10 Tips for A Successful Christmas PPC Campaigns

It seems as if this year has escaped under the weight of recent events even faster than usual. And so there is autumn again and with it the time when you need to prepare your business for Christmas. The measures put in place this year do not encourage wandering around the shops, which is why they can once again expect records in online shopping. Audit your own PPC campaigns, use the full potential of this year's "online life" and gain even more customers.

29 Jan 2021
8 min read

1. Take a look at the history

No, we really don't mean a quick course in world history. The first step in the preparation of PPC campaigns for this season should be the analysis of similar seasons in previous years. Which keywords were the most popular in your campaigns? When did the pre-Christmas sales increase start? Which demographics responded to your ads? Own data from previous years are the best springboard in planning this year's strategy.

TIP: You can also use comparisons between different periods. You will see not only the data for a given period, as well as trends over time.

Campaigns by Age

2. Launch campaigns on time

11% of Czechs buy gifts for Christmas in September, but most often people spend on gifts for their loved ones in October or November (Source: blog.mall.cz). Preparing and, most importantly, launching campaigns on time is therefore crucial both for gaining a competitive advantage and for maximizing profits. However, beware of launching campaigns too soon. People probably won't be happy when they come across your advertisement with a snowman while browsing the Internet in the greatest summer heat.

TIP: Your own data from past years or tools like Google Trends can tell you when to launch Christmas campaigns.

Google Trends Graph
Zdroj: trends.google.com

3. Combine the search and content networks

Combining the search and content networks is the right step to maximize the benefits of PPC campaigns. The search network allows you to target those users who are currently searching for the goods you offer. The content network, in turn, offers the opportunity to let customers know about themselves in a visually appealing way on a huge number of pages. You can focus on groups of people with different interests or demographics.

TIP: Banners are a great way to communicate your competitive advantage just before Christmas. Offer the last-minute man-in-gift the benefit of fast delivery or the woman who is unsure of the right size an extended return option. They will be grateful to you!

4. Tune the audience

These demographics include, for example, age, gender, or parenthood. However, the so-called audience offers an even more accurate targeting option. These can be formed on the basis of

  • interests - people who are interested in cars and everything around them
  • in-market audience - people who, based on short-term behavior, show signs of buying a car soon - look at dealers, reviews, etc.
  • life events - wedding, moving ...
  • ... or you can even create your custom audience lists based on your own needs. You can target those groups of people who search for the keywords you specify, or visit sites of your choice. It is the audience lists themselves, along with the likely interest, that are more important than ever due to their precise targeting before Christmas.

Custom Audience

TIP: Beware of demographic and interest targeting before Christmas, as customer behavior can change in the short term. If, during the year, the most frequent customers are, for example, women aged 25-40 who are interested in beauty and health, before Christmas the target can change into men (otherwise sports fans) who will want to make their halves happy under the tree.

5. Benefit from remarketing

Audiences are also affected by remarketing lists. It is good to collect them for a long time during the year, so that you have a list of customers prepared for Christmas who have already come into contact with your website or bought directly from you and therefore have the opportunity to repeat the purchase. You can use a remarketing audience on both the content and search networks. For example, on the content network, you can remind customers of items in a cart or offer a purchase discount. On the search network, there is an opportunity for users who have already visited your site to bid more and thus reach higher ranks in search results.

TIP: You can even use auto-generated audiences that are similar to those in remarketing. In this way, it is possible to achieve even greater intervention and spread awareness of their products among a wide range of people with similar interests.

6. Customize your ads

When else to unleash your imagination than just for Christmas. Play with the banner visual and edit your text ads. Also, don't forget about promotions that grab customers' attention. Do you offer free shipping, a gift to buy or a guaranteed delivery by Christmas? Don't forget to mention it in the ad.

TIP: Use automatic Christmas countdown in your ads! Use the COUNTDOWN function when creating an ad. Select the date and time you want the countdown to start, the date format, and the number of days you want the countdown to begin. The format will look something like this: {= COUNTDOWN ("2020/12/24 00:00:00", "cs", 30)}.

Ads Customization

7. Prepare for CPC growth

When you have decided where, to whom and what you will advertise, you also need to think about how much it will cost. CPC is rising in most industries before Christmas, due to the entry of "holiday" competition (those who advertise only abruptly during the holidays) and advertisers raising their maximum CPCs in order to appear in higher positions. If you fall asleep to this increase, your competition will overtake you and you will appear in lower positions, which will also affect your overall campaign performance.

So you have two options. One is to try to work on ad quality, as higher quality ads appear in higher positions at lower prices. However, if you optimize your ads throughout the year, you probably won't have much room for improvement. The solution is therefore to adjust to rising prices and cope with competitive prices by increasing your CPC. You can also help with automatic bids, such as ECPC, or Enhanced CPC, which adjusts your bids based on the likelihood of a conversion.

TIP: You can also try another of the automated menus. In the run-up to Christmas, when a large number of conversions are being collected, and therefore data is being evaluated, these offers can bring you interesting results. Try to maximize conversions or target cost per action.

8. Adjust your budget

If you sell goods that often appear on the list of gifts from Santa Claus, the operation of campaigns can increase several times. This can cause ad delivery issues, especially at low budgets. If you have daily withdrawal limits set that are too low, your ad will appear on only some searches and you will lose a number of potential customers. If you don't have limits set, or you have a big mismatch between your credit and accrued credit, your credit will likely run out quickly and your campaigns will stop. And you probably don't want that at the highest pre-Christmas peak.

TIP: View the previous year's 'Lost Impression Share by Budget' metric to see how many times your ad didn't show a chance due to too low a budget. Then adjust your budgets for this year accordingly. However, expect some increase due to the general rise in price of advertising and more competition.

Lost Impression Share

9. Beware of unavailable products

The penultimate point sounds very simple. Pay attention to the availability of the products you are advertising. If customers see ads for products you don't have in stock, you'll lose money unnecessarily. The customer clicks on your ad in good faith to find and buy what they are looking for, but if they have nothing to buy, they will leave the site. But you will pay the same.

TIP: Did you know that Google Ads and Sklik support scripts? A relatively large number of these can be found for free download on the Internet, and various functions can be performed, from automatic reports sent to e-mail, daily budget checks, to monitoring the availability of products. Although their deployment is a bit more complicated, they are a good way to automate some routine steps.

10. Post-Christmas sales

The last piece of advice is not directly about Christmas, but the period immediately after them. Many people find an envelope with money under the tree instead of a specific gift, and when else to spend it than in the Christmas sales? Therefore, do not turn off campaigns right after the holidays, edit banners and ad text, and let them run for a while.

TIP: If you edit your ads and keep your campaigns running, be sure to review and, if necessary, adjust your bidding strategies and budgets. For example, an automated ROAS (Target Return on Advertising) strategy, which builds on previous data and responds slightly to changes with delay, could spend an unnecessarily large amount of money with uncertain results based on pre-Christmas data.

Need help with your PPC?

Whether you want to increase the performance of your campaigns before Christmas or you just feel that your PPC ads deserve a little care, contact us for a free consultation. You can contact us by phone or e-mail, or fill out the form and we will get back to you!