The holiday season can mean big business and it’s coming fast. But while spending rises, so does the competition. Do you have a strategy in place for your PPC and SEO holiday campaigns? In addition to searches for “Thanksgiving recipes” and “best Christmas gifts for dad,” people will also be searching for electricians, plumbers, and other service companies for holiday get-togethers, lighting displays, and more.
For the best results this holiday season, invest in search engine optimization (SEO) in conjunction with pay-per-click (PPC) efforts on social media and search engines. Learn how PPC and SEO affect each other.
To help simplify and optimize your holiday marketing campaigns, we’re here to share with you some of the best search engine marketing (SEM) ideas to get the most traffic and cheer.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Over half of all searches on Google are made on mobile devices. If you don’t want to lose over half of your entire market, it’s important to have a website that is mobile-friendly and optimized for smaller screens. If you have a mobile-friendly site, you can effectively target your phone and tablet users without worrying about wasted money. Learn more about mobile-friendly websites and landing pages:
Highlight holiday images and reviews. When creating content for your social media accounts, websites, and landing pages, use holiday-related images and reviews.
Think holistically. Maximize your marketing efforts by thinking about ways you can deploy your marketing strategy across multiple channels.
Track your stats. Track your campaign success with granular reporting and account optimizations. Use last year’s data to improve campaign success. Pay particular attention to keyword performance, click-through-rates, and overall conversion rates. Try to capitalize on trends that will give you an edge up on the competition this year.
PPC Ideas for the Holidays
If you are just getting started with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, learn the basics here.
Target Holiday-Related Keywords in PPC Campaigns
You won’t rank for holiday-related searches if you aren’t targeting those keywords in your AdWords dashboard. While your target demographic won’t change, the target searcher will. In order to take advantage of the uptick in holiday-related searches, you want to constantly change your target keywords to account for seasonal changes.
PPC campaign tweaks and consistent management are essential for a successful PPC strategy. Just as “best Christmas lighting” would make a good blog post for the holidays, it also makes a good keyword phrase to target.
Increase Emphasis On 24/7, On-Time, Free Shipping, and Local Options
People are busy during Christmastime. Since the holidays create a deadline for everybody, sales tend to skyrocket in the preceding months and days. If you are like most people, you wait longer than you should for scheduling those important tasks for the holidays.
This is why it’s important to emphasize convenient options, such as 24/7 service, holiday availability, free/fast shipping, on-time service, and the like. As the holidays approach, be aware of the changing priorities of your customers.
Take Advantage of Highly Targeted Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising gives you the choice of bidding for each click (cost-per-link-click, CPC) or per thousand impressions (cost-per-mille, CPM). The advanced targeting features allow you to reach your customers based on demographics, location, interests, and behaviors.
There are many different ad formats and nearly endless targeting options. For example, you can create a video ad for your Christmas commercial, send people to a holiday-themed landing page, or use lead ads to collect customer phone numbers and emails.
It can be difficult, however, to know which strategy is most effective for your advertising goals. When things get this granular, it can be easy to make mistakes. As we’ve found with PPC, clear planning, creative design, and thoughtful targeting is vital for success.
To get started with successful ads on the first go, contact VitalStorm to learn more about our Facebook Advertising program.
Double-Check Mobile PPC Bids and URLs
Most searches are conducted on mobile devices. Don’t just assume that your mobile shoppers are being directed to the right mobile landing page. Make sure you are there for your customers by updating your mobile bid modifiers and mobile URLs. We also recommend that you create a custom tracking code for your mobile visitors so that you can create a mobile device remarketing audience.
Not sure how? No problem—our PPC campaign managers actively manage your PPC campaigns, making sure no detail (such as mobile URLs) is overlooked.
Boost Bids, Be Careful with Budgets, and Build Out Campaigns in Advance
It’s a good idea to boost your bids for related terms during peak purchase times, but make sure you know when your budget has been reached. Use scripts to cap budgets. Know which times and days will eat up most of your ad spend and budget for the increase.
