Preparing Non-Seasonal Accounts for the Holiday Season

holiday-healthy-diet-350x263Tis the season to get your PPC account ready to smash it during the holidays. Website changes are being put on lock down, ad copy is written and waiting in the wings for big sales, seasonal keywords are ready to go active in accounts, PLA feeds optimized, and landing pages have been tested. But wait, you sell a non-seasonal product. Possibly even an anti-seasonal product. So what are you doing to get yourself ready for the holiday season? Here are a few ideas that can get you started.

Limited Budget

“We’re coming up on our down season. Let’s throw more money at the account.”

Sound like a bad idea? Of course it does! Not many people think that way, but I would be willing to bet there are a good number of accounts out there whose budget remains the same all year. For many, that’s probably OK. But are you sure? Take a look back at past years. How much did you spend during the holiday season and what was the outcome? Now take a look at your high season. How did you do there and what could you have done with a little extra budget? Don’t show up just to show up. Make sure your budget is in the smartest places and times for your account all year round.

Adjusted Expectations & KPIs

For non-seasonal accounts, holiday season can tend to be a little goofy. But more often than not, one trend tends to occur: traffic and conversions fall. In this situation, your conversion rates and CPA might remain stable but your conversions fall off. Be sure you’re setting the proper expectations for your clients and reporting on them as such. Here, you’ll obviously want to call out that CPA is stable, but give more insight into the conversion fall. Show impression share metrics from month to month. Maybe even give some Google Trends love to your highest search queries. Explain the fall and back it up with stats.

Tighter Restrictions

In almost every account there are going to be hotspots and places that are always on the cusp of being cut even during their high season. If your a non or anti-seasonal account, these areas only become bigger pain points as the world does their Christmas shopping and bargain hunting. You know it’s going to happen, so get ahead of the curve. Identify these areas before the holiday hits by separating out some reporting, putting labels on them, something. Keep a close eye on them and once performance drops below a certain point, pause those puppies and reactivate in the spring.

The same goes for days of the week and time of day. Highlight your best and worst performing times, make note, and monitor their performance. Once they’re in the red, cut them until things return to normal.

Seasonal Ad Copy

Why should those seasonal ecommerce accounts have all the fun? They shouldn’t! Have some fun of your own. Write seasonal ads that will catch your potential customer’s eye and separate your message from the competition at the same time.

Non-Holiday Ad Copy

These examples might not be mind blowing, but you get the picture. Same goes for sitelinks. Throw in a couple fun variations on the holidays and make the most of your down season.

Negative Keyword Research

There’s nothing worse than spending tons of money on clicks from impressions that have nothing to do with you no matter what time of year. But depending on your product, the holidays might get a much higher number of looky-loos checking out your stuff than other seasons. Take a quick 30 minutes to an hour and run your keywords through the Keyword Planner. Find some new negatives you don’t already have in your account. Maybe even throw on a couple holiday modifiers like “christmas”, “xmas”, “presents” just for fun and see if any new negatives come from that.

What do you do to get your non-holiday accounts ready for the holiday season? Share with us in the comments!