SEA beyond the Basics (part 1): Score Points with Weather Displays in Sun and Rain

The first part of our series “SEA beyond the Basics” is about a very special advertising format: weather-dependent advertisements. Some of our SEA customers already use this option to address new customers as optimally as possible, to assert themselves against competitors and to increase the conversion rate. What’s behind it?

The basic idea behind weather displays is simple: Depending on the weather, we show users a different display. This is undoubtedly a special case because in most cases the weather does not play a relevant role. But sometimes it makes an important difference. Because weather is part of the context in which an ad is seen. This context can influence needs and requirements .

This thought did not occur to us, but was presented by Stella Meyer at the SEAcamp in 2018. Their idea: Anyone looking for shoes in rainy weather in general is probably referring to shoes that are suitable for rain. An ad text such as “Shoes for all weathers” can respond to this implicit requirement and pick up potential customers perfectly.

We took this idea and developed it further into a scalable solution that we are presenting today as part of our SEA beyond the basics series. With this solution we can realize two advantages:

Advantage 1: Weather-dependent sales arguments

Sometimes, depending on the weather, certain needs or requirements arise. Ads that address this are of course particularly relevant.

  • Take awnings for example: if you are looking for it, you will usually see bright sunshine. But when it is raining or even storming, weather resistance suddenly plays a role. An advertisement that takes up such fears is then at an advantage.
  • Seasonal items, for example: whether swimwear or snow pants – when it is particularly summer or winter, such things are needed quickly. A short delivery time can then be a convincing argument.

Advantage 2: understand intentions and respond to them

As with Stella’s original shoe example, searches are often generic, so the exact intention remains unclear. Sometimes hidden intentions can then be guessed from the weather context .

  • Take fashion, for example: If you are looking for jackets and it is cold outside, then an advertisement could show warm jackets. When the sun is shining, summer jackets may be more in demand.
  • Take travel as an example: If you are looking for holiday destinations when the weather is bad, you probably want to go into the sun. However, if you are looking for a last-minute vacation in beautiful weather, you could pursue other goals.

What are the weather indicators?

Both benefits translate into more relevant adsMore relevant ads get more attention and ultimately more clicks . The so-called quality factor also has a positive effect on click prices and visibility due to the increased click rate .

Weather displays in connection with relevant landing pages are particularly worthwhile . If such a setup can be implemented, the more clicks lead to a disproportionately higher number of conversions .

But to put that into perspective: In the vast majority of cases, the weather is not decisive for what should be in advertisements. Weather displays therefore remain a specialty for most of our customers.

This is what our infrastructure for weather displays looks like

Weather-dependent displays are very complex to implement in individual cases, but scale very well as soon as the associated infrastructure is there. We therefore first set up a database of all the locations available in Google Ads. We regularly determine the current weather data for these locations.

We have created a set of rules for controlling the displays . We use this to define which weather conditions should trigger which display. Last but not least, it is also a question of concretising vague terms: How can, for example, “bad weather” be broken down into temperature, precipitation and wind speed?

We then link the weather displays to this set of rules via conditions. The technical concept behind it – keyword ” Conditional Ads ” – was developed by LinatAalam and presented worldwide last year.

For each location, it is determined which display can be used at the moment. For example, the rain variant could be shown in Hamburg when it is raining there. All data is continuously updated so that current weather conditions are always taken into account for the rules in order to display the appropriate display for each location at any time.

Conclusion

No question about it, weather-dependent ads are not part of everyday life at Google Ads & Co. – the areas of application are too specific for that and the implementation is too complicated. However, if you can get the latter under control, unique potential can be realized with weather displays .

Check the following parts of this series:

SEA beyond the basics (part 2): Find and fix errors with the SEA Safeguard

SEA beyond the Basics (Part 3): Dynamic Product Campaigns

SEA beyond the basics (part 4): Gaining branch customers with search campaigns

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