awesome PPC christmas presents(Source: Pixabay)

It’s that time of year again: Christmas is coming. It’s time to start thinking about Christmas cards, presents, what to buy your dad other than socks… and for the marketers amongst us, some good ol’ PPC activity.

The Christmas online shopping industry was worth an unbelievable £21.6bn in the UK last year, up 13% from the year before.

If only you could net some of that for your business, hey?

Well, you can. By getting a robust AdWords campaign in place for the Christmas period, you’ll be better placed to capitalise on the nation’s favourite festive spending spree.

We’ve put together our 6 top tips for your Christmas PPC campaign – just call us Santa’s Little Helpers.

1) Christmas Keyword Research

I know, I know. Keyword research is important all year round. You should never neglect your keyword reports, but they do deserve a little extra TLC over the Christmas season.
The potential is huge. Over peak times certain keywords surge in popularity – the obvious example being something like, ‘Christmas gifts’, for example. Not much of that happening in March.

A vital step in getting your Christmas PPC campaign up-to-date and ready-to-go is to check the latest search query trends. Refocus your keyword strategy to align with these changing trends, and you’ll see a big surge in Christmas-prompted traffic.

2) Go Mobile

Few successful marketing campaigns are single-channel only, and the festive season is no exception. Christmas last year saw a 55% increase in mobile spending – a total of £8bn – so savvy businesses should make sure their Christmas PPC campaign is optimised for mobile users.

Make sure you have at least one mobile advert, specifically reaching out to mobile users, and tailor your site-links so they’re short and snappy. With mobile, it means your campaign is always in the pocket of your customers, so think more broadly about how you can seamlessly align yourself with their day-to-day life.

Missing out on mobile would be a big mistake this Christmas!

3) The Remarketing Bandwagon

Think about the last Christmas present you bought. Did you just… buy it? Or did you research it? Shop around? Weigh up your options? Exactly.

In the age of online shopping, research becomes more important than the impulse purchase – and businesses should be capitalising on that with their Christmas PPC campaign.

Remarketing allows you to target all past visitors and reengage with them, so you don’t stay out of sight, out of mind. Think of it like a gentle reminder, ensuring you don’t miss out on a purchase just because they forgot about you!

The most important thing here is to develop a solid segmentation strategy, as remarketing can target users who’ve got to varying stages through the purchase funnel before disengaging.

For example, you probably want to segment your lists by degree of past engagement, as follows:

  • All visitors to your site
  • All visitors who’ve viewed a specific product page
  • All visitors who’ve placed items in the shopping cart, but not bought them
  • All past customers

We’ll talk about modified bid adjustments in a moment, but this is a key situation in which you should adjust your bids. The best strategy is to allocate bid weighting depending on how likely each category is to convert. For example:

  • Only shown relative interest: +15% bid increase
  • Shown reasonable interest: +50% bid increase
  • Shown significant interest: +100% bid increase
  • Shown significant interest: +100% bid increase

The amount you increase your bids by will generally correlate to how far through the funnel your leads have come. So close to the point of purchase it hurts? Adjusting your bid could be the thing that closes the sale.

4) Watch Your Bids

Hopefully the point above illustrated why bid adjustments can be so useful, but they’re important enough to get a point all of their own.

Over the Christmas period you’re going to see increased traffic, as well as increased competition so you’re going to need to keep a closer eye on your bids. Focus on time of day modifiers, and you’ll likely want to improve your overall position too.

Bear in mind that your Christmas PPC campaign should start early, so you can be sure to capture customers as they’re in the early stages of the research funnel. If you don’t, you can be sure your competition will – and customers who’re already in someone else’s funnel are harder to lure away!

5) Christmas Ad Creation

Don’t be a Scrooge – help your customers get in the Christmas spirit by making your PPC campaign overtly Christmassy. Your call to action is one of the most important elements of your campaign, and you’ll pack more of a punch if it’s Christmas specific.

PPC Santa(Source: Pixabay)

6) Be Savvy With Ad Extensions

Christmas is a competitive time for online retailers, so it’s more important than ever to use ad extensions appropriately. Google automatically chooses the ad extension is thinks best suits an advert – so long as you have it enabled!

With that in mind, you need to enable all possible ad extensions so your Christmas PPC campaign has the best chance of doing well.

Here are the current extensions available in the UK:

Location extensions

This allows your business to appear on Google Maps results, so if you have a physical location, this is definitely one to take advantage of.

App Extensions

Do you have a mobile app? If so, you can link it to your ad using an app extension, so users can download it straight away. You can also deep link into pages inside your app from the ad, so if there’s something you really want to show off, this is a great extension to use.

Call-out Extensions

As the name implies, these extensions allow you to call out the key points about your company in bullet point format, alongside your ad. A great way to maximise the effectiveness of your campaign.

Sitelinks Extensions

Everyone running a Christmas PPC advert should be using this extension, as it allows you to deep link to relevant pages from your site direct from the ad. Your Quality Score will be negatively impacted if you don’t include descriptions though, so don’t forget.

Structured Snippet Extensions

This extension allows you to highlight certain key features within your advert from a list of headers. A great way to take more control over your campaign.

Review Extensions

If your past customers love you, that’s definitely something to shout about. This is the age on the online review, and this extension lets you link your previous customer ratings directly to your ads. Never miss a chance to show social proof!

And finally…

Call Extensions

This is one of the most important extensions for mobile adverts as it allows customers to call straight from the ad. Telephone leads are widely regarded as the most valuable lead source, and this extension can help you capitalise on that.

Christmas PPC, as easy as 1, 2, 3… Incorporate these six tips into your seasonal marketing strategy and you can be sure to capitalise on some Christmas cash.

Chris Whyatt

Chris Whyatt


Chris Whyatt is a Consultant with the Receptional Paid Search Team