Bidding Strategies For The Holiday Season

Well folks, it’s that time of the year again. Time for those of us in B2C industries to focus on the influx of holiday consumer spending, and time for those of us in less consumer-focused industries to ride the seasonal slowdown. This post is for the B2C holiday rush folks. Let’s talk about what’s going on with your keyword bids right now.

For most of the year, you probably have a set keyword bidding strategy. Maybe you’re going toward a profitable CPA. Maybe it’s lifetime value you’re after. Or perhaps you’re just trying to dominate the traffic in your space. All those are just fine for about 11 months out of the year. But if you sell any kind of product that gets a lot of sales around the holidays, the usual bid rules go out the window.

Since consumers are more likely to make a purchase this time of year, your conversion rate is probably going to go up. This means that your conversion rate might increase – doubling or tripling the normal rate is not unheard of. Most of us take this boost for granted, and just ride the seasonal wave. But what if I told you that you could do some simple changes to increase your holiday results even more?

That’s right, friends. Even greater holiday growth is within your grasp. You see, if your conversion rate is going up and your traffic cost is remaining constant, that means that your CPA will go down. You can either take that lowered CPA and the modest growth it offers, or pump those profits back into your PPC spend. With a better conversion rate, you can afford some more expensive traffic and still keep those CPAs where they were all year.

But, you can’t just pump up those bids without any strategy. Take a look at your value per click (revenue divided by # of clicks) each bid adjustment period, and only increase bids on profitable keywords. Look at the spread between the value delivered per click and what you actually paid per click. If you’re making a healthy profit, you can afford a higher bid and additional traffic. There will be a certain point where a CPC bid is not viable, but you might be surprised by a few keywords that don’t make much of a profit during the rest of the year, but that become big winners in the holiday season.

An added bonus to this strategy is that not only will you (hopefully) increase your revenue over the holiday, but that additional traffic due to higher bids will result in a larger number of individual customers. You can then re-market to those new customers via your email marketing or social media campaigns. Revenue doesn’t end with PPC! Cultivate the relationship you have with your customers and they will continue to give you money after that first transaction.

If you want to roll this out, there’s no time to waste! Get started on analyzing your keywords today, and check back on your increased bids once a week until you reach your Christmas shipping deadlines.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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