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Digital Marketing News & Best Practices - Adlucent Search Pros(e)

Holiday PPC Checklist Part #2: Campaign Settings

Posted by Holly Pauzer on October 31, 2016

With less than a month until Black Friday, our countdown continues. Our second holiday PPC checklist focuses on campaign settings.  While your PPC strategy may be locked and loaded, there may be items on this list that you overlooked. Below we cover ways that you can capture the most traffic possible, suggestions for how to allocate spend to get more bang for your buck, how to optimize your PPC accounts, and more. Let’s get started.

Campaign Settings:
checkbox  Take advantage of additional traffic by setting your campaigns to target all languages. Doing this allows you to target bi-lingual users in the US who use a non-English Google domain as their primary search engine.
checkbox  Set up Yahoo Gemini accounts to capture additional holiday traffic
checkbox  Be sure you are running on Bing. For many retailers, the search engine provides lower CPCs and provides a good return on ad spend

  • Take advantage of Flyers in Bing Shopping during the peak holiday season. These ads provide greater traffic volume and display prominently on high-traffic searches like “Black Friday deals” and “Cyber Monday flyers.”



checkbox  To estimate how much you should spend this year, pull historical data for the previous holiday season and layer your account’s current year-over-year trends.
checkbox  Ensure Campaign Budgets are sufficient for increased holiday spend

  • Identify periods last year when impression share decreased but revenue per click (RPC) or return on ad spend (ROAS) increased, and be prepared to bid more aggressively this year

checkbox  Make sure you budget enough to hit KPIs
checkbox  On Bing and Yahoo, check that IO (insertion order) limits are optimally set
checkbox  Consider shifting budget from text ads to PLAs

  • PLA click share is greater than text ads and 53% of paid search budgets are now being directed to this high performing ad type1. This figure is expected to grow this holiday season.

checkbox  Once again, mobile will be the driving force. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of allocating sufficient spend to this device type.

Paid search traffic on mobile devices grew 86% and mobile sales 188% YoY during the 2015 holiday season.

Optimize your PPC Accounts:

checkbox  Perform thorough research on industry trends and competitors.
checkbox  Add keywords for new search terms, as well as products and categories expected to do well during the holiday season.
checkbox  Be sure that you have added keywords for search queries from previous holiday periods.


Know which products and categories are expected to do well this holiday season and be sure keywords are added for these new search terms.


checkbox  Increase bids for all keywords and PLAs that are associated with products that you expect will be top performers.
checkbox  Day parting should be more aggressive and customized for the holiday season. Factor in peak shopping days and times, promotional schedules and shipping cut-offs.
checkbox  Mobile bid modifiers should be very aggressive to account for the huge increase in online shoppers.
checkbox  Take advantage of Google’s Device Bid Adjustments which allow you to maintain the efficiency of managing a consolidated campaign that reaches consumers across devices, while giving you more control to set individual bid adjustments for each device type.
checkbox  Review your CPC caps and adjust limits to ensure you show in top position, especially on competitive products.
checkbox  Set geo bid modifiers to increase bids in key locations for your business.


Setting up alerts should be at the top of your list of holiday preparations. Months of careful planning and preparation can be lost if your site or PPC accounts encounter an issue. Create a solid game plan with your team to establish on-call points of contact who can resolve issues promptly.

checkbox  Create hourly performance emails and alerts on all applicable systems – internal systems, AdWords, site analytics etc., as well as across all devices and channels.
checkbox  Establish daily or weekly KPIs and budget targets.
checkbox  Set up spend alerts within AdWords to make sure you’re not over—or under-pacing.
checkbox  Be prepared with a plan in case issues arise. Have designated team members on call from all departments and vendors to assist.

If you have additional Holiday PPC checklist items please share them below! Stay tuned throughout the holiday season as we release results.


1 Adlucent data 1/1/16-6/30/16

Topics: Analytics, Featured Post, Google, holiday paid search, holiday ppc, holiday ppc checklist, holidays, Seasonality


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