer people shopping than just a few weeks ago. Without holiday pressure, both traffic and conversion volumes tend to fall during the first few weeks of the new year. With that in mind, use the suggestions above to focus your strategy on the quality of visitors coming to your site instead of the quantity, and you’ll begin to find conversions stabilize over the next few weeks.