5 Ways to Avoid Wasting Money on PPC this Christmas4 min read


Depending on your industry, Christmas is very often a time when your PPC spend can go through the roof and, if you’re not careful, your ROI can plummet. Ensuring your PPC accounts are fully optimised can make sure the extra spend = extra sales.

Here are our 5 tips to make sure you get the most out of your spend this Christmas season:

1. Learn From Experience

One of the first places you should be looking when establishing how to make this Christmas season as profitable as possible is last year.

Look at the performance of each campaign, adgroup and, if necessary, keyword, to highlight the best and worst performers. Then:

  1. Make sure you’re focusing your spend on the campaign, adgroups and keywords that perform well
  2. Review each of the worst performers to see if you can do anything differently this year, if not, it may be time to focus your money elsewhere

2. “Housekeeping

This is something you should be doing all year round but it’s particularly important in the run up to the Christmas season.

Nearly all search engines have tools to allow you to “housekeep” your PPC accounts but as it’s the biggest (and likely where most of your spend goes) we’ll look at Google in particular. Here is an example of the reports you can run to make sure you haven’t got small holes in your Adwords account where your spend is simply dripping through with no return:

  • Time of day analysis will show you whether you can fine tune when you spend your money. For example, should you actually be turning your account off on a Monday between 2pm – 5pm and on a Thursday between 10pm – 5am because clicks during that period are unprofitable?
  • Demographic analysis will show you whether you can fine tune where you spend your money. For example, should you be turning your account off to those in Northern Ireland or those in Manchester and Birmingham?
  • Destination URL analysis will allow you to see which landing pages are costing lots of money with no return. Take a look at each and see how they can be improved.

There is so much analysis that can be done to help you find and fill these holes within your account – as well as highlight opportunities. Take a browse around each of you PPC accounts to choose the tools and analysis most relevant to you.

3. Time to be negative

So you only sell girls mountain bikes. You’re broad match bidding on “pink mountain bike”, someone searches on “pink dolls mountain bike”, they come to your site, realise you sell full size bikes and they go off to find Barbie – you’ve paid for that privilige.

Negatives are a very important part of any PPC account. They help fine tune the quality of traffic coming to your site and you really shouldn’t create an adgroup without making sure you’ve covered any negative terms too – in the above example “toy”, “car rack”, “boys” should all be negatives.

How to make sure you’re not throwing money at unqualified traffic:

  1. Take a look around your products
  2. Carry out some searches on Google
  3. Carry out some search analysis in your PPC accounts to find out what unrelated keywords are getting visitors to your website
  4. Brainstorm a list of negatives for each of your adgroups

4. Don’t disappoint…

Christmas is a very busy time of year and if people are buying gifts they want to buy them now and get them delivered tomorrow (if not sooner!).

Keep a close eye on your inventory as not only do you want to avoid disappointing customers, you want to avoid throwing money at PPC that will never convert to sales. So:

  1. Stock
    If a product is out of stock – even if just for a couple of days – pause it in PPC
  2. Delivery
    If you have a product that has 2 week delivery and it’s 10 days before Christmas – pause it in PPC
  3. Offers
    If you’ve got offer specific text within your adtext, as soon as the offer is no longer available, change the adtext

Take a look over all your adtexts, make sure they’re enticing but also ensure they’re 100% accurate and that the product is 100% available.

5. A second pair of eyes

Everybody knows that if you look at something often, it’s very easy to miss the glaring error right in front of you. PPC is no different. Chances are you look at your PPC accounts very often, maybe even several times a day, you are therefore possibly overlooking something a new pair of eyes would spot in an instant.

If you have someone who can take a look over your PPC account with a fresh pair of eyes, do it. There might be an adtext that they think is not doing your products justice, an adgroup where adding one negative could save money or a campaign where reducing your maximum CPC could get the same results for less cost.

In summary:

It’s always important to have a close eye on your PPC accounts and at Christmas time it becomes even more important. Plan well in advance but also be prepared to be reactive throughout the season to ensure you bring in maximum ROI this Christmas season.

Thanks for reading!

Michael Kenny

A tenured marketing pro, Michael is responsible for driving operational delivery, as well as our own marketing efforts and new business development. A man of many interests, Michael is the office’s resident film critic, and also works with Wycombe Wanderers as their matchday announcer.

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