It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right; it’s Christmas shopping time. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are quickly approaching. The question is—Are your PPC Campaigns ready? Whether you think you are prepared for the holiday season or just starting to get ready, here are a few things to keep in mind.
During the 2014 Christmas season, everyone is going to be searching for that perfect gift. This means more online searches and more impression opportunities. Below is a screenshot from Google trends showing that search volume for retail-related keywords and phrases this time of the year. Although the graph only goes back 3 years, the trend is consistent for much longer.
While an increase is search volume may be the only guarantee, it is safe to assume you will also see an increase in Impressions, Clicks, and Cost. However, the real Christmas joy comes from seeing the increase in Conversions and ROI, which is never guaranteed. Keeping your focus on specific KPI’s and not the rising search volume will help you achieve PPC success this holiday season.
First off, ensure that you maintain your IS compared to previous months, and not miss out on impression opportunities due to low bids or insufficient budget this holiday season. This will at least guarantee that your Ads are being shown.
More Impressions are great, but more Clicks are even better. Monitor your CTR to ensure that this influx of impressions is maintaining or improving your CTR. If not, take action immediately! Whether it is new ad copy testing, increasing bids, or changing keywords and their match types, make sure that you are at least maintaining your average CTR. Dropping CTR could lead to lower Quality Scores and worse positioning, which means you will need to increase your CPC to stay competitive. Of course, the inverse is true too. A higher CTR can allow you to lower CPC without hurting position and performance, which means increased profit margins.
Again, more impressions are great, more Clicks are better, but more Conversions is the best. Seeing how this is Pay per Click, more Clicks also means higher Cost. So, an increase in Clicks without an increase in Conversions will seriously lower profits and drive up your CPA. Although it seems obvious, monitor your CPA and make sure it does not exceed the value of your Conversion. This should not be a problem if you are able to maintain your Conversion Rate during the holiday season.
During all the craziness that is the holiday season, if you are able to stay focused on the basic KPIs of PPC you will have a wonderful PPC Christmas. Remember that more impressions are great, more Clicks are better, but more Conversions are the best. Keep an eye on CTR and Conversion Rate. While growth is always the goal, just maintaining these rates through the holidays will lead to higher totals of Clicks and Conversions, since searches will be increasing. Most importantly always remember to watch Cost, especially CPA, compared to revenue of your Conversions, and keep your PPC out of the red this Christmas.
If you have any feedback, questions or other holiday preparation suggestions, please leave a comment below. Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!