Top 10 Ways to Prepare for the 2013 Holiday Season

Winter is coming. Just like the characters on the hit HBO show “Game of Thrones,” we, as Search Engine Marketers, must also prepare for the upcoming days of the Holiday Season. From seasonal keywords to strategically planning ahead, preparation is key when it comes to surviving the crazy days ahead.

With that in mind, Elite has put together the top ten ways for digital marketers to get ready for the 2013 Holiday Season. And no, dragons and beheadings are not currently part of our holiday strategy.

  1. Start Now! Like any holiday season it always feels too early. Nonetheless, like a grocery store that sells Christmas decorations in October, we too must meet the demand of the consumer.  According to Google, 6 out of 10 advertisers start holiday advertising before October 16. This doesn’t mean that consumers are buying, but this does mean that they are shopping.
  2. Create new ads: Create ads that highlight your holiday and holiday promotions. You should have a full promotional calendar from all clients for the upcoming holiday season. Utilize this calendar to schedule Ad Text to show for each of the upcoming holidays.
  3. Utilize Sitelinks Scheduling – Schedule Sitelinks to showcase your holiday promotions and offers.
  4. Product Listing Ads- Product Listings Ads  are collecting more and more of the click share with each passing day. If you are not currently utilizing these, you are missing out on a lot of traffic. This holiday season the traffic will become even more aggressive. It’s important to bid aggressively. Likewise, don’t forget to utilize promotions in your PLAs and make sure your feed is fully optimized.
  5. Mobile – The sale might not happen here, but in many cases the research starts here. In 2012, 63% of shoppers used multiple devices to help with their holiday purchases. Make sure you have a presence here.
  6. Remarketing – Make sure all remarketing tags are in place. Consumers will be researching more this year so be sure to have a remarketing strategy to continue the conversation with consumers after they leave your site.
  7. Bid Adjustments – Bid up before each holiday to stay in top position and make sure to adjust bids after the holiday as well.
  8. Leverage All Enhanced Ad Extensions. Take advantage of the many ad extensions that were launched with enhanced campaigns, including image extensions, enhanced sitelinks and longer headlines. Make your ad standout!
  9. Geo & TOD Bid Modifiers – Use Modifiers to go after quality traffic at peak periods & make sure your hitting the right audiences at the right time.
  10. Make it Count– The Holiday Season is 6 days shorter this year so timing is everything. Take advantage of making every day count.

So make the most of the holiday by optimizing your SEM spend.  Join the realm and you’ll survive the long winter season. After all, paid search is dark and full of terrors.

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