The holiday season is upon us, and the spike in online seasonal traffic is set to begin. The holidays definitely aren’t the time to set it and forget it; instead, we should capitalize on this time of year by beefing up our keyword lists. Erin ODonnell with Microsoft Advertising gives some helpful tactics for keyword list expansion in Holiday Preparation Series: Travel PPC Insights and Optimization Tips.  Adding keywords will not only keep our accounts competitive during this busy time of year, it’ll give us the chance to boost ROI as well.

YouTube is a major market for advertising, especially if your ads show up on the homepage. Yes, there’s a lot of competition, but we’re letting the cat out of the bag.  There’s a way to guarantee your ads will show up on the YouTube “holy grail,” according to YouTube Product Marketing Manager Mark Sabec. Many advertisers don’t know that for a few days each quarter the YouTube homepage runs Promoted Videos. In his blog post, YouTube Homepage: Promoted Videos Advertisers Can Get It While It’s Hot, Sabec says multiple advertisers have had major success with this little-known YouTube feature.

Just when you thought you had a firm grip on the Adwords Client Center, Google has decided to change the interface. Don’t worry, it’s not going to pull the tablecloth out from underneath you.  According to the Adwords Blog, the interface is designed to give the user a larger selection of reports to choose from, speed up reporting time, and also increases the security of these reports.  Basically, the new interface allows much more customization in regards to your reporting options, and although it might take some time to learn the new interface, it seems to be a step in the right direction.

According to Peter Haubold of the Microsoft Advertising Blog, when starting a PPC campaign as a small business, it is important to choose and bid on your keywords wisely.  Do not take on the industry giants!  This isn’t a Rudy story, well ok it is, but without the inspirational music… however, there is a whole lot of getting the crap kicked out of you in the form of your conversion rate, especially if you decide to compete with leaders in the industry.  The answer? Specialize your keywords. If you make running shoes, don’t compete for the search term “shoes” right off the bat.  Make your keywords more specific at first, like “running shoes. You’ll see fewer impressions but more conversions due to the smaller amount of competition.  And, it will be easier to rank on the first page of SERPs.

Dynamic keyword insertion can be a tricky skill to learn. As Melissa from Searching Beyond the Paid points out, not everyone has gotten it right. You need to think about what keywords to use for dynamic insertion. She recommends creating AdGroups for Dynamic Keyword Insertion with discretion and be mindful of the keywords you’re actually using.

Having trouble coming up with some good PPC ad copy? Look, sometimes we all get writers block but that shouldn’t stop you from writing your ads with purpose. Brian Clark at Copyblogger gives us three reasons to tell someone why. Why what you ask? Why anything. Why someone should buy what your selling (for fee or not) but most importantly, Why someone should click on your ad. Brian’s article isn’t written for PPC specifically but his reasons absolutely apply to our craft.