How to Make Your Summer PPC Campaigns Sun-sational

Like many of you, I enjoyed a quintessential summer weekend during this past 4th of July holiday. I feel like I did almost everything people enjoy doing on warm summer days. My activities included spending time at the pool, eating lunch in the park, visiting a zoo (the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is absolutely wonderful), watching World Cup games, and grilling out with some friends just before topping off the weekend with a traditional Indianapolis fireworks display.

All in all, I am happy to say it was a pretty nice holiday weekend. However, you may have noticed that most technology-related activities were clearly absent from my weekend itinerary. Sure, tech geeks like me do not venture too far without being equipped with a smart phone and any number of handy apps. Nevertheless, with exception to some quick Twitter updates, email checks, and text messages, I was pretty vacant from my connected, online lifestyle. Instead of spending hours of my day searching Google, monitoring PPC accounts, and being logged into Facebook and Digg, I took the weekend to relax and enjoy some time with my long forgotten friend – the sun.

In fact, after realizing this void of technology pervasiveness, I remembered many of my officemates were going to be unavailable this weekend detached from both email and cell phone. Thus, my conclusion to this revelation: The only thing able to hold its own and fight for attention against the Web and digital technology might be a beautiful summer’s day.

So, in light of this discovery, I guess my question to you is: Are you appropriately adjusting and optimizing your PPC accounts for the summer months? At the end of May, Microsoft’s AdCenter Blog had a great article that introduced 10 Summer PPC Tips. Now being the beginning of July, I’d like to follow-up on their article by both elaborating on some of their points and introducing some new insights of my own.

World Cup

Ah, the thrills of the beautiful game. With only four games left, the bulk of the World Cup is pretty much over, but since the semi-finals are airing this week, I believe this worldwide event is still very relevant to talk about. So, how much does a game of soccer really impact economic and sales productivity?

It is said that each World Cup match has an average of 95 million viewers. Estimates conclude that 10 minutes of productivity will be lost a day for American businesses and unfortunately for companies (and in return, your PPC campaigns), 121.7 million dollars will be lost in the USA alone. Let me remind you that the United States is a country that ultimately has little interest in the world’s game. Our friend’s in the United Kingdom will see about 7.36 billion dollars lost in productivity if British workers view games for only an hour a day.

Now, I don’t believe I’m going out on too much of a limb here if I say that when people are so invested in a soccer match to not work, then they probably are not too interested in viewing your PPC ads either.

How to adjust:

  • Try and make your keywords relevant to soccer, the World Cup tournament, and to the current matches.
  • Focus ads towards those male and female sport fanatics, but also to those female fans that are tired of the constant World Cup attention (my girlfriend being one of them).
  • Know what time the games are airing live and adjust your bidding accordingly with day parting. Search volume will be down during live play, but search traffic will peak with people looking for commentary and video before, at halftime, and after the game.

Summer-ize your ads and landing pages

You have perfected your ads and landing pages. They are reliable for clicks and leads, but maybe you have noticed those ads performing less than desired during the beginning of this summer.

Remember that during the summer, not only are people spending more time outdoors and away from their computers due to longer days, but also, sunlight and warm days draws out a different mindset in your regular audience.

How to adjust:

  • Make your ads and landing pages relevant to the summer, utilizing summer themes and colors.
  • Do your ads and landing pages express the summer mindset? Relaxation, vacation, warmth, and sunshine are words that catch the eyes of an audience with the summer sun on their minds.
  • Make your ad benefits summer-related. Deals, savings, and specials should read hot deals, scorching savings, and summer specials.
  • With longer days, people are spending more time outside and offline. Adjust day parting to avoid showing ads on particularly nice evenings and weekends.

What is coming next this summer season?

Independence Day and the fireworks have come and gone, but there are plenty of other summer events to focus your PPC ads on. Try to stay one step ahead of the season and offer your company or client to new markets by expanding on your seasonal keywords.

How to adjust:

  • Be creative and topical with your summer ads. Make sure to stay fresh and keep ahead of what is on the mind of your summer audience.
  • Up next: Back to school as well as Labor Day festivities, which include family gatherings and cookouts.

Don’t Act Until Certain

Summers can have a tendency to throw some curveballs into your PPC campaign trends; so don’t let the dips in performance panic you too much. Obviously, keep a watchful eye, make some minor adjustments for the summer months, and make sure to continue meeting your campaign goals, but try not to make any major changes without knowing for certain that those changes need to be made.

In the summer, weather, sporting events, and the overall psyche of potential customers can have a significant impact on ad and keyword performance. My advice, make sure to relax yourself this summer. Try to be clever with ad and landing page copy and innovative with your campaign strategy.