3 Holiday PPC Optimization Tips to Target Last Minute Shoppers

December 14, 2015 | 4 min read
By Jordan Crawford

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the books, e-commerce retailers may feel like they are over the PPC bidding war hump. While post-turkey online shopping was record-setting this year, data shows that the online shopping season has really just begun.

Christmas presentsGoogle’s data indicates that 29% of holiday shoppers are early birds who begin shopping before Halloween, 19% start shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the other 48% of holiday shoppers don’t begin shopping until early December. Not only do retailers have the opportunity to capture nearly half of the holiday shoppers in December, online retailers using PPC will likely pay a lower cost-per-click during this period. A study by AdWeek found that Facebook CPCs for desktop News Feed ad placements were 89% above average on Black Friday and 71% on Cyber Monday.

Now, these last minute holiday shoppers are not the same as the people sitting at their computer refreshing Amazon every second to see if the deal they want is available or the ones waiting in line after Thanksgiving dinner at the local mall. So to get into the nitty gritty of holiday PPC optimization tips, lets first get into the mindset of the target audience so we can understand how to tailor ads toward them.

1. Time is of the essence.

  • The mindset: It’s crunch time. I can’t change watch TV or listen to the radio without hearing a holiday jingle or ad, and every time I hear one I think about that long list of people I still don’t have gifts for. My mom has a countdown of how many days until I’ll be home and the number is getting smaller and smaller. I NEED GIFTS NOW.
  • How to tailor your ads to them:
    • Feed off of the sense of urgency in your ads by using AdWords Countdown Customizers that allow you to dynamically insert the amount of days, hours, and even minutes remaining in a particular sale. Search Engine Land conducted a study that found these ad customizers had both a higher CTR and conversion rate than static ads
      adwords countdown ad
    • Write ads that mention specific-promotions and/or store-wide discounts so users know you are running holiday deals
    • Include time-sensitive value propositions in your ad copy and callout extensions such as “Free 2-Day Shipping until 12/22” or “Gift Wrapping Included”

2. Delivery options matter A LOT.

  • The mindset: Sending happy belated Christmas gifts is not an option. I know I’m procrastinating but what am I, Scrooge? I need my gifts delivered on time, even if I am waiting until the last minute. I spent Christmas Eve in the mall last year and vowed to never let it happen again.

holiday ppc optimization

  • How to tailor your ads to them:
    • Not only should you emphasize time-sensitive information in your ad copy and on your landing pages as I mentioned in tip #1, you need to also plan your budget based off of your delivery scheduleA Search Engine Land study last year found that conversion rate falls off the map once the cut-off date for free standard delivery arrives
    • If you have the option of ordering online and picking up an store, change your ad copy to emphasize this option after the delivery by Christmas option expires
    • Run remarketing ads for users who have visited a product in the last 30 days but did not purchase it reminding users how long they have left to order it

3. Be as mobile as your audience.

  • The mindset: If I had time to spend my evenings at the mall or browsing the online Target catalog, I would be done shopping by now. I have places to be and people to see. The only time I have to shop is when I’m on my phone in between meetings, good luck.mobile ecommerce
  • How to tailor your ads to them: 
  • If mobile was important during the 2014 holiday season, (and it definitely was – 40% of Black Friday’s online shopping in 2014 was on mobile according to Custora) it’s going to be even more important in 2015. With over 50% of searches now occurring on mobile devices, not optimizing for mobile is not an option for e-commerce retailers. Below are ways to ensure you are there for mobile shoppers:
  • Create a responsive-design landing page or mobile-only landing pages that are FAST and have as little clicks necessary prior to purchase as possible
  • Take advantage of location extensions and call extensions to send mobile users to the closest store
    target ad
  • Consider testing call-only mobile campaigns if the ordering process is more complicated than a standard transaction

To Wrap It Up

Just as it is any other time of the year, understanding your target audience’s needs is essential to successful PPC optimization. Customizing your ads to December shoppers involves emphasizing time-sensitive value propositions in your ad copy and ad extensions, understanding the importance of delivery date timelines, and optimizing for mobile users.

Have any questions or holiday PPC optimization techniques of your own? Comment below or message me on Twitter @jcrawford326!


