Up your Black Friday Game with our Google Ads Checklist!
In recent years, Black Friday and the following weekend has firmly established itself as one of the most important trading periods of the year. With one week remaining until Black Friday, we thought we would share our checklist of quick wins to ensure you maximise your Google Ads’ account potential during this peak trading period.
Budgets – search demand is likely to increase during Black Friday and over the weekend that follows. We can see this below for a generic search query example using a Google Trends chart, showing interest over time where traffic spiked for Black Friday last year. Ideally, if there is data present from last year, you can use this to gauge how much to increase your campaign budgets by. For one of our retail clients, traffic increased by over 200% vs an average Friday last year and this year, we are anticipating an even larger increase. It is important to keep a close eye on daily spend to ensure your top-performing campaigns do not run out of budget.
Bids – we recommend conducting a bidding audit to ensure all top performing areas have the most appropriate bid levels. In the last few years, we have experienced an uptick in competition around this time with companies looking to take advantage of the Black Friday buzz so keep an eye on top and absolute top metrics in the days approaching Black Friday and especially on the day itself. If using smart bidding, we recommend setting seasonality adjustments so the algorithms can make better predictions and react more quickly to changes in traffic volume during this period.
New keyword opportunities – in recent years, we have had success when bidding against Black Friday/Cyber Monday and sale-related terms (Deals, Offers, Discounts, Sale etc). One way to build this campaign quickly is to combine relevant generic terms from your account with these sales terms e.g. +hotel +deals +black +Friday and combine with tailored ad copy to showcase any promotions.
Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)– we recommend setting up a DSA campaign to fill in any keyword gaps you may have. These campaigns require no keywords, instead they match user search queries with contents from your website showing a dynamically created ad. At a recent Google conference, we were reminded that 15% of the searches we see on Google.com are brand new, every single day so DSA campaigns are invaluable in picking up these new, incremental searches.
Ad copy – it goes without saying that it is important to tailor ad copy to include any promotions you are running. A sense of greater urgency can be created using countdown ads.
Promotion Extensions – if you have a special offer to showcase, utilise promotion extensions to ensure your offer stands out to potential customers in the search results.
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) – to create awareness amongst existing site visitors/converters, we can set up a campaign bidding on “black friday” to be shown only to past visitors/converters. This will allow us to show ads to users who are familiar with your brand but have not specifically searched for your brand on that day.
Feed health – ensure optimum feed health by checking the Diagnostics tab under Google Merchant Center and aim to fix any disapproved items.
Update feed – if lowering prices for Black Friday, it is important to ensure the feed price matches your on-site price. One way to ensure this ahead of Black Friday is to submit the new sales price using the sale_price attribute alongside the dates of your sale using the sale_price_effective_date attribute. More details are available here. We recommend doing this a few days before Black Friday to allow everything to be synced in time.
Merchant Promotion – if running a promotional code, set your shopping ad apart from competitors by creating a Merchant Promotion to show alongside your shopping ads.
Bids and Budgets – similarly to search activity, we recommend auditing bids and increasing budgets in anticipation of increased traffic via this channel.
Remarketing – retarget past visitors through display remarketing with the aim to re-engage them. Responsive Display Ads are an effective solution to get display activity live quickly using existing image assets.
It is important to reverse any changes you have made e.g. pause any Black Friday keywords and tailored ad copy. In addition, we recommend analysing performance and drawing any insights that could be helpful for next year’s strategic planning.
We hope you find this list useful and wish you the very best during the busy sales period. If you have any questions on any of the above or need a hand in ensuring you maximise your campaign’s potential, please get in touch.