PPC Roundtable: Back To School

By Matt Umbro | @Matt_Umbro | Senior Account Manager, Community

As series week comes to a close, we asked our authors for one final piece of advice for back to school planning. Here is that question:


How do you ensure that your clients stand out during back to school season?


Sales Directions


In approaching the back to school season for e-commerce, there are 2 directions to point your sails (and sales). The first involves a broad targeting that can bring in new traffic that may have just as easily visited your competitors instead. These are folks who are shopping for general ideas of what products they need and could be swayed through an featuring your best promotion or catchiest ad copy (such as the mention of Free Shipping). The second approach takes the products that are top sellers and finely tuning how you target them. This allows you to be extremely aggressive to a very specific audience who knows exactly what they’re searching for. Pushing for a top position or a frequently impressing ad to these highly targeted shoppers can allow you a better return on your preferred products.


— Carrie Albright, Account Manager


Be Aggressive with Ad Position


As we go into the busy season for education, I make sure we are as aggressive as possible with ad position. This is the time of year to drive leads by taking advantage of increased traffic in the education vertical. During the back to school season, we do a little less testing of less popular program offerings and spend more time ramping up areas of education accounts that are ‘core’ and have a track record of success.


— Jeff Baum, Associate Director of Paid Search


Try Retargeting and Test Different Messages


The back to school season doesn’t just pertain to Education accounts. This season can also be huge for ecommerce accounts that sell anything from clothes, shoes, school supplies, beauty supplies, or anything else a student may need on their education journey. One key optimization tool I prefer to use for back to school ecommerce is Display Retargeting and Dynamic Retargeting. One retargeting tip could be to experiment with testing various membership durations (cookie windows). For example: 1, 7, 30 days. Test various ad copy messaging with the different membership durations increasing urgency for the longer durations. We’ve seen great success with this in other accounts. Give it a try!


— Cassie Oumedian, Senior Account Manager


Have The “Back To School” Mentality


I remind myself that “back to school” is indeed a holiday that needs the same attention as holiday campaigns run during Q4. As PPC professionals, I think we sometimes forget that “back to school” season is one of the most important times for online retailers and education clients. Getting into the right mindset will help give you the determination to succeed during this crucial time of the year.


— Matt Umbro, Senior Account Manager, Community