The holiday season is busy enough already. Don’t wait until the last minute to build your holiday campaigns. Start at least 3 months in advance so you can schedule them out (with start and end dates). That way, you can focus on the reporting and account optimizations during the actual hectic day-to-day of the holiday season.
Double-check your start and end dates. Make sure your offers and promotional campaigns line up with the start and stop dates of your PPC campaigns.
SEO Ideas for the Holidays
Keywords and phrases trend up and down with changes to current events, time of day/year, and the holidays. Obviously keywords relating to major holidays spike around the time of that holiday. For instance, “Christmas gift ideas,” “best Halloween costumes,” and “romantic Valentine’s date ideas.” The thing is, if you want to rank for holiday-related content, you must plan for this well ahead of time and get your content published prior to the holiday’s buying season.
It takes time for the search engines to rank your pages. It’s probably already too late for Halloween, but Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the other winter holidays are fair game. As a general rule, searches for holiday-related content start increasing around 2-3 months before the holiday, which is why it’s important to start getting related content and links ready at least 2 months prior to the holiday. Give your content and keywords plenty of time to be indexed before the searches really start gaining traction.
You can graph search trends using Google Trends and analyze the results to craft your long-term holiday SEO plan. While Yahoo and Bing don’t have a comparative trend tool, it’s likely that the trend patterns are highly similar to Google’s patterns.
Create Content for the Holidays
This may seem obvious, but you won’t rank for any holiday-related keywords if you don’t have holiday-related content on your website. Write SEO-friendly, industry-related content for the holidays. The key is to start early and publish your pages and posts now so that the search engines have time to crawl and rank your content for searchers. While people won’t be searching for “Christmas light ideas” until around early November, it’s important to make sure the content for those searches is already posted.
To keep up-to-date with seasonal changes and which holidays you want to target, create a content calendar and make sure your relevant content is published far in advance. Use friendly, high-quality visuals to stand out.
For copywriting and content writing tips that work, read our blog:
- How to Say It: Copywriting Tips
- The Ultimate Swipe File for Home Services
- How to Create Content That Converts
- Content Marketing Strategy
Don’t Delete Your Old Holiday Pages/Posts
You did all that work last year to create a compelling holiday page or post, so don’t delete it and start from scratch. Benefit from your hard work last year by reusing the same URL and simply updating the page to create a new version. This will give you a jumpstart when it comes time to ramp up your holiday content.
Target Holiday Keywords with Images and Reviews
Increase your chances of showing up in the search results and make your site more relevant by targeting holiday-related keywords in your content, images, and reviews. For instance, if you have any reviews that mention the holiday season, highlight these comments. If you are creating content, include holiday-themed images with alt-tags that include words such as “gift,” “Christmas,” “Thanksgiving,” etc. Since search engines can’t “see” your images (yet), alt tags help web crawlers understand what the image is about for better ranking results. They also help get more of your holiday keywords onto the page without “keyword stuffing.” Learn more search engine optimization tips.
Showcase Holiday Cheer and Charity
Connect with your customers by highlighting your charitable spirit this holiday season. If you’re doing any food drives, corporate charity events, or other holiday-related charities, let your customers know about it! Use video and make it authentic, such as dressing up as Santa Claus/elves and handing out gifts to unsuspecting families. Contact local news stations to make an even bigger impact.
Here’s a beautiful example from our friends at Milestone:
You can then target customers in your area through Facebook advertising and other targeting campaigns. While these campaigns should not be about selling, you can re-engage these customers with future ads and they will remember you from those community and charitable services that reached them the first time.
Bonus Tip: Use Facebook Pixels to re-engage your website visitors on Facebook and Instagram. A Facebook Pixel is a simple piece of code that goes in the head tag of your website. It automatically tracks visitors to your website so that you can retarget them on Facebook and Instagram. It’s a great way to increase your social media advertising success since these people are already interested in your business.
Don’t wait to start your PPC and SEO holiday strategy!
Contact VitalStorm to get started: