How to Ride the Holiday CPC Wave
The “CPC Wave” marks when cost-per-click (CPC) rates start rising on search engines and extends until the end of the holiday season. Despite high keyword costs, understanding the wave offers lucrative opportunities for savvy online retailers who plan early. The following tips will help you weather this wave and continue to see profits climb after the holiday season.
#1 Understand and listen to historical reports.
Late summer/early fall is the best time for gathering information and planning how and when to customize your search engine marketing programs for the seasonal rush. By tracking ROI, revenue cost and click data from past holiday seasons, you can discover exactly when holiday traffic for your business will start to increase.
Combine your historical data from October 2006 through January 2007 with industry data. Then, plot your biggest Web traffic and revenue days from 2006 to estimate your busiest days of 2007. Most importantly, identify your profitable keywords this year and from previous years, and make sure these keywords are active and not getting “flighted” or not appearing 100 percent of the time. Opening up the budget is the best way to prevent keywords from being flighted. For example, if you have allotted $20 for a particular search term, increasing that amount to $100 will prevent your keywords from being flighted.
#2 Audit and improve your account structures.
Next, get organized so your business is fully ready to cash in on holiday business. Take the time to audit and improve your search account structures by grouping terms based on similar converters, such as top terms and seasonal keywords.
Before launching a seasonal campaign, you should set up your accounts for efficiency. Since the “Big Three” search engines—Google, Yahoo! and MSN—essentially have the same structure, architect your accounts identically—including campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ads —so you can cut and paste changes. This makes life easier for you, improves your quality scores and allows for better budget control.