EM360 Digital Blog

14 Nov 2016
Image of sales team planning their e-commerce sales strategy.

Holiday Marketing Tips for E-commerce

The 2015 E-com­merce hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son brought in over $55 bil­lion dol­lars from when the sea­son begins on Black Fri­day ( the day after Thanks­giv­ing) and goes through Christ­mas. Cyber Mon­day (the Mon­day after Thanks­giv­ing) brought in more than $2 bil­lion dol­lars alone. Con­sumers even spent large amounts of mon­ey shop­ping from their mobile phones (over $12 bil­lion). These sta­tis­tics are astound­ing and goes to show just how much hol­i­day shop­ping is done online. Here are some of the top paid search tips for the hol­i­day sea­son that will increase your E-com­merce suc­cess this year.

1.) Evaluate Last Year’s CampaignsImage of multi national sales team planning their e-commerce sales strategy.

If you ran cam­paigns last year, it is a good idea to pull out those old key­word reports and start your prepa­ra­tion by iden­ti­fy­ing what worked best last year. Find those brand­ed and non-brand­ed key­words that will again be rel­e­vant and boost those to increase your search engine results. This will help you begin to iden­ti­fy the areas of your cam­paigns to spend your mon­ey on and eval­u­ate the key­words that you are con­sid­er­ing pay­ing for.

2.) Audit Your Keywords

The hol­i­day sea­son is the time when all busi­ness­es kick their paid search cam­paigns into over­drive to cap­i­tal­ize on the increased con­sumer shop­ping. One of the eas­i­est ways to max­i­mize the return on your cam­paign is to audit and adjust your key­words. You may be using gen­er­al key­words that sum­ma­rize what you sell or pro­vide, but in real­i­ty, you should use tar­get­ed key­words for exact­ly what you sell. Every oth­er com­pet­ing busi­ness (a fish­ing store for exam­ple) will pay for gen­er­al key­words like “gifts, Christ­mas gifts, fish­ing gifts, fish­ing rods…” but to tar­get the audi­ence that is look­ing for exact­ly what you sell, you should use key­words of exact­ly what you sell. This will gen­er­ate more qual­i­ty leads, which will increase your sales. While there is some ben­e­fit for using gen­er­al key­words, tar­get­ed words will often pro­vide a bet­ter ROI.

3.) Start of November Evaluate Campaigns

Next start ana­lyz­ing your bud­get. If you’re already run­ning pay-per-click cam­paigns, see what ones are hit­ting at least 50% of their bud­get lim­its. These cam­paigns are most like­ly to reach bud­get lim­its faster dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. If these cam­paigns are post­ing ROI now, then you need to focus on them over the next eight weeks. While a cam­paign may pick up on the ROI dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son, your mon­ey will be bet­ter spent on cam­paigns that have already proven to be suc­cess­ful.  

4.) Phrase Match Keywords

Uti­liz­ing this tool will ensure that you are only adver­tis­ing to your tar­get­ed audi­ence. A broad match key­word will show your results when any­one search­es for even just one of your key­words in a phrase. So you may be in the busi­ness of sell­ing cus­tom Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions and using broad match key­words, your site could pop up when “cus­tom Christ­mas sweaters” are searched. This is not a search that applies to what you are sell­ing on your web­site, so you are wast­ing mon­ey. Use phrase match key­words to help you nar­row down your tar­get audi­ence even more effec­tive­ly. So when peo­ple search “where to buy cus­tom Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions” your site will pop up because the phrase you paid for match­es what was searched.

5.) Paid Search is an Ongoing Process

Opti­miz­ing your paid search cam­paigns should be an ongo­ing process, not just a one-time task. As the hol­i­day sea­son pro­gress­es, eval­u­ate which key­words are per­form­ing for you and which ones are not. Update your bids for key­words to save you mon­ey. Base your bid adjust­ments on at least the last 4-to-7 days per­for­mance before you increase or decrease your bids.

6.) Competition

It is always a good busi­ness strat­e­gy to mon­i­tor what your com­peti­tors are doing in terms of key­word opti­miza­tion. Run your key­words in the AdWords Ad Pre­view Tool to give you an idea of where you stand amongst your com­peti­tors.

7.) Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

For a lit­tle more mon­ey, you can add an image for your prod­uct that dis­plays when a per­son search­es for a prod­uct. PLA’s take up valu­able space on the results page and images cap­ture atten­tion very well. Sta­tis­tics show that click-through rates and con­vert­ed sales are high­er with PLA’s com­pared to just reg­u­lar text ads.

8.) Bulk Up Your Inventory

Make sure you have stock. No one likes to hear “Sir or Madame, we don’t have your item in stock.” You don’t want to lose a poten­tial sale because you failed to keep enough stock on hand to meet the demands of the hol­i­days. Con­sumers are impa­tient dur­ing the hol­i­days and won’t waste anoth­er sec­ond if you are out of stock of the item they are look­ing for.

9.) SEO Strategy

While it may be a lit­tle late to devel­op a new SEO strat­e­gy to pro­duce ben­e­fits this close to the hol­i­day sea­son, your SEO strat­e­gy should be an ongo­ing process. Add rel­e­vant con­tent to your web­site with tar­get­ed key­words that match up with what you are pay­ing for in your search cam­paigns. Opti­mize your web­site to fit with your exist­ing cam­paigns for the hol­i­day sea­son.

10.) Important Dates

Keep your last date to ship high­light­ed on your cal­en­dar, so you don’t get angry peo­ple on Yelp bash­ing you when their goods are not deliv­ered by Decem­ber 25th. Make sure this date is clear­ly dis­played on your web­site as well.

As Promised key E-com­merce 2016 hol­i­day shop­ping dates:

Black Fri­day – 11/25/2016

Cyber Mon­day – 11/28/2016

Green Mon­day – 12/12/2016

Let the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing experts at EM360 devel­op and imple­ment the per­fect hol­i­day sea­son mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing plan for your busi­ness. Every­thing from SEO to paid search, EM360 pro­vides results. Feel free to sub­scribe to our blog today for up to date e-com­merce trends deliv­ered straight to your inbox!


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