Gary Hainsworth

PPC Tips for Cyber Monday and Christmas

26th Nov 2012 PPC Blog, Google AdWords, PPC Blog 5 minutes to read

With December fast approaching, the Christmas period can be a great time to push your product or service online. If you want quick results then Google AdWords is the obvious choice. However, to make it profitable you need to make sure your CTR and quality score are top notch. As it’s Cyber Monday I have put together a list of tips to make sure your campaign is delivering Christmas conversions.

Crimbo Keywords

This may sound simple, but it’s certainly worth changing up your keywords for the festive period. There is a big increase on keyword terms “gifts” and “Christmas” so it’s worth targeting these variations with your product. Specifically targeting these words can often be a cheaper way of bidding as well as increasing your quality score.

Similarly it’s worth making sure you have the correct negative keywords in place. For example a jewellery store may want to exclude words like “stocking fillers”, “crackers” or “parties” if they are bidding on broad keyword matches related to Christmas.

Christmas Shopping

Deal or No Deal

Christmas shoppers love a bargain. Try and incentivise your customers with free delivery or a discount on some of your products. Having a Christmas offer will lead to an increased Click through Rate which in turn will increase your quality score, thus reducing your ad spend.

To further promote your deal you can use automatic offer extensions. This will enhance your ad with a link that’s labelled “View this Ad’s Deal”. This will also direct the user straight to the correct landing page.

Offer Extension

Ad Copy

Another way to gain an advantage on your competition is to include the offers in your ad copy. Bin the boring generic ads and include the benefits of your Christmas offer. Including words like ‘Christmas Offers’ and ‘Christmas Discounts’ can make all the difference. Calls to action like ‘Delivered and Gift Wrapped for Xmas’ can also boost sales. Make use of all the product extensions available to make sure your ad stands out.

• Location extensions
• Site links
• Call extensions
• Product extensions
• Seller ratings

Social Extensions

At Google’s recent Engage for Agencies day they stressed the importance of using social extensions over the Christmas period. They reported that advertisers are seeing as much as 20% increases in CTR as a result of using the social extension.

Enabling social extensions on your PPC campaign will show all the +1’s your brand has received which in turn will make it more likely that a user who views your ad will have a friend who has suggested it. The majority of people buy Christmas presents based on recommendations. Using this extension will gain the trust of users and increase your CTR (quality score).

Social Extensions


Landing Page

Your landing page is always important to help you achieve a good quality score. This is even more important in the festive period. If you have a Christmas offer make sure you send the user to a specific page containing that deal. Sending users to a generic page will increase your bounce rate which in turn will ruin your quality score.

Adding something as simple as a Christmas tree to your brand’s logo helps confirm the relevancy between your site and the Christmas promotion.

Gift Packs

People buy Christmas presents online because shopping is stressful. Make your checkout process as easy as possible. Again consumers are looking for bargains so if you can bundle products together this can be an excellent way to boost revenue. For example, a retailer that sells iPhones may also add a tick box to include an iphone cover. This can seem like two presents for the price of one and adds more perceived value to the customer.

Mobile Christmas Campaigns

With two out of three people on Smart phones you would be mad not to have a mobile specific campaign this Christmas. Christmas consumers will be comparing prices in store and searching for deals on their lunch break. To bid effectively make sure you split mobile out into its own separate campaign.

Increase CTR by using mobile specific keywords in the ad copy. Bid aggressively at lunchtime and make sure you take advantage of location and ‘Click to Call’ extensions. Location extensions can also work efficiently.

Christmas Mobile

Budget & Scheduling

Bidding can become expensive over the Christmas period so it is important that you calculate exactly how much you are willing to pay per click and per conversion. If you know these figures you can make sure you are bidding the correct amount on each key term.

As the term ‘Cyber Monday’ suggests, the first day of the week can be a good time to increase bids after weekend activity. Previous data suggests that increasing bids between 12pm and 2pm can help you capitalise on premium traffic. Google specifically say that there are four phases of the buying cycle so bare this in mind when you schedule your bids.

1. Attention/Interest
2. Buying
3. Loyalty
4. Loyalty and Repeat Purchase


Remarketing is an excellent way to capitalise on the Christmas market. During the festive season, it’s common for customers to abandon sites and shopping carts, but this popular AdWords feature will allow you to display your banner to the same customer across multiple platforms. Make sure you have product or category specific lists so your banner is highly targeted.

Remarketing Banners

Get creative. A Christmas remarketing campaign needs to have a Christmas theme. I’m talking snowmen, stockings and tinsel – the full shebang. The banner will need to be highly targeted to the product you are targeting and don’t forget the offer.

If your design power is restricted you can always use the Google Ad Builder to create your banners. Additionally you can link your Merchant Centre to your AdWords Remarketing campaign to make sure the potential customer is always displayed the most appropriate product.

New Year Remarketing

Anyone who loves Christmas shopping will also love a New Year sale. If you build up a range of Christmas audiences you then have extremely valuable data to remarket to. For example a golf retailer may remarket ‘half price golf balls’ to any customer who bought a golf club in December.


Peak points for Christmas start around October 15th and finish February 25th so you still have plenty of time to kick start your PPC. People bang on about black Friday and Cyber Monday but December can be a great month to increase conversions.

Statistically speaking December 2012 has an extra Monday to promise delivery before Christmas, so now is the time to dust down AdWords Editor and start refining your Christmas campaigns.

Does anyone else have any other PPC Christmas tips? If you do we would love to hear your comments below:

Image Credit 1: 3D Shopping Cart from Bigstock
Image Credit 2: Christmas Tablet Computer with Santa Hat from Bigstock

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Gary Hainsworth

Senior Organic Data Specialist

Having worked in SEO for over a decade, Gary knows everything worth knowing about search engines and technical SEO. A talented search marketer, Gary has worked for several exciting brands during his career to date, including the likes of the V&A, Warburtons, the NHS and the Lake District National Park. In his personal life Gary has a passion for guitars – be that playing them, modifying them or building them! He relates strongly with the humble and kind hedgehog, who also happen to be as prickly as his musical taste; anything loud, fast and angry.

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