Many shoppers use Black Friday and Cyber Monday terminology in search, expecting to find aggressive deals. Marketers should plan carefully before incorporating these keywords into their portfolios to avoid incurring unwanted costs and non-converting clicks.
The stakes look to be higher than ever this year, with Black Friday searches starting early in the holiday shopping season. Google Insights, which indexes keyword search volume against the universe of Google searches, shows more people looking for “Black Friday deals” beginning as early as September.
Advertisers that want to build out holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday paid search keywords should first consider what types of holiday keyword possibilities exist for their brand(s). Types of holiday keywords include:
• General Gift Terms: These terms include catch-all terms like “gift for dad” or “Christmas present ideas.” Advertisers that incorporate these general terms during the holidays should expect a big impression spike. However, it is difficult to discern consumer intent on general holiday searches. Because searchers may not be interested in what you sell, there is high potential for a large volume of unqualified clicks.
• Product/Service-Related Gift Terms: These terms include “gift/present” plus what you sell, such as “laptop gift” or “best sweater present.” Landing pages for these terms should include appropriate holiday messages to help match user intent, such as gift suggestions, guidance for choosing the right product, holiday themed content, and delivery information (i.e. “arrives in time for Christmas”).
• General Black Friday/Cyber Monday Terms: These terms include “Black Friday sale” or “Cyber Monday deal.” Like general holiday terms, it is difficult to discern consumer intent and whether searchers are interested in your particular products. So, potential for unqualified clicks exists.
• Product/Service-Related Black Friday/Cyber Monday Keywords: These terms include “Black Friday laptop sale” or “Cyber Monday sweater deal.” These searchers are deal seekers; you must provide relevant content and compelling deals on the landing page to satisfy their needs.
Once you understand the types of keywords available, you should decide whether or not these keywords present opportunities in line with your business objectives. Are you driving conversions and ROI, or are you more interested in awareness and traffic? Holiday and Black Friday/Cyber Monday keywords can produce tremendous results if you have dedicated landing pages with information relevant to holiday shoppers, gift givers or deal seekers.
Advertisers focused on ROI should steer clear of general “gift” and holiday keywords because of the uncertainty of consumer intent. For example, a “gift for dad” searcher could be looking for an electric razor, but you sell only fishing rods. Unqualified clicks adversely impact ROI and on-site engagement metrics. Categorizing product/service keywords, however, should provide additional information that can make these keywords more attractive.
Advertisers interested in branding and awareness might want to be aggressive with holiday keywords. If you want to be in the consideration set, searchers have to find you. However, be prepared to measure on-site engagement and optimize quickly—are consumers interacting with your content or leaving after ten seconds? You want to be sure the clicks being generated justify the costs; so measure, measure and measure again.
Most importantly as you plan your holiday keyword build out, be sure to keep clear objectives in mind and ensure your assets correspond to searcher behavior and intentions. Paid search should always align with strategy and messaging.
Brian Aubert email@example.com is an account director at Performics, Publicis Groupe’s lead performance marketing agency.