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

Last year, Black Friday saw a total spend of £1.23bn on online retail sites, meaning a 12.2% increase in sales year on year for the UK alone.

A total of £6.45bn was spent throughout the Black Friday period of Monday 21st – Monday 28th November 2016, making it one of the top-ranking online shopping periods for the entire year. In terms of search volumes Cyber Weekend was number one over the festive period, as you can see from the Google trend screenshot below:

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Take a look at the statistics for ‘Black Friday’ as a search term over the past five years:

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It is clear Cyber Weekend is still massively popular. Last year, 1 in 4 Great British Pounds was spent online during Black Friday instead of in store, as per the British Retail Consortium’s reported figures.

Last year’s Black Friday headlines included “Online shopping steals record share of retail spending”. Consumers are turning to their devices to make their purchases, which is why you need to make sure you’re ready to optimise your user experiences and get the most out this pre-Christmas extravaganza.

Check out our top tips:

Get Your Black Friday Paid Search Campaign Underway

Start early – If you haven’t already, you should be getting your ads live now. On 26th July, Bing said farewell to its Campaign Planner and started encouraging users to leverage its new Keyword Planner, which could prove useful if you’re falling slightly behind on research.

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 source below shows:

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Optimise your feed – Insert Black Friday terms into your shopping feed product titles. Last year we saw a lot of retailers begin this process well in advance:

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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 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 – In 2015, Google rolled out Black Friday Structured Snippet headers. It didn’t do this last year, and nor does it seem to have brought them back 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 24 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.

UPDATED 8th August 2017

You could review the latest in Paid Search strategies to ensure you stay in the loop with hot topics, new features and quick wins. Our most recent PPC News Roundup explores AdWords’ recent call bid adjustment and advertising opportunities with Google’s mobile ad format.

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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.