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Whether it’s Cyber Monday or the week before Christmas, you need to be set and ready to go with your PPC campaigns in advance.  Missing out on extra holiday traffic can be detrimental to your revenue. Here are five things you can do now to prepare for this holiday season.

  1. Run keyword reports from last November (2008) through January (2009) to see which keywords converted well last year during the holiday season. More than likely those keywords will perform well again this holiday season. Make sure you bid higher on those particular keywords for the next coming months to take advantage of the additional traffic.
  2. Start running promotions early. If you plan on running any promotions like free shipping, gift with purchase, or a discount, start running that promotion in early or late October, or possibly early November. Yes, the economy is still down, but people still have to buy Christmas presents. Like last year, people are looking for the best offer they can find and are willing to spend more time researching many different websites to find the best offer. Check out your competition to be sure you’re promotional offer beats all others.
  3. Create a holiday gift finder landing page.  It’s true that some people know exactly what they’re looking to buy and will type in very specific, long tail keywords. But there are people who are buying gifts for their neighbors, co-workers, or just people they don’t see very often and have no idea what to get these people. By having a gift finder on your site you’re calling out great gift ideas at great prices. You can even categorize your gift finder by price, gender, age, demographic, and some sites even create categories like ‘for the chef’, or ‘for the pet lover’ and will feature these types of products in that category.
  4. Re-activate paused campaigns now.  If you have campaigns that are paused during the summer months because they don’t convert well, consider turning them back on for the holiday season.  Since so many people are buying even if you get a one-off conversion you may yield a very high ROI.
  5. Be ready for ‘Cyber Monday’. Cyber Monday is known as the Monday after ‘Black Friday’. (Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, the largest shopping day of the year for brick and mortar.)  Cyber Monday is said to generate sales from people who couldn’t find what they were looking for in-store.  Make sure you’re keyword bids are set higher for this day over any other day. If you’re going to have a holiday gift finder, have it up and running on your homepage before this day hits.  If you’re going to have a special promotion for the holidays, be sure you have it up and running before this day comes. If you don’t take full advantage of Cyber Monday traffic you’re missing out a lot of potential holiday revenue. This day is also known to have really awesome sales and deals online, so if you don’t have any of those, try and talk your client or upper management to at least do a free shipping promotion on orders of $xx.xx to drive up your average order value.

The biggest tip is to make sure you are prepared and not working on your holiday PPC campaigns when it’s too late. Be ready for the traffic, have your keyword bids and budgets set, and monitor your accounts daily so you can make adjustments if necessary. Happy Holidays!