How to Enhance Your PPC Campaign to Make the Most of the Holiday Search Traffic

How to Enhance Your PPC Campaign to Make the Most of the Holiday Search Traffic

PPC ads are a key element of your digital marketing strategy and that holds even stronger for the holiday season when the shopping mood is rife and competition is fierce. So, do not underestimate their importance and prepare to rethink your Christmas ads to get an extra boost in conversions.

UK Christmas spending hit a record £77.56 billion in 2016. And 2017 is projected to beat that once again.  So how do you get the most out of that extra Christmas traffic?

The holiday spirit is brewing and you can set the mood for your site visitors with resonating graphic elements, gift guides, promotions, themed pages and more. So don’t doddle. Go a step further and extend your holiday content and keywords to your PPC ads to grab the attention of gift shoppers and bargain hunters.

Make Your PPC Campaigns Appeal to the Holiday Spirit

You are probably already posting special deals, discounts, and free shipping coupons on your social media that are dressed in red and ride the holiday wave. You should extend this to your PPC ads with holiday-themed images of gifts, Christmas trees, and other festive elements.

Keep in mind that the competition for customer attention is huge over the holiday shopping season, and you should fine-tune your campaign in order to stand out. Furthermore, associate emotional festive content with your discounts in order to get more clicks and lead consumers to your landing page. When you play up the holiday mood visitors are more likely to make a purchase.

Set the Mood on Your Landing PagePPC Campaign

Do not underestimate the holiday spirit and make sure to use seasonal colours, themes, and images. This time of the year the consumers are more likely to respond to holiday-themed ads and product pages.

Remember that your ads lead to your landing or product page and if your page is not optimized those clicks are going to waste. Shoppers are in a festive mood and are often feverishly looking for gifts for their loved ones, so the more inviting and warm your product page the more visitors you will convert.

For example, Swarovski boasts holiday collections, decorative pieces, and happy crowds bearing gifts on its site. The site radiates a luxury holiday mood. Ready for a party, anyone?

Additionally, create a sense of urgency and scarcity with countdown timers that state the end of a sale or show limited quantities. Offer free shipping if you can fit it in your margins to further smoothe the path to a purchase. And display discounts clearly on the page to entice leads.

Strive to make the path to a purchase as smooth as possible and results will come.

Retarget Using Engagement and Sales Data

Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert.

It is much easier to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones. You should use your data from Black Friday and other relevant engagement metrics to retarget your existing customers and other segments of your audience.

Your PPC campaign ads are often the point of entry or first touch point with your customers, that may return and make a purchase at a later time by clicking on a social media post or an email. That is why, you should use the right attribution model that fits your campaigns so you can get the most accurate data. 

It is often wise to increase your PPC ad budget for the holiday season to have better chances of ranking over competitors and larger brands. Use scripts to raise bids for certain hours and times of the day when shoppers are most active. This practice will improve your conversion and justify the extra spend.

Retargeting can boost ad response up to 400%.

One of the most powerful tools for retargeting is Facebook dynamic ads that you can set up to remarket to visitors, that have viewed an item or abandoned their cart. For example, if a customer has added a white leather jacket to their cart but has closed the page before checkout, you can use Facebook ads to show that same jacket in their feed, say with free shipping coupon, or 15% off.

25% of all traffic on the Internet is driven by Facebook.

Tailor Your Keyword Strategy to Holiday Gift Shoppers

Don’t underestimate the power of holiday-themed keywords. People always need a suggestion, especially for last minute gifts. Add words like “gift,” “gift guide,” “gift under £25,” and “free shipping” to your keyword strategy to funnel some of the bargain and gift hunters to your site.

Use tools like Semrush, Moz, and Google Keyword Planner to supercharge your holiday keyword strategy.

There is always one more gift to be bought and consumers will likely be shopping actively all the way up to December 20 or so, which is about the last day you can ship for delivery before Christmas. So keep your PPC campaign rolling strong and keep them engaged until the very end.

Rethink Your PPC Budget and Strategy

Use historical data to fine-tune your budget according to peak days of the week and times of the day. Additionally, employ bid multipliers to adjust your bidding by the hour. Likewise, consider using geo-targeting to harness search traffic around specific locations.

Say, if Harrods is running a sales event or you know it is going to be especially busy the weekend before Christmas place geo-targeted ads within 10 km of its ZIP code. Consumers, and especially millennials, are known check for better deals while in stores and you can harness some of that traffic for yourself.

Get a Competitive Advantage

The heart of the holiday season is not a time for split testing or experiments with UX design. Leave those for when the dust settles and focus on grabbing attention with well-designed discounts and coupons that get across quickly and easily in your PPC campaign.

This is the best time of the year to aim to increase order size and boost your retention rate. Customers that already have an account and have established trust with your brand or store are more likely to add on small ticket items to their purchase. Make sure you make that easy for them with adequate suggestion and complementing items on your product page.

Uniqlo does a great job at that with an interactive and lively gift guide geared towards young people.

Stay on top of your email and social media campaigns to remind those customers of holiday discounts or send their personalized offers like free shipping or deeper promotions. This practice will complement your PPC campaign and boost your conversion  rate.

The holiday season is not only about volume but about acquiring new customers that will come back again and again. So keep them engaged and offer loyalty programs to widen your consumer base and invest in sustainable growth.

Polish Up Your Ad Copy

It is the most wonderful time of the year, so use the holiday mood by creating emotional triggers in your ads. Furthermore, fortify those triggers with discounts, gift suggestions, and free shipping offers so you can stand out in the busy marketplace.

The biggest impact on buying via social media is a free shipping offer.

Pack your ad and page copy with unique titles and descriptions, and focus on the benefits that your product or service brings to the consumer. Remember, holiday shoppers are in a rush and you have to grab and keep their attention even faster than usual with all tools at your disposal.

Optimize for Mobile

Just a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

Finally, more shoppers than ever will be using their mobile devices this season, so make sure your site is responsive and quick to load. The mobile experience is more intimate but the smartphone shopper’s patience-span continues to shorten year on year. So make sure your site is loading fast enough to meet their expectations. Offer a smooth mobile experience, keep it simple with clear images, large enough text, and easy to click call-to-action.


The holiday season offers a world of opportunities to boost both your conversion and retention rates. Ideally, you can get a boost in sales and at the same time gain new customers to remarket to throughout the year. To do that you have to be creative and innovative with your PPC ads, product pages, and complementing marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that consumers usually go through a few touch points with your business before they make a purchase. So ride the holiday mood, retarget, and amplify your keyword strategy to gain their trust now and for the coming year.

Google Ads expert, conversion optimisation consultant and digital marketing coach. Abbie has almost 8 years of experience working with hundreds of businesses and thousands of paid ad campaigns to super-charge growth and ROI.


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