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With Black Friday just around the corner, the holiday season is officially upon us. Billions of dollars flow into the global economy during the last quarter of the year, and every e-commerce business is looking for ways to score a bigger slice of the retail pie.
Research shows that many American shoppers start working on their holiday list immediately after Halloween. If you’re just starting to think about a holiday marketing plan, you’re already behind. Driving traffic to your website takes time, and that means that organic SEO tactics — like writing blog posts, building links, guest posting, or sharing content to social media — will not rank fast enough to give you big results in 2016.
So how do procrastinators drive traffic to their e-tail stores? It’s simple: pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. PPC ads, which only cost you money when someone clicks on your ad, are the best way to drive traffic to your site for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holidays. Here’s how to use PPC advertising to get your deals seen during the holidays.

Choose Your PPC Networks

You can find plenty of network options for PPC campaigns, but Google AdWords is the most popular — and the easiest to get started. As long as you outbid your competitors, your ad will appear at the top or bottom of the search results page, so when searchers type in your keywords, Google displays both organic results and your relevant PPC ad. And remember, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Do Your Keyword Research

You can build target-specific campaigns around the most popular holiday search queries. Use a keyword research tool such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to build a list of your best keywords and phrases and then use them in your ads. For example, if you sell purses, you might target keywords such as “best purses for gifts,” “purses for holiday parties,” or “discounts on holiday accessories.”  

Create Individual Landing Pages for Every Product You Sell

Use a specific landing page for your PPC ad campaign. Many people just send ad traffic to their homepage or general product page, but unless you direct your audience to exactly the right page, there’s a good chance that they’ll get frustrated and leave. Keep in mind that the text in your ad must match the landing page content. Notice the difference between these two examples from Unbounce.

Ineffective Landing Page


Effective Landing Page


Drive Traffic With Killer Content on Social Media

Get more bang for your buck by investing in PPC ads on major social sites — YouTube, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, and Twitter. You can get started with Facebook Ads for as low as $5 and target specific demographics by age, gender, location, and interest. Tightly-targeted ads show up on a person’s news feed based on his or her past buying preferences and habits. As with any marketing campaign, your PPC content must fit with the reader’s needs and capture his or her attention.

Don’t Forget Mobile Ads

The number of mobile shoppers continues to increase, so any mobile ad spend will likely net you some healthy ROI. According to Forbes, mobile ads do nearly five times better than online ads when it comes to purchase intent. In addition, 81 percent of smartphone users perform research on their phone, and 50 percent shop on their phone.

Make Sure You’re Casting The Right Net

You’ll want to cast a wide enough net to drive a steady stream of holiday traffic to your website while filtering out the disinterested parties. This means you need a combination of negative keywords, exact match, broad match, and phrase match options in your PPC ads. When you nail this strategy, you’ll see higher, more productive click-through rates and fewer digital window shoppers.

Test Your Keyword Strategy

Wordstream offers usable advice about fine-tuning the PPC negative keyword strategy with Google AdWords Analytics. One of the best things you can do is test your keyword strategy with a free tool like the Google AdWords Performance Grader. You simply drop the e-mail address associated with your AdWords account into the bar and get results on your website within 60 seconds.

Be Sure to Streamline Your Website for Optimum Shopping

Don’t get so caught up on creating a fantastic PPC campaign that you neglect the shopping experience once consumers get to your site. Once you’ve chosen the networks where you’ll run your ads and set up a testing policy to make sure you stay on track, do a test run from the shoppers point of view:

  • Make sure your order process is simple, secure, and fast. You want to make it easy for a first-time shopper to find your product, fill their shopping cart, select shipping preferences, and check out without any help from the support team.
  • Check all website navigation links to ensure that they’re working properly. Ideally it should take only one or two clicks to successfully complete a purchase on your site.
  • Offer an opt-in for future discount coupons or holiday flash sales.

Stick to Your Budget

While the goal is to drive people to your site who are very interested in what you are selling, keep in mind that random clicks still cost money, so you should carefully monitor your spending. This helps you reevaluate content that isn’t performing as intended, and if you find that a lot of people are clicking on your ads but not converting, you may need to tweak your headline, ad copy, or landing page content for better results.
Ready to use PPC to propel your holiday sales? Contact Bluehost’s PPC experts by calling +1 (855) 676-2133 if you have questions or need help putting together a successful PPC advertising campaign.

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