The holiday shopping season is just around the corner! While we always encourage brands to start holiday planning as early as possible, we know that sometimes it slips through the cracks. If you’re running a little late on your brand’s holiday strategy, don’t panic!
While it may be too late to discuss a total website redesign or test out new ecommerce software, there are still plenty of steps you can take to get your Google Shopping campaigns ready for the holidays.
1. Optimize Your Titles
Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of control you have with your Google Shopping campaigns? You’re not alone! As someone who has managed dozens upon dozens of search campaigns, there is nothing I would love more than to tell Google exactly what key phrases I want my Shopping ads to appear for. Though that isn’t an option, there are steps you can take to make sure your ads are showing up for the phrases you intend them to.
So what can you do? Optimize those titles for the keywords and phrases you want to be appearing for. And while getting those key phrases in there is important, make sure your titles still make sense. Don’t keyword stuff and don’t try to work in every single variation of a key phrase. As a general rule of thumb, make sure all of your titles follow these key items:
- Be specific. Your product title needs to convey to the user that you have the product they’re looking for.
- Be different. Don’t copy your competitors. Entice shoppers with the most critical point of differentiation between your product and your competitors.
- Include keywords. Use tools like Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner to make sure you’re using keywords that your customers are actually searching for, and then include those within your titles.
2. Add Promotions (and get them approved soon!)
With fierce competition around the holidays, promotions are a key factor in driving consumer purchasing decisions. Differentiate your products and listings by adding promotions to your products within your feed, or directly within Merchant Center. If you’re not familiar with Merchant Center Promotions, Google offers a great step-by-step guide here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/4588748?hl=en
According to Google, last year 88% of retailers started offering promotions in the first week of November 2015. So it’s not too early to get your promotions in place. Make sure you’re planning ahead with promotion feeds, as review time by Google as peak shopping days get closer becomes much longer. You don’t want to deal with promotion and feed disapprovals during peak times, so get all of those kinks sorted out now!
3. Start ASAP
If you’re working with a smaller budget, you’re probably nervous about competing with the big dogs around the holiday season and rightfully so. But this doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. Focus on the shopping periods in early November before Black Friday and Cyber Monday when click costs are a bit lower and competition isn’t as extreme. And here’s the crucial step – during this time, build remarketing lists of visitors who came to your website but didn’t make a purchase. Then during peak holiday shopping days, focus your efforts on those remarketing lists, as those customers will be easier to win. This will allow you to spend your budget more efficiently.
If your plan was to just sit back and watch the holiday sales pour in, unfortunately I don’t that that’s going to happen for you (but if it does, please tell me your secrets!!). Competition online is increasingly intense around the holidays, and if you aren’t prepared for it, you’re going to be disappointed with the number of sales that come through. So get out there and get planning and optimizing! And if you’re still overwhelmed, contact us to discuss how we can help!