PPC Strategies for Procrastinators

If you haven't started your paid search campaign yet, you aren't too late. One of our top Search Marketing Specialists shares a few last-minute PPC strategies for procrastinators.

If you’ve procrastinated setting up PPC campaigns for the holidays, not to worry--well, maybe you should worry a little. Depending on your level of procrastination, your competitors have already been running ads, you are missing out on valuable PPC data leading up to November/December, and you may have missed out on early-bird shoppers and new customers that already formed relationships with other online stores. However, plenty of shoppers out there are still looking for gifts of all sorts. Follow along as we go through some crunch time tips, tricks and strategies to get your PPC campaigns up and performing efficiently.

Start with your site

No matter how late you are to the game, you’ll have a much better chance of converting shoppers if you spend a little time adding holiday language and images to your site. It’s reassuring for customers to see this as it lets them know your business is thinking about holidays, has made an effort to speak about them and is hopefully offering seasonal deals.

If I’m shopping during the holiday season, click on an ad and land on a site that doesn’t reference the holidays in any way shape or form, I find myself wondering if I can get this product elsewhere, where there may be a holiday promotion or deal going on.

On to the keywords

The keyword strategy you use in your account will depend on, among other things, time. If you need to get the account up immediately and don’t have the time to do extensive keyword research or build out huge negative keyword lists, your best bet to spend advertising dollars efficiently is to come up with a list of solely exact match keywords that are very relative to the products you sell. This way you don’t have to worry about bleeding money on phrase or broad modified terms that require substantial negative keyword lists.

If you do have the time to create lists with broad modified and phrase match terms--it would be wise to avoid general broad terms--you’ll want to make sure and have a robust negative list. With it being the holiday season, people will be searching for deals any and everywhere. We’re all familiar with the Targets and Walmarts of the world, so you’ll definitely want to exclude those, but make sure to do your research and omit any and every word that you wouldn’t want triggering your ad.

It is worth noting that while, exact match keywords will be the quickest and most efficient in terms of time and money, they can also be limiting during the holiday season. For example, if your business sells gold necklaces, adding phrases such as “gold necklace black Friday deals," “gold necklace Black Friday sale," “gold necklace Christmas sale," “gold necklace holiday deals," etc., those phrases often times will have low search volume and thus will not trigger ads. So in order for your products to show for those searches, you’d have to have broad modified and phrase match keywords in your lists. It couldn’t hurt to add the above mentioned as exact match and hope for enough search volume, but it’s not something to rely on if you’re set on showing for “Black Friday” related searches.

The all-important ads

One of the most frustrating things about a delayed PPC campaigns will be the ads. Depending on your time frame, getting a ton of PPC ads up for products that all have different holiday deals may take time that you don’t have.

If you find yourself needing to get promotional deals up quickly, your best bet is to create a site-wide promotion and then describe it in an ad that would work for any product you want to promote. For example, if you have a jewelry store business, something  to the effect of: “Black Friday Promotion. Free Pair Of Earrings With $50 Purchase” or “Holiday Sale Now – Dec. 18th. 20% Off With Code: XMAS20” would work nicely. These deals can work with any keyword/product in the headline and still entice shoppers.

If you have a bit more time, including the keyword in the headline as well as in the body of your ad text with an accompanying deal can be expected to have a better click through rates, especially if you use DKI. Shoppers like to see the products they are searching for in the headline and body of an ad, as shown in the example below.

PPC for Procrastinators 3

In sum

Depending on how much you’ve procrastinated (hopefully you’re not reading this blog on Dec. 23rd!), using some of the tips listed above will help when creating a last-minute PPC campaign. A final tip to remember is to keep things simple. Whatever deal you are promoting, have it clearly displayed in the ad, and have the ad direct to the landing page where the deal is also described or shown. No matter the procrastination, a good user experience goes a long way. And remember, if you need help and don't have the time or expertise to create a PPC campaign this quickly, our Search Marketing Specialists are always here to help.

Happy Selling!