Make the most of this year’s Black Friday retail bonanza with a paid search campaign that is fully optimised to deliver. Ian Boyden offers his eight top tips for getting more from your Black Friday campaigns this year.

Black Friday 2015 generated more than £1.1 billion in retail sales, while the entire Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend saw UK consumers spend more than £3.3 billion.

In terms of search volume, the online retail event proved the second busiest shopping period of the year for the retail industry, only kept off the top spot by Boxing Day, as these search metrics show:

Black Friday search 2015

For retailers, this is a vital push to secure consumer spend in the run up to Christmas, with many relying on the event to push them well and truly into the black. After all, that is how the name ‘Black Friday’ originated.

For e-commerce managers, optimising your paid search campaign for Black Friday is a golden opportunity not to be missed. Follow our top tips for Black Friday success and hopefully you will see sales soar.

Get Your Black Friday Paid Search Campaign Underway

Start early – If you haven’t already, you should be getting your ads live now. People start searching for Black Friday terms at least a month before; after Bonfire Night people are really focusing on this as their next retail event, as the graph below shows:

Black Friday search 2016

Optimise your feed – Insert Black Friday terms into your shopping feed. Here are some examples of advertisers who have already done this:

Black Friday ads

Remarketing for Search – Create audiences based on people who visited your Black Friday page or converted last year and uplift bids to improve ad rank for these consumers.

Customer Match – Import email data into your AdWords account. If you are creating an email campaign for Black Friday you can upload the list to your AdWords account and it will allow you to report on whether those that saw your email are searching for your terms. You can also uplift bids to increase the chances of appearing in front of those users.

Optimise Expanded Text Ads – Google’s new ETAs give you more space to mention your Black Friday promotions, so make the most of the extra ad real estate. Use the second headline for countdown ads, voucher codes and other eye catching content. This does not have to be at the expense of your keyword appearing in the ad, as you still have the first headline to insert the keywords consumers are searching.

Use Ad Extensions – Last year, Google rolled out Black Friday Structured Snippet headers. It hasn’t done that this year. However, you should still make the most of your ad extensions, including call out extensions and site links.

Re-use Keywords – Replicate the keywords that you have in your account, including your brand terms, and append the term Black Friday to them; for example ‘Toy Sale’ should become ‘Black Friday Toy Sale’. Keep these running throughout Black Friday week and Cyber Monday.

Manage your Budget – Don’t crash and burn too early. Make sure that you leave budget available for the last week of November. Remember, this year’s Black Friday takes place on 25 November, so you don’t want to peak too early.

Finally, can Black Friday impact retailers that aren’t in sale?

Absolutely! Even if you are not in sale, you can jump on the Black Friday bandwagon. Just adding Black Friday terms to your ad creatives should drive increased traffic to your site. Consumers are much more likely to be actively searching for your keywords and purchasing.

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About the author:

Ian has been working in advertising for the last five years, and now specialises in working with e-commerce brands such as Dunelm, Halfords Autocentres and Jones and Brantano. Ian loves to work with clients building their paid search strategies and delivering year on year growth in revenue. Outside of work, Ian is a keen musician playing in a band and enjoys playing golf and going to the gym.