Ad Copy – 7 Key Steps for Adding Holiday Sparkle

The holidays are upon us! I’m still dealing with my pumpkins from Halloween…but that’s another story.

Black Friday promotions are everywhere, and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet.

And holiday shopping isn’t all about Black Friday anymore.

According to eMarketer, e-commerce online retail for the U.S. is expected to grow 16.6 percent this holiday season, which is an increase from last year’s number of 15.3 percent. Cyber Monday is anticipated to be bigger than last year, with increased traffic coming from mobile. And there are indications that, as with last year, each Monday after Black Friday shows a spike in sales.

By now, you should be putting together you holiday ad copy for paid search. If you haven’t yet, or are still working on those final touches, here are seven strategies to keep in mind:

1. Look at Last Year’s Data

Sometimes it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Pull a performance report of ad copy that was run during last holiday season, and pull out the ones that performed the best. If your landing page and overall message is the same, consider using the same copy. Once you have determined which ones you want to use, create new ad copy to fill in any gaps in your adgroups. Ensure you have at least three versions of ad copy per ad group that you can monitor during the holidays. Some of the new ad copy for this year might be ones that you will be able to repurpose for next year.

2. Add New Features

Callouts are a relatively new extension (only a few weeks old) and can be a great addition to your holiday ad copy. You can add an additional line of text that includes specific information about your products and services. Callouts such as “free shipping” and “limited offer” provide consumers with more information about your offerings.

3. Incorporate Reviews and Awards

Having someone give your business a great review? Incorporate it into your paid search ads. Received a positive quote form a happy customer? Add to your paid search ad. Using third-party reviews and awards can provide compelling messaging that can improve your click-through rate (CTR) (as much as 10 percent, per Google).

4. Site Links

Incorporating site links with callouts provides the perfect one-two punch for your holiday ads. Site links provide links to additional pages on your website, and can help drive consumers to a more specific landing page. As with extensions, there are various factors that determine when your site links will or will not appear.

5. Ensure Strong Call to Action

Nothing is more important that having a strong call to action in your ad copy. While you can incorporate compelling messaging through extensions such as reviews and callouts, your ads may not always show them. Make sure you incorporate offers such as getting something free (Free Gift With $20 Purchase) or a special limited-time promotion (30% Off Next 30 Minutes).

6. Revisit Ad Rotation and Ad Scheduling Options

Before the holidays get into full swing, review your ad serving settings. If you have your ad set up to rotate evenly and then optimize after 90 days, you will want to change to optimize for clicks or conversions.

If you have ad scheduling in place, review your prior year’s holiday history to see the days and times that you performed strongly last year. During these periods, look at increasing your bids, or creating ad copy with a special holiday offer. You could create a limited-time promotion during your best performing days/hours.

7. Landing Pages

Your paid search landing page should be focused on the specific product or service your user was searching for. Ensure the call to actions are prominent on the page, and the page answers all of the user’s questions. Make sure the offers on the page match exactly what it is the paid search ad.

So add some shine to your paid search ads this holiday season!

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