I was thinking about writing a blog post on upcoming holidays and while doing so, I saw half of my colleagues already on the running to buy Christmas gifts which made me realize how intensive PPC campaigns would have been for retail marketers.

Holiday season is about gift giving and this mentality is different than the rest of the year. To gain the most out of your PPC holiday campaigns these 9 tips can help you increase your CTR beat your competitors and get you a nice Christmas bonus.

1. Use Google Insight and Google Trends

Don’t just look at your last season’s keywords or guessing which would convert into sales this year. Start your keyword research with these two tools to see which keywords saw traffic increase last seasons. Use those keywords in combination with your reports to make informed decisions about what keywords to target.

2. Use accelerated delivery instead of standard

It is worth thinking about increasing your standard delivery method to accelerated, if your budget is uncapped and you are looking to increase your impressions for maximum brand coverage as well as improved CTR.

3. Ad Extensions

You should not forget the power of extensions, especially in the holiday season. Ad Extension allows you more relevant information in your ads and increases the space your ad takes in the SERP. There are four types of Ad Extensions you can take advantage of

  • Call
  • Location
  • Products
  • Sitelinks

As recently we saw in our system, retailers in UK have started to understand the power of ad extensions as shown in the example below;

PPC Ad Extensions

4. Use Dynamic keyword Insertions

Dynamic Keyword Insertions allows you to easily create relevant ads for a varied audience. This attribute allows you to replace the code inserted in your ad with a set of keyword that triggered your ad each time your ad shows. Users are more likely to notice and click the ad which specifically references the product they are looking for over a more general ad.

5. Customer Reviews

Positive customer reviews and feedback are the best way to increase buyers to trust your store during the complete buying process. According to Google Adwords Product Search, if your product has at least 30 unique reviews and rating of at least four star it is eligible to show the seller rating extension, which gives the text a snipped of text containing stars and links to all reviews. These ads are more likely to be clicked than just simple ads and my recommendation is to never neglect the power of Star Snippet.

6. Monitor your competition

Benchmarking your competitors and reviewing their ad copies can always give a head start on the sort of campaigns your competitors are launching, what combination of keywords are they using in their keywords and if they are using the power of maximising ad real estate or not. There are many competitor intelligence tools are out there which will not only help you in understanding and monitoring your competitor but also gives you an advantage of understanding how their customer is reaching them.

7. Tweak your adcopy

Most holiday shoppers are in a hurry and tweaking your Adcopy in a way that would create a sense of urgency would increase your conversion rate. You can also use specific deals that your shoppers can’t refuse like, “buy one get one free” or “buy more save more”. The word Free has proved times and times again the power it has over holiday shoppers.

8. Optimize landing pages

A brilliant blog post by Dave on landing page optimisation is all you need. I certainly would focus on the importance of the right keywords, which not only would help ranking the ad higher but also increase its quality score and significantly reduce the pay per click cost. For example if you are selling products for women, you might want to consider using words like, mother, women, grandma, wife etc. but be sure that you do a detailed keyword research on all the negative instances of all your ads might appear at.

9. Holiday Season going mobile

According to a recent study by InsightExpress which endorsed that 50% man and 39% women are more likely to shop on their mobile phones this season so just be sure that you are targeting your campaigns the right way and are having a balanced focus on the percentage use of mobile searched and buys. A handy tool has just been introduced by Google, GoMo is an initiative to review and test your websites over a mobile.

These were the top tips I work on over a holiday season always and It would be great to hear your experience on how you handle your campaigns over the raft of clicks at your ads.

Faseeh Shams is a Marketing Executive at Traffic Smart, developer of Adthena, a Competitor Analysis Search Intelligence Solution which is used to deliver the most in-depth and thorough results available for benchmarking, campaign improvement and infringement monitoring.