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Search Engine Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Frank Jackson, 11/10/2016,

One aspect many online retailers forget to plan for before the holiday rush is their Search Engine Marketing strategy, which is an essential channel for customer acquisition.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) covers the paid listings that appear on search engines. Platforms such as Google Adwords and Bing Ads allow you to build an effective and enticing ad that persuades holiday shoppers to click on your website over a competitor’s.

Having a paid search campaign is critical to drive visitors with purchase intent to your site, here are 9 tips to bring more leads your way this season.

Use Last Year’s Data

Review your plan and make strategic changes

As our ecommerce guide to the holiday season points out, before putting together your SEO and SEM holiday strategy, research what keywords worked well last year, evaluate their cost, and how you can use your data for this year’s strategy. You can use the data on clicks, impressions, spend, etc. and then decide when it will be profitable to show your ads and what keywords had the highest number of conversions.

Create a Promotional Schedule

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important. But your entire holiday promotional schedule shouldn’t revolve around a couple days. The motivation of shoppers changes each week during the holiday season. Earlier in the season people are probably looking for deals. As the holidays get closer, people are looking for easy gift ideas that will ship fast. Adjust your promotional schedule toward the goals and intentions of your audience.

Try Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook lead ads are Facebook’s most powerful tool for generating leads. They let you include a form with your ad so you can collect important information from your customers with ease. Since the forms pre-populate with a user’s name, email, and phone number, all they have to do is tap “Submit.”Lead ads can also be customized to fit your needs. Marketers can choose from six call-to-action buttons as well as a variety of open-ended or multiple-choice questions. During the holidays, you might use lead ads to invite customers to register for an event or party, or to sign up for an exclusive offer.

Create Great Product Descriptions

The more unique content you write for your descriptions, the better it will be for your SEO efforts. Put together a list of keywords to put into your descriptions. These will greatly improve the quality scores for your online marketing campaign and bump you up the search engine’s organic and paid results.

Make your Store Mobile-Friendly

With more people having Internet access on the go from their smartphones, mobile purchases have greatly increased. Therefore, make sure your website and landing pages are mobile-optimized for search and provide an easy user experience. Creating a easy and quick experience will encourage visitors to make a purchase.

Loyal Customers = Best Customers

During the holiday season, your existing customers are going to purchase more. Loyal customers will always be there for the holidays and it’s very important to remember your dependable clientele. Leverage your audience – RLSA (Retargeting Lists for Search Ads) and Customer Match strategies are great ways to engage returning customers during peak holiday periods. Give your customers a reason to return and make another purchase. Guide them through their holiday shopping by utilizing style guides, best product or product group gift ideas, Black Friday Deals, and more.

Strategize on Cross-Channel Opportunities

Review your plan and make strategic changes

No channel operates within a vacuum. Your target audience is moving between platforms such as reading email, conducting searches, as well as reading related content. For example, if you send an email out to your database, then you should create a specific remarketing audience for those visitors. Deliver ads to those individuals with a similar message as your initial email contact.

Make the Most of Expanded Text Ads

Launched just this summer, expanded text ads (ETA) give you nearly 50% more space to display your title, description and URL. Be sure to make the most of a huge 140 characters by rethinking your ad copy.

Explore Google’s Search Partners

Google can hold the key to your AdWords success, as with this search engine comes the promise of increased traffic through their search partners. By extending the reach of search ads to hundreds of websites not affiliated with Google, as well as to Google Maps, YouTube and other Google sites, you increase your chances of your ad being clicked on.

Ok, time to get those tips in motion, and remember if there’s questions you have for us about our holiday schedule, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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