Ideas

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Paid Search for the Holidays

December 11, 2014

The holidays are here! For those working in the digital world, this usually means a little more budget, some loftier goals and a lot more pressure to have your campaigns perform well. George Chen, our Senior Director of Search, is here to give you some paid search and Google Grant account tips to help get through the season:

1. Change Your Delivery Method from Standard to Accelerated

Changing your delivery method can increase your visibility and search traffic. During critical times of the year, this is a very helpful option.

By default, this option is set to “Standard.” Under a limited budget, Google will attempt to evenly distribute your budget throughout the day using “Standard Delivery.”  This is extremely helpful in preventing an early depletion of your money earlier in the day, which prevents traffic in possible key afternoon and evening hours.

Accelerated delivery is just the opposite. Google will show your ads as often as they can. The danger here is you may run out of budget earlier in the day. To combat this, you may want to increase your campaign budgets to reduce the risk of this occurring. 

You can find this feature under “Campaign Settings”

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2. Take Advantage of Automated Rules and Campaign End Dates

Don’t feel like getting up early on New Year’s Day to turn off holiday-themed ads or campaigns? Neither do I!

Instead, take advantage of helpful AdWords features such as “Automated Rules” or “Campaign End Dates.” Schedule your ads to automatically pause on a date and/or time of your choice without having to worry about remembering to do it later.

Automated Rules

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Campaign End Date (Under Campaign Settings)

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3. Add Seasonal Keywords

We’ve all been there sooner or later. Bored on New Year’s Eve and looking for things to do. What’s a person to do? We may turn to our friendly neighborhood search engine to see what’s going on.

Phrases like “new years eve” “new year’s eve events” and “things to do for new year’s eve” can help boost traffic to your site if you happen to have performances.

Is Google going to deem you as highly relevant? Are you going to build out custom landing pages on your site? Are you going to create great content centering around being bored on New Year’s Eve? Probably not. But, you’re likely going to run these highly seasonal terms for only a short amount of time. Might as well try to get some extra holiday traffic.

 

4. Use of Ad Extensions

I tend to think of webpage layouts as real estate. The more space you have, usually the better. This is certainly true in the case of the search engine results page (SERP). One of the most beneficial things you can do to help increase your share of space on the SERP is to use Ad Extensions. You deliver more information to the user while taking up more space on the SERP. In the end, this means you are increasing the chances of someone noticing your ad, clicking it, and visiting your site.

There are several different types of ad extensions-for example, Sitelinks Extensions and Location Extensions.

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Sitelinks Extensions allow you to link to specific pages of your choice on your website. You can link to your calendar pages, ticketing pages, promote specific events – essentially anything you want.

Location extensions are great too, especially if you are a highly regional company. This easily lets the user know where you are located by displaying your address. The user can even click on the address, which links to a maps page

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5. Set-up a Paid Account in Tandem with a Grant Account

This last tip pertains strictly to non-profits that qualify for a Google Grant Search Account. As many of you already know, qualified non-profits may be eligible for a Google Grant account. This entitles you up to $10,000 in free monthly search advertising.  

There are certain limitations, most notably; there is a hard $2 bid cap. If your organization uses a Google Grant account, you may have already run into this bid issue during the more competitive parts of the year. 

Remember-the bid is a ranking factor. It’s not the only thing search engines look at, but it’s definitely an important component. Creating a traditional search account will give you the flexibility to bid above $2.

You can port over the absolutely critical campaigns from your grant account into your new paid account and still run portions of your strategy via Grant money. For example, the Christmas season means Nutcracker performances, and a lot of them.  We use this technique with clients, like Boston Ballet, to help them get more bang for their buck in a short amount of time during the holidays.  

Once your critical season is over, you can pause your paid account and go back to running exclusively on your grant account. Important to remember: If you decide to setup a traditional paid search account, you are responsible for the media costs incurred using this account.

 

Happy Holidays!

-George

snowman

AdWords/Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Author

George Chen



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