So it’s that time of year again… With Black Friday just around the corner, it’s crucial to get your PPC campaigns up to scratch in time for the masses of online holiday shoppers in search for a bargain.

So just how big were Black Friday sales in the UK last year? Here are some statistics to put it into perspective:

– UK shoppers have been spending upwards of £1 billion over the weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
– Retailers spent 27% more on paid search campaigns on Black Friday 2013 than in 2012.
– Between midnight and 8am on Black Friday 2013 John Lewis saw 323% more traffic than on a normal November Friday.
– Amazon sales increased 63% last year compared to Black Friday 2012.
– EBay transactions increased by 84% compared to the precious year.

If you would like to capitalize on Black Friday this year but you’re not quite sure where to start PPC agency Silverbean give you 9 actionable steps you can take to make sure that your  Black Friday PPC campaigns are prepared.

1. Increase budgets and bids

In previous years, clicks and conversions have been seen to double on Black Friday. You can prepare your campaigns for an influx in traffic and competition by adjusting your budget and CPCs accordingly.

If your Black Friday offers are well prepared and are attracting high quality converting traffic that is bringing in a greater ROI the last thing that you want to happen is your ads to stop appearing at midday due to an exhausted budget. Just like any other campaign, you need to plan a separate budget for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Providing that you have a consistent ROI then you should be able to increase your daily budget and maximize your CPCs.

Extra Tip:

It’s important to remember that if you increase your budget then you must also be prepared to cope with an increase in sales, this may also mean higher levels of stock and staff are needed during this period.

2. Mobilise your ads

As a result of an increase in mobile searches, mobile reach should be considered a priority this year. In 2013, mobile devices accounted for 44.2 % of all paid search clicks and sales completed via mobile devices increased by 81.5% year on year. John Lewis saw a 1,340% spike in mobile traffic last year compared to 2012.

Make sure that your users have a good mobile shopping experience. In order to reach mobile users you will need to create mobile targeted campaigns that include the following features:

– Mobile targeted ads.
– Ad copy optimised for the Black Friday weekend.
– Mobile specific keywords.
– Mobile ready landing page URLs.
– Location and click to call extensions – These should only be used if you are targeting localised business as they can encourage customers to visit both your store. The timing feature can also be used to only display them during opening hours.
– Add mobile bid modifiers to target the top positions on mobile devices.
– Remove time of day bid optimisers as people shop at all times of day throughout the holiday weekend.

3. Update Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are an important factor in determining ad rank and also provide useful information to attract customers. A key strategy behind this feature is that the ad takes up more space which results in pushing competitors that are listed beneath you further down the page of search results.

PPC agency

In the above image you can see how an ad with ad extensions can take up a lot more space in comparison to an ad without extensions.

Extensions that need to be optimised for Black Friday include Sitelinks and Callout extensions:

– Sitelinks need to be changed to direct users to specific Black Friday offers/sections on your site. You should consider creating a separate landing page for the promotions and use Sitelinks to bring customers directly to this page on your site.

– Call out extensions should be used to reinforce and boast about your holiday offers/promotions.
4. Add ‘Deal’ keywords

With a 27% increase in people using ‘deal’ related search terms in 2013 you should consider updating your list of key phrases to include the following:

• Black Friday
• Cyber Monday
• Discount Deals
• Promotions
• Savings
• Offers

By using key phrases such as “Black Friday television deals” will help attract users that are looking for deals on televisions over the holiday weekend.

5. Update ad copy to feature “Black Friday” terms

Many online marketers forget to change their ad copy and this costs them a good amount of sales. Make sure that your ad copy is up to date and includes holiday search terms and promotion details which will help lure in holiday shoppers looking for a bargain.

6. Create a sense of urgency

It’s also important to state in your ad copy that your Black Friday offers are valid only for a limited time period over the weekend. This will create a sense of urgency and motivate users to make a purchase once they arrive on your website.

7. Create unique landing pages

Your landing page is a significant factor in enhancing relevancy and increasing quality score. If you are planning to run a special sale for Black Friday then you should consider creating separate landing pages that are optimised for special offers and deals.

As the majority of users are searching for the best deals and gifts then having unique landing pages provides a perfect opportunity to direct users to your holiday offers and enhance the overall shopping experience.

8. Search and Display remarketing campaigns

Create a remarketing campaign to target visitors that have visited your site throughout the year but didn’t make a purchase. Make sure you have product and/or category remarketing lists set up and create specific Black Friday promotion and product ads/banners.

9. And finally, don’t forget to optimise your shopping campaigns…

Use previous data to find your best performing products and mark these as high priority products.

You can push your high priority products by optimising product titles and descriptions, increasing CPCs, adding negative keywords and most importantly remember to take advantage of the 45 character promotional text field which should be used to shout out about your offers and promotions.