Mother’s Day is fast approaching and if you haven’t already prepared your Pay Per Click (PPC) account, now’s the perfect time.

Whether you run an online florist, an e-commerce gift shop or even a service based website, if your products have the potential to be Mother Day gifts, it is essential that you prepare your PPC account for the occasion.

Here’s why.

Search trends

With the majority of search terms, there is usually a correlation between seasonality and search volume. This is evident when it comes to search queries relating to Mother’s Day, as illustrated in the graph below from Google Trends:

mothers day search trends

In 2013 Mother’s Day fell on 10th March, this coincides with the uplift in search volume which is apparent from  as early as 10th February before it peaks on 3rd March. Although, ‘Flowers’ is a more generic term, you can see from the graph above that queries for this term also peaked around Mother’s Day.

Why is this important?

This data tells us that some customers begin shopping for their Mother’s Day gifts as far as one month in advance, whilst the majority begin looking about one week ahead of the date. Based on this insight, it is likely that the peak time this year will be approximately the 23rd March, so there is still plenty of time to optimise your PPC account with our 3 tips!

Tip 1: Set up specific Mother’s Day targeting

Whilst it is easier to just increase your budgets around Mother’s Day to allow for the uplift in search volume, I would strongly recommend creating new tailored campaigns/ad groups that house relevant keywords instead. This may be more time consuming but in the long run it is more likely to boost your PPC performance.

The benefits of setting up separate targeting for Mother’s Day include:


  • The ability to show specific Mother’s Day ad copy and offers.

  • Improved quality scores as keywords will be more tightly themed if in a separate Mother’s Day ad group

  • Higher quality scores will positively impact the cost you pay per click.

  • By grouping your Mother’s Day keywords in a new ad group you can create new Mother’s Day specific sitelinks

  • It is easier to allocate and manage budgets if you are targeting Mother’s Day related terms in a separate campaign, you can also set up specific ad scheduling and locational targeting


Another key benefit of setting up separate Mother’s Day targeting, is that once you have done it, it is there ready for you to use the following year.

You might need to tweak ad copy or keywords each year but it will save you a lot of time and enable you to get your ads up and running well in advance of the occasion.

Swigflasks.com for example is already displaying ads for Father’s Day even though it is nearly 3 months away, it is likely that they have a Father’s Day Campaign set up that they launch well in advance each year:

 SWIG Father's day flasks

Tip 2: Create new Sitelinks

If you have created new specific campaigns/ad groups for Mother’s Day targeting as suggested in Tip 1, you will have the opportunity to create new sitelinks. Sitelinks are a great way of making your ad(s) stand out from YOUR competitors and give you the opportunity to showcase your promotions or unique selling points. We recently wrote this handy free Guide to AdWords Extensions which will give you plenty of ideas (just click the link to download).

The two examples below show how one advertiser (Not On The Highstreet) has successfully used tailored Mother’s Day sitelinks and how the other advertiser (Alexander and James) has not.

As you can see, the first ad looks far more appealing to a Mother’s Day gift shopper:

PPC not on the high street

It is advised that you create new sitelinks that link to your Mother’s Day landing page if you have one or more popular products that generally sell well around Mother’s Day. This can significantly increase click through rate (CTR) and potentially drive more sales.

The sitelinks used by Waitrose Direct are a good example of how existing sitelinks can be duplicated and changed slightly to appeal to searchers looking for Mother’s Day specific flowers. In the example below they have added ‘Mother’s Day’ to two of their flower ranges (Camellia and Azalea):

camellia

It is also important to consider seasonal trends, like Mother’s Day, when it comes to your brand related sitelinks. I would recommend having a standard Mother’s Day sitelink (as well as Father’s Day, Christmas, etc. if relevant) scheduled to run during the relevant time to attract users who search for your brand name instead of a more specific query. An advertiser who is currently doing this is eflorist, as shown below:

eflorist ppc

Tip 3: Ensure your ads are enticing

Mother’s Day is always going to be a competitive time in the PPC landscape. As advertisers become more sophisticated in their account set up and preparation for such events it becomes harder to stand out from the crowd. One way that to make sure your ads attract attention is to ensure your Mother’s Day ads are enticing. Here’s how you can achieve this:


  • Ensure you have relevant keywords in your ad copy so they are emboldened in search results

  • Make use of the display URL and include a key term like ‘Mothers-Day-Gifts’

  • If you have Mother’s Day promotional offers such as free delivery or 10% off, shout about it in your ads!

  • Include a relevant call to action to influence conversion

  • Create Mother’s Day specific sitelinks as advised in Tip 2

  • If you have a suitable review, consider using the review extensions to help your ad stand out

  • Encourage customers to review your website so your ads can display seller ratings

  • Ensure you have added call extensions to your ads if you can sell over the phone, this will give your ad the chance to show your phone number alongside it

  • If you have an offline presence, make sure you have location extensions active so users know where you are if they want to purchase their Mother’s Day gift in-store.

  • If you have a Google + page, ensure your AdWords account is linked to it so your followers are shown in the ads


Finally, I would recommend doing some competitor research by searching for Mother’s Day keywords that relate to your products. This will help you to identify what ad copy, promotions, offers and call to actions your competitors are using. The aim is to stand out from their ads so think of ways you can do this, perhaps by offering something completely different or by being competitive on prices

A few examples of advertisers who have used enticing ads that follow best practice are shown below:

1) Prestige Flowers:

They have used a £15 off promotional offer in their ad title and ensured the keyword ‘Mother’s Day Flowers’ is in the descriptive text so it is emboldened. They have also used a good display URL and call to action and have opted to use a review extension:

prestiege

2) Not on the High Street:

This ad shows how seller ratings help the ad to stand out and also how linking your Adwords account to your Google+ page enables your ads to show how many followers you have. This can help build trust and assurance with potential customers. The sitelinks used are also specific and relevant which can only help with CTR.

not on the high street ad

3) Hotel Chocolat:

This ad is a good example of how the location and call extensions have been used to help the ad stand out. With this information users can quite easily call for more information or visit their local store. This ad is somewhat let down by the fact that the ad copy and display URL do not include the keyword ‘Mother’s Day Chocolate’ that I typed in.

hotel chocolat

Tip 4: Use relevant Landing Pages

Landing pages are not only important for your customers’ experience but they are also a big ranking factor for Google when it comes to quality scores. If you are a florist advertising Mother’s Day flowers for example, it would be highly beneficial to direct searchers to a specific Mother’s Day page rather than the homepage.

Likewise, if you sell a number of products that may be relevant for Mother’s Day such as chocolate, flowers and jewellery it is often tempting for advertisers to land users on a generic gift page so that users can see all of their products. It is best to bear in mind that if the user has searched for a chocolate related term, they have already decided that they want a chocolate related gift so it is best to give them what they want and land them on your chocolate gifts page. This will improve their experience as they will not have to click around your site to find what they want. It will also help with quality scores within Adwords and help to lower your CPC (Cost Per Click) and improve ad position over time.

Summary

For any advertisers looking to get the most out of their PPC account this Mother’s Day I would highly recommend following the tips discussed in this post. Preparing your account and setting up new campaigns, ads and sitelinks may be time consuming but considering the fierce competition during the Mother’s Day, any opportunity to make your ads stand out from the competition should not be missed!

If you would like advice on seasonal PPC advertising or setting up bespoke campaigns, feel free to contact our PPC experts who will be happy to help.