Time to gear up for Black Friday
Sophie Logan
November 3, 2017

Don’t get caught out by the quickly approaching Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Now's the time to start preparing your search network text ads.

It’s important to get prepared for the increased demand, and make the most of your online ads. Here are some quick and simple ways to prepare your search-network text ads for Black Friday (Nov. 24) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 29).

Specific text ad copy

It may seem obvious, but in your Black Friday marketing strategy, you should be creating relevant ad-copy specifically for the shopping holiday. Keywords like deals, savings, offers and bargains -- as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday themselves -- will likely appeal to those on the lookout for a decent deal. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to see what kind of keywords you should be looking at targeting for your specific industry. Just make sure that you schedule these ads to only run during the sales period, with your normal ads resuming straight afterwards.

Explore device-bid optimization

Last year, the five-day Thanksgiving shopping period saw a rise in the use of smartphones, which were converting at 5%, while tablets saw a 6% conversion. With the ever-growing presence of mobile and tablets, we’re likely to see even more impressive figures this year. Therefore, it is vital that retailers consider the devices that customers are using, and accommodate their bid strategy accordingly. Essentially you want to spend more money on the clicks that are most likely to convert, and judging this by device type is a good method.

Look into your own analytics to see what devices your current customers are using to visit the site, which device your customers are mainly converting through, and which has the highest average transaction value. This will give you an indication of which devices are most effective for conversion. You can then increase your bid adjustments appropriately.

Black Friday site-link extension

If you are going to have a number of products on offer, you should consider adding them to a designated product listing page, which can then be used as the landing page for all your Black Friday/Cyber Monday communications. This means that potential customers are taken to the most suitable page immediately, with the products on the page all being of Black Friday relevance. You can also use the page as the final URL for a Black Friday specific site-link extension, which will only show during the appropriate period, as demonstrated below.

 

By adding this site-link extension to all relevant ad groups across your account, you should be able to sit back and relax, knowing that when it comes to having some Black Friday presence in your text ads, you’re all covered.

Consider your budget

This is hugely important, given that it is likely to be the busiest online sales period of the year. That means higher competition for paid search, and higher average cost per clicks across the PPC board. You will need to reconsider your budget if you are going to retain competitive advantage during Black Friday.

If possible, plan for a larger budget during the period, with any additional funds being put towards your sales campaigns. If additional funding is not possible, there are ways around it, such as reducing your account spend slightly over the upcoming weeks and then allocating that pot of money to the holiday campaigns. Whatever you choose to do, just be sure to change the budget back to your original schedule after Cyber Monday to resume normal spending.

Callout extensions

It’s also important to make sure that your callout extensions promote your delivery and refund details. With more and more online retailers offering next day delivery, click and collect and free refund services, you need to make sure that you are shouting out about what you can offer potential customers. It might well make the difference between an individual hitting the busy Black Friday high street for their purchase, or buying from your website.

Make life as easy as possible for the customer, and present them with all the information they need.

Similarly, if you have a physical store, use your callout extensions to let potential customers know crucial details like opening times and addresses. A large percentage of physical shoppers start their purchasing journey with Google, so help them on their way with your text ad’s callouts. For Black Friday, this could include extended opening hours or in-store online deals, set to only appear during the specific time frame applicable.

Contingency plans

Black Friday has really grown at a phenomenal rate, more so in the past few years, and it can make a huge difference in hitting sales targets. You are likely to see an increase in web traffic. One product may just fly off the shelf or you may experience a surge of traffic. Be sure you're prepared for the latter possibility to avoid having your website crash.

At the end of Cyber Monday, evaluate your performance and look for any possible strengths and weaknesses for the following year. Make sure that you are tracking all conversions, as this information can help with future campaigns. You may come across a few interesting trends or behaviors that could help you implement a similar strategy for other major sales events such as end-of-the-year holiday shopping.

Sophie Logan is a digital marketing executive at digital marketing agency Hallam Internet, with specialist experience in pay-per-click advertising. She has experience in driving online growth for large blue chip companies, managing budgets and projects of all sizes, and utilizing analytics to make data-driven decisions.