Google says advertisers can make more of AdWords on Black Friday

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 25 Nov, 2015
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The Google AdWords team has issued a rallying cry to advertisers ahead of Black Friday, suggesting retailers can sell more and increase footfall in physical stores by being smart about their PPC ads and mobile search strategy.

In its post it says that mobile searches were up to 11% higher over Black Friday than at any other weekend in the holiday period last year. It has used an analysis of data to set out a roadmap for AdWords users to ramp up their sales, based on shopping habits and patterns from last year.

1. Prepare for an afternoon rush rather than a morning one

Image source: Google

Google’s data shows that the focus of Black Friday buying is in the afternoon rather than the morning, with the 2pm – 4pm slot being the busiest. It also says that department stores tend to be busier on Thanksgiving evening, with spikes in traffic recorded around 6pm – 7pm.

Takeaway: Shoppers are hunting for deals at specific times. If you advertised last year, look for the peaks and troughs in your AdWords data. Use this to inform your scheduling activity and consider building higher intensity campaigns – perhaps with a great portion of the budget than usual – around those sweet spots. Consider beginning before Black Friday, with some offers and deals released on Thanksgiving evening.

Google advises customers to also increase their mobile bids for the day, with a particular emphasis on the 2pm – 4pm time frame. The mobile bid adjustment simulator can help with budget planning.

2. Consider whether this is really relevant

The data from Google shows that electronic stores and cell phone retailers profited most during Black Friday last year. If your particular products don’t fall within these niches, look at your data from last year to see when your customers are shopping most intensely. The AdWords team said shopping malls, discount stores and department stores were busiest on the weekend before Christmas.

The difference is come cases is marginal, with data showing department stores were just 0.4x busier on the final Saturday before Christmas than they were on Black Friday.

Takeaway: Don’t be scared to apportion some of your monthly budget to key times away from Black Friday. Competition will be fierce and if your data makes a case for a busier day elsewhere in the holiday season, don’t ignore it.

Again mobile bids can be useful here, especially if you have a physical location or stockists in bricks and mortar stores.

Elizabeth Fabiani, Product Marketing Manager for Google Shopping says that advertisers should use the location extension targeting feature to prompt an action from shoppers searching on their mobile close to a physical location. This can also be added to local inventory ads to further consolidate the call to action.

Will you be implementing any of these measures for Black Friday? Do you expect more or less sales than last year? Let us know in the comments.

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