How to Optimize Search Engine Marketing for the Holidays

Posted on October 17th, by paul in Search Engine Marketing. No Comments

Search Engine Marketing
For those looking to really capitalize on the holiday season, it is very important to start shoring up a plan weeks in advance. Q4 Holidays brings a special time in the online world where the average user has a different mindset and the volume (for retail) lifts dramatically. It is very important to create specialized campaigns targeting the consumer and their specific needs. Here at LeadQual we have a number of clients from different industries that see different seasonal changes during the Holiday season. We are already starting to plan for the new holiday season. Below is a quick checklist of how you too can prepare your Search Engine Marketing for the Holidays:

1. Create Holiday specific Campaigns: Unique to your target audience and specific season

  • Not only will you be able to keep your data clean and easy for analysis, it makes it much easier to turn on and off the various holiday campaigns throughout the holidays for testing. It also makes it much easier to quickly shut them off once the holiday rush is over and save them for next year.

2. New Creatives / Ads: Specifically catered to what your holiday shoppers are looking for.

  • New Campaigns will also allow you to customize your adgroup structures and creatives to specifically cater to your holiday shoppers. Focus on their needs and what they are looking for. Ask yourself (or better ask your consumers) what questions would my consumers ask as they are searching for your product?
    • Are they looking for specific features?
    • Are they looking for a bargain or a good deal?
    • Are they indifferent and just looking for a good gift, if so for who?
    • Are they serious shoppers looking for particular things or casual shoppers who need to be convinced through the ad that they should get the product? How can you convince them?
  • These type of question will help you construct a strong ad creative that will draw your consumers to your website. Do not simply use a generic ad and miss out on this great time to really cater to your audience.

3. New Keywords: Are there keywords you should be buying that is specific to the holiday?

  • Examples: Christmas gifts? Christmas gift ideas? Gift for mom? Electronic Gifts? Personal Gifts?)

4. Revisit Old Keywords:

  • It may not be very well known in the public but one thing I’ve always seen is that particular keywords work only in peak seasons. During peak seasons the volume is greater and the consumer’s mindset changes. Thus certain keywords which normally has a poor ROI and do not perform very well throughout the year are suddenly gold mines during the peak season. We carefully watch these keywords and retest them during such times to make sure we don’t miss out on any opportunity. It is not uncommon for us to continually test old keyterms and new keyterms during this crucial part of the year.

5. Special Deals / Coupons / Landingpages:

  • Continuing the mantra of “customization”, try coupon deals, special sales specific to the holidays and spread the word! Use it directly in your creatives. Don’t just do what you think is a great idea, get your whole team involved and brainstorm a few ideas and test the top 4-5 ideas. The beauty of search engine marketing is that it’s a direct marketing and the feedback is immediate. Don’t limit yourself to your own bias. Test. Test. Test. You might find a goldmine where you least expect it.
  • For these special deals, create landingpages again catering to your consumers needs. If the user is a bargain hunter, not only highlight the special deal in your creative but also highlight it in your landingpage. Expand on it further explaining how this is the best deal ever and the best gift for this holiday season.

If I was summarize all the information above, it’s simple. “Know your audience, customize, and test”. Segment your Audience. Your mom shopping for their child is different from the college student wanting to buy a fancy gift for themselves. Customize everything then test.

There is much more to Search Engine Marketing during the Holiday season. But if you could remember to do the points above, you are well on your way to a successful campaign. If you do you’ll be at a huge competitive advantage (especially tip #4 about utilizing old keywords), so do it but don’t tell anyone. Keep it a secret. I hope no one reads this blog.

Thoughts? Comments? Opinions? Comment below.

Paul Lee
Director of Online Marketing
LeadQual – SEM

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