PPC Adventure Land – Do You Have a Post Holiday Strategy?

by Tyler Calder December 15th, 2009 

Its December 15th! Which can only mean one thing: just…. ten….more….shopping….days….left….

The malls are undoubtedly going to be packed with those last minute shoppers that never learn their lessons. We know this to be true because we witness the yearly chaos if we step foot within 10km of a mall.

What do we know about online though?

For those of you running PPC campaigns, Im sure youve been ramping things up since late October and early November. You've seen that HUGE spike in traffic that comes in the first few weeks of December, and right about now, things are starting to slow down. This is the yearly cycle we go through in the land of PPC, and this cycle makes sense….right?

Retailers set their shipping cut-offs right around now and surely, people arent buying stuff online if they cant get it for Christmas? Well, buckle your seats folks, because although we see overall search volume and conversion rates trend downwards in the week leading up to Christmas, these 7 days still account for…

20% of Holiday Sales!

ComScore, 2009

So, what does this mean for you?

It means that NOW is the time to take advantage of all your competitors who are beginning to slow things down and arent watching their campaigns as closely. As far as theyre concerned, the season is over. The season isnt over, and if youre a retailer, its your time to shine:

  • Test out your bids, can you lower them as competitors drop out of the market?
  • Be creative with your ad copy, speak to those late shoppers or those hunting for deals
  • Make sure you have presence on the weekends! People, tons of people, are shopping online through the weekend.

Okay, thats leading up to December 25th…. but what about after?

Boxing Day

This nifty little chart was created with Googles Insights for Search. It represents the 2008 Holiday Season and search volume around people looking for Sales

After everyone opens all their gifts on December 25th, theyre back online looking for a deal come Boxing Day. If youre a retailer, you need to make sure you are prepared for this day " Fresh Ad Copy, a Bidding Strategy and Budget allocated.

So youve got the next 10 days locked up, youve got Boxing Day locked up, but now what?

Keep these little factoids in mind:

  • Conversion Rates bounce back up on Boxing Day and tend to hold on par with November rates through the first week or two of January
  • Although traffic bounces back on Boxing Day, your competitors dont, which means CPCs tend to be lower " Volume is up, Cost to capture that volume is Down.
  • People want to buy! Make it easy for them.

So, there you have it folks, with just 10 days left until December 25th, are your PPC campaigns still firing on all cylinders? I hope so!

Happy Holidays Everyone,

Tyler

*These trends don't apply across the board. For example, Search Volume does drop (and stays that way) for such things as Jewelery & Children's Toys. I highly recommend doing some research before you make any strategic decisions.*
Tyler Calder

Tyler is VP of Client Strategy at Search Engine People Inc., one of Canada's largest and most trusted internet marketing companies. He also teaches a 12 week Search Engine Marketing course at the University of Toronto and the intensive 1-Day SEO and PPC courses for the IAB.

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