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5 Last Minute PPC Holiday Tips for Advertisers

  |  October 23, 2013   |  Comments

Get your house of PPC in order before the holiday rush with five tips from columnist Lisa Raehsler to tweak and optimize your campaigns.

Nearly half of consumers say they plan to buy holiday gifts online this year, according to a Google consumer survey.  In fact, last year in-store sales on Black Friday actually declined by 2 percent!

Whether you're a traditional retailer or not, there are several elements of your PPC campaigns that can be tweaked and optimized to take advantage of the fourth quarter 2013 sales opportunity.

1. Keywords for Gift Giving

If your product or service is traditionally thought of as a gift, be sure to use keywords that demonstrate searcher intent for gift giving.

For example, "women's gift ideas," "gifts for dads," or "spa gifts" show gifting intent. In addition to shopping terms, take a closer look at product pages. Since people will be using their mobile devices to comparison shop, ensure product pages contain product names, generic product name, "review," "sale," or "gift" keywords and model/SKU numbers. This will benefit not only PPC and user experience, but may also boost SEO efforts.

2. Mobile Device Targeting

Are your AdWords enhanced campaigns less than enhanced? One of the major changes in Adwords has been the combination of mobile devices with desktop and the inability to opt-out. This especially hurts with some campaigns on tablets that yield higher CPCs and lower conversion rates.

One solution for this is to designate a mobile preferred ad and to check landing pages used for tablets. On the landing page, include what actions you want the searcher to take next with a strong call-to-action. Design this experience as if it's very different from a desktop. Special attention in this area can help with mobile performance.


On Bing Ads, advertisers have complete control over targeting devices. Not only can you select smartphones and/or tablets, but you can choose none of the above. Consider if these should be combined or separated from desktop depending on your objectives and business.

Likewise, if you are unprepared or providing a negative user experience via mobile, opt out, then relaunch mobile when you're ready.

3. Mobile Campaigns with PLAs 

People are using their mobile devices as shopping assistants. Recently, Google updated the look of the mobile PLA unit for searches on Google.com. Searchers can now swipe to see more products in this ad unit.


This could be significant, because there is very limited space to show many results at all. Google says that early testing has been positive and proves to drive more traffic to retailers.

4. Everyone Loves to Save with Coupons

According to eMarketer, ten times as many coupons are redeemed through mobile as through traditional channels.


Can you adapt current promotional campaigns with coupons, discounts, rebates, or loyalty points on mobile? Since consumers are actually comparison shopping on mobile while in the store, this can make a difference in product selection or overall average sale.

5. Ad Copy Makeover

Make your ads more relevant by including copy that speaks to your audience and acknowledges the holidays, ie.: "buy mens gifts" or "ready to ship by holiday." Even if your product or service is not traditionally a gift item, think of convenience or support for holidays. For example, promote a cleaning service for the holidays or "the gift you give yourself."

For more insights to help you get your PPC house in order before the holidays truly set in, check out Google's Beat the Holiday Rush: Three Strategies for Getting Ahead and The Importance Of PPC In An Omni-Channel World: Message Critical by Bing Ads retail. 


Lisa Raehsler

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.

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