“This year everything is different.” The sentence currently applies very well to many areas of life and also applies to online marketing and the pre-Christmas period. Good preparation is essential. Here are our SEA tips for a successful last quarter of 2020.
Before we start, I would like to make a recommendation in advance: so that the warehouse is not overloaded or even sold out at some point, it should first be agreed whether there is enough available so that products arrive in time for Christmas, for example. Then the following tips can be implemented full of energy.
Tip 1: evaluations
Even if there has already been an increased increase in online purchases in recent years, an even earlier and stronger increase in purchases can be expected this year.
In preparation, evaluations from the last few years from Google Ads and Google Analytics, which can contain valuable information for this year’s planning are really important.
Tip 2: what is the competition doing?
Expect the Christmas season to start earlier this year. Instead of the usual start on Black Friday, it can be assumed that there will be more of a Black November. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the competition and, if necessary, react if the competition advertises with offers at an early stage.
Tip 3: Merchant Promotions
With its many offers, the pre-Christmas season offers the perfect opportunity to advertise products in shopping ads via merchant promotions. The user sees an offer link in the ad.
If the user clicks on it, advantages such as “20% discount” or “Free shipping” appear. Et voilà – here is the competitive advantage : Users are made aware of a product. A purchase becomes more likely.
Tip 4: countdowns in ad texts
In addition to applying to Google Shopping, it also makes sense to inform the user about Christmas campaigns or special offers in the advertising texts of the search campaigns. For special promotions that are limited in time, such as, for example, on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it is also possible to advertise the products using a countdown in the advertisements. A big plus: The countdowns can also be integrated into Responsive Search Ads and Dynamic Search Ads.
Tip 5: ad extensions
No question about it, ad extensions belong in a well-maintained Google Ads account all year round. But similar to updating the ad texts, there are also various options for using ad extensions in a targeted manner during the Christmas season :
- In the sitelinks , a specially set up landing page for sales can be pointed out for all ads in the account.
- With the offer extensions there is the option of choosing the occasion as well as the discount. The user can see at a glance what kind of offer it is and what kind of discount he can expect:
You can also draw attention to the actions in the other extensions. For all of them, however, it is important to note that they should always be up-to-date and must be removed as soon as the campaign period has ended.
Tip 6: dynamic search ads
An analysis of the search queries in the DSA campaign around Black Friday and Christmas should also not be forgotten. The following terms could be interesting:
- Black Friday
- Gift / s
- Gift idea
- Christmas / s / s
- Wish / wishes
Depending on how strong the search volume is, you can add holiday- related keywords after the analysis. It may also make sense to set up a separate holiday campaign. Here you keep cost-risky terms such as “Gift idea for car lovers” well in view.
Tip 7: remarketing
For those who already collect users in remarketing lists, it is advisable to use specific remarketing banners for Black Friday or Christmas. This means that users are picked up at the point in the purchasing process that they are currently at. As usual, it makes sense to address the different target groups with different messages.
In addition, large numbers of new users who did not know a brand / website before offer great potential. It is all the more important to have a targeted approach. For example, you should consider early on what behavior website visitors should display in order to classify them as interesting “not-yet-but-hopefully-soon-buyers”.
You should also be aware of who you do not want to target with your remarketing ads for Christmas etc. Bargain foxes rub their paws, especially on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The search continues until the cheapest offer is found. Hence the tip to take a detailed look at the characteristics of this negative target group in Google Ads and Analytics. Then you can create remarketing lists or target groups in Analytics in just a few simple steps, which can be excluded from the remarketing campaigns or remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA).
Tip 8: target groups
A lot can also be achieved through the target groups during the Christmas season. Because those who know their target group (s) well can address them specifically. In addition, target group-specific bid adjustments offer the opportunity to increase sales.
You should also keep an eye out for new target groups. One target group to which special attention should be paid this year with a corresponding product range are the silver surfers. Users over the age of 50 have changed their shopping behavior significantly this year and are increasingly buying online. This target group is interesting because it is considered to be well-funded and is inspired by advertising. Therefore, attention should be paid to this target group even after the Christmas season.
Tip 9: what then?
In online marketing, the Christmas season doesn’t end on December 26th. Even after this, it should be ensured that monetary gifts are redeemed. Therefore, it makes sense not to reduce the budget directly after Christmas, but to include the three to four weeks after Christmas in the budget planning.
Tip 10: planning for the next year
Our tip 10 is aimed at everyone who not only wants to be successful this year, but also has the next year in mind. Anyone who creates remarketing lists for buyers or interesting visitors in the “hot phase” before Christmas or around Black Friday will benefit from this in the next year.
In Google Ads, you can restrict the visit data of list members. The period of validity must be set accordingly to over 365 days. These users can then be shown special offers via remarketing, provided they have not deleted their cookies. Likewise, anyone who has created a holiday campaign, for example, can collect the campaign visitors in an analytics remarketing list and address them again in other ways.
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Overall, there are numerous measures that can be implemented with a view to a high-turnover and successful Christmas season. It is important to decide which of the tips mentioned are useful for achieving your own goals.
Even if this post primarily contains tips for Google Ads, the other channels such as Microsoft Advertising should of course not be ignored. There is also a wide range of opportunities and potential to increase sales over the Christmas period. But that much is certain: with the implementation of some or all of the tips, you can start the Christmas season well prepared.