Christmas Is Coming: 6 Easy Steps for Christmas PPC Success


Christmas Is Coming: 6 Easy Steps for Christmas PPC Success

Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail!

With Christmas fast approaching, are you ready to cash in on the Christmas rush?

More and more people are searching online for their Christmas presents and gifts and this year will be no exception! Research has shown that UK shoppers spent £21.6bn over the Christmas period in 2014 up 13% year on year, with a total of over £104bn spend online in 2014!

So is your paid search campaign ready for the festive season? If not, by following these 6 Easy Steps for Christmas Success will help to get you in good shape to capitalise on this year’s biggest ever shopping spree.

1. Bid Adjustments

It is important during this period that you keep an eye on your bids. With increased traffic and competition it is important you stay in front of your target audience.


Priority Focus Areas

  • Check Below First Page Bids
  • Improve Average Position
  • Monitor any time of day bid modifiers
  • Allocate more budget to target campaigns and ad groups

Don’t be afraid to start early since people are starting to think earlier about Christmas shopping, therefore it is important you get your message across to them during the upper funnel search/initial research phase.

2. Keyword Research

Keyword research is important at any time of the year and normally it is recommended to look at ‘Search Term’ reports either quarterly or monthly. However, with Christmas approaching, it is important to look at the reports to make sure you are attracting the right traffic through one or two ways:

  • New Keywords: to expand on the current keywords already within your ad groups, thus making sure you are up to date with the latest search query trends
  • Negative Keywords: this makes sure you are not wasting resources by attracting the wrong audience. Leaving more budget available to allocate to your target audience.

3. Ad Creation

Make your ads topical and join in the Christmas spirit with Christmas themed ad copy. Don’t be afraid to create new ads highlighting your Christmas deals such as ‘Special Winter Promotions’. As with any ad at any time of year it is always important to have a strong call to action. Above all else, be creative and get your message heard!


4. Ad Extensions

Firstly make sure you are fully utilising all available ad extensions possible. Since Google’s algorithm automatically chooses which ad extension to display with an ad it is important you enable Google to choose the extension with the best chance of converting. Current ad extensions available (within the UK) are:

Sitelinks Extensions: Allows deep linking to pages within your website, directly from the ad copy, e.g. Sale Items / Discount Section / Christmas Offers, etc. It is also important to make sure that descriptions are included as this does have an effect on the overall Quality Score.

Location Extensions: For any business with an offline presence it is useful to not only create a ‘My Business View’ account allowing your business to appear on Google map results. You can also link this profile back into your Adwords account.

Call Extensions: For mobile searches this is important since if, like me, you prefer speaking to a real person, then this extension allows customers to call your business directly from the ad copy. Also, a relatively new addition to this extension, is the ability to add a Google forwarding number which helps you track calls made through your mobile ads.

App Extensions: Any business with a mobile app can now link it into their ads directly giving users a chance to download the app via the Google play or iTunes app store. Also, as with Sitelinks, you can chose to deep link to specific pages inside your app, all directly from the ad.

Review Extensions: This Christmas, with the increased competition, it is important that you stand apart from the competition. With review extensions you can stand apart, and it works by showing your customer star ratings directly within your ads. Use previous and existing customers to help drive increased conversions from new customers.

Call-out Extensions: Theses extensions are a great way on include your companies Unique Selling Points (USPs) in bullet point style format. These non-clickable additions are a great way to increase the effectiveness of your ad, plus they can be segmented down to ad group level to help increase their relevancy.

Structured Snippet Extensions: These fairly new extensions help give advertisers more control over which key features to highlight in their ads. There is a   pre-defined list of twelve headers which includes: ‘Styles’, ‘Brands’, ‘Destinations’ and ‘Amenities’.

With all these extensions activated (of course not every business has an app), not only will these help improve the Click Through Rate (CTR) and the effectiveness of your ads, but by also appearing in the top three positions, your ad has the potential to double its onscreen real estate!

5. Multi-Channel

It is important to remember that last year over £8bn was spent via mobiles, an increase of 55% from 2013! So it is important that you have a mobile strategy for capturing this audience. Make sure you have at least one ad that is mobile-specific e.g.: “Call Now”, with the Call Extension activated, the user can call you directly through the ad.

Remember to try to win the moments that matter for your customers during this Christmas period. Make sure your brand is present during the consumer’s micro-moments, while remembering the four key mobile points – ’See, Think, Do and Care’.

6. Remarketing

During the research phase, where consumers are deciding what tie or socks to buy for friends and family, it is important that you stay in the consumers’ mind when they decide they finally what to buy!

Remarketing offers a great chance for businesses to retarget all past visitors and those who converted too! Therefore it is important to implement a segmentation strategy and develop re-engagement tactics.

I recommend breaking down user lists in the following order:

  1. General ‘Catch All’ user lists, capturing all users to your site.
  2. Product page views, any user who has visited a particular product on your website.
  3. Shopping cart abandoners – users who have placed items within your shopping basket but did not complete a purchase.
  4. Past converters (This list option would only be applicable for businesses who see repeat user purchases)

I further recommend the following adjustments to each list:


I would place the highest value to users within lists 3 and 4 and would therefore place a +100% modified bid adjustment for these users.

Users in list 2 have shown a reasonable intent with your products, therefore I would recommend around +50% bid increase.

Finally list 1 has shown relative interest within your site, therefore I would only look to increase bids by +15%.


By following these simple steps, you should be well placed to capitalise on the biggest shopping event of the year. If however, you would like any further help implementing these strategies or want further advice, feel free to contact the Receptional PPC team.

Chris Whyatt

Chris started at Receptional in October 2014, having previously managed an in-house PPC team. Being a new father to his son Archie “Danger” Whyatt, (Yes, Danger really is his middle name) Chris doesn’t have much spare time, but when he does he enjoys films and is a massive The Walking Dead & Game of Thrones fan. AdWords Qualified and a Bing Ads Professional.

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