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3 Holiday PPC Optimization Tips to Target Last Minute Shoppers

December 14, 2015 | 4 min read
By Jordan Crawford

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the books, e-commerce retailers may feel like they are over the PPC bidding war hump. While post-turkey online shopping was record-setting this year, data shows that the online shopping season has really just begun.

Christmas presentsGoogle’s data indicates that 29% of holiday shoppers are early birds who begin shopping before Halloween, 19% start shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the other 48% of holiday shoppers don’t begin shopping until early December. Not only do retailers have the opportunity to capture nearly half of the holiday shoppers in December, online retailers using PPC will likely pay a lower cost-per-click during this period. A study by AdWeek found that Facebook CPCs for desktop News Feed ad placements were 89% above average on Black Friday and 71% on Cyber Monday.

Now, these last minute holiday shoppers are not the same as the people sitting at their computer refreshing Amazon every second to see if the deal they want is available or the ones waiting in line after Thanksgiving dinner at the local mall. So to get into the nitty gritty of holiday PPC optimization tips, lets first get into the mindset of the target audience so we can understand how to tailor ads toward them.

1. Time is of the essence.

  • The mindset: It’s crunch time. I can’t change watch TV or listen to the radio without hearing a holiday jingle or ad, and every time I hear one I think about that long list of people I still don’t have gifts for. My mom has a countdown of how many days until I’ll be home and the number is getting smaller and smaller. I NEED GIFTS NOW.
  • How to tailor your ads to them:
    • Feed off of the sense of urgency in your ads by using AdWords Countdown Customizers that allow you to dynamically insert the amount of days, hours, and even minutes remaining in a particular sale. Search Engine Land conducted a study that found these ad customizers had both a higher CTR and conversion rate than static ads
      adwords countdown ad
    • Write ads that mention specific-promotions and/or store-wide discounts so users know you are running holiday deals
    • Include time-sensitive value propositions in your ad copy and callout extensions such as “Free 2-Day Shipping until 12/22” or “Gift Wrapping Included”

2. Delivery options matter A LOT.

  • The mindset: Sending happy belated Christmas gifts is not an option. I know I’m procrastinating but what am I, Scrooge? I need my gifts delivered on time, even if I am waiting until the last minute. I spent Christmas Eve in the mall last year and vowed to never let it happen again.

holiday ppc optimization

  • How to tailor your ads to them:
    • Not only should you emphasize time-sensitive information in your ad copy and on your landing pages as I mentioned in tip #1, you need to also plan your budget based off of your delivery scheduleA Search Engine Land study last year found that conversion rate falls off the map once the cut-off date for free standard delivery arrives
    • If you have the option of ordering online and picking up an store, change your ad copy to emphasize this option after the delivery by Christmas option expires
    • Run remarketing ads for users who have visited a product in the last 30 days but did not purchase it reminding users how long they have left to order it

3. Be as mobile as your audience.

  • The mindset: If I had time to spend my evenings at the mall or browsing the online Target catalog, I would be done shopping by now. I have places to be and people to see. The only time I have to shop is when I’m on my phone in between meetings, good luck.mobile ecommerce
  • How to tailor your ads to them: 
  • If mobile was important during the 2014 holiday season, (and it definitely was – 40% of Black Friday’s online shopping in 2014 was on mobile according to Custora) it’s going to be even more important in 2015. With over 50% of searches now occurring on mobile devices, not optimizing for mobile is not an option for e-commerce retailers. Below are ways to ensure you are there for mobile shoppers:
  • Create a responsive-design landing page or mobile-only landing pages that are FAST and have as little clicks necessary prior to purchase as possible
  • Take advantage of location extensions and call extensions to send mobile users to the closest store
    target ad
  • Consider testing call-only mobile campaigns if the ordering process is more complicated than a standard transaction

To Wrap It Up

Just as it is any other time of the year, understanding your target audience’s needs is essential to successful PPC optimization. Customizing your ads to December shoppers involves emphasizing time-sensitive value propositions in your ad copy and ad extensions, understanding the importance of delivery date timelines, and optimizing for mobile users.

Have any questions or holiday PPC optimization techniques of your own? Comment below or message me on Twitter @jcrawford326!

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