Celebrate the AdWords Community's First Anniversary with Valentine's Day Best Practices!
Valentine's Day is definitely something for advertisers to take advantage of with regards to attracting more traffic and in turn generating more conversions. Many business owners will convince themselves that their industry does not apply to Valentine's Day and that they have no opportunity of making use of this special occasion. I personally don't believe this is the case though as even businesses who don't have any relation to Valentine's Day can still add some sort of theme or twist to their advertising. Simply offering a Valentine's deal for example may attract additional visitors that may have originally dismissed an ad if it had not included this type of promotion. Considering even just a few of the following points below can be the difference of capturing Valentine's Day traffic that you have otherwise missed:
- Display Ads - One thing I love to take advantage of during this occasion is the Display Ad Builder Tool due to it's easy to edit Valentine's Day templates. Advertisers may dismiss the idea of using these templates in fear that their ads will be too similar to their competitors' but the tool has enough customisation options for this not to be the case. These templates give you the opportunity to give your ads a Valentine's Day theme within minutes completely free of charge; simply fill in the fields, add your logo, customise the structure and colours of the ad and then you are ready to go. If you do have the opportunity to create your own image ads from scratch then I highly recommend doing so as you will have a better chance of building / using brand awareness at the same time.
- Placements - Leading up to Valentine's Day you should start researching potential managed placements to utilise these newly created display ads. Around the beginning of February it is common for "Gift Idea" related blog articles to be created which gives online gift companies the perfect opportunity to attract relevant traffic to their website by using these articles as placements. Pay additional attention to what subject the article content is about and then make the decision on whether it will suit your products or not.
- Themed Deals - Valentine's Day is an excellent period to offer deals whether your business is related to the festive day or not. With Google's thinkinsights reporting an average increase of 35% more Valentine's Day related traffic between 2011 and 2012, it's important to take advantage of this additional traffic within your own business by attracting these visitors to your website via themed deals. If you do decide to use a Valentine's Day deal then be sure to make it as evident as possible to your potential customers, offering a deal is useless unless visitors know that it actually exists. Draw attention by including the themed deal in your ad description and then make the same offer easy to spot when the visitor clicks through to your landing page.
- Landing Pages - If you have the time and resources to dedicate an entire landing page to the special occasion then do so. A customer clicking on a Valentine's Day themed ad will have a much better shopping experience if they are presented with a Valentine's Day themed landing page directing them to the product or service they are after. This landing page should have your deal as the most prominent thing on the page along with the easiest way for the visitor to complete the conversion transaction to ensure you minimise the chance of them leaving without making a purchase.
- Unique Selling Points - While USPs are always something you should highlight, Valentine's Day has one very important one in particular. Delivery times are always a massive factor when it comes to Valentine's Day due to the fact that any gift received after the 14th of February is going to result in an unhappy situation. If you have the ability to guarantee that their gift is going to arrive on time then really state it to your potential customers through your ad descriptions and landing pages. Other USPs that are relevant to the special period should also be brought to the attention of your buyers, if you can offer a gift wrapping service for example then let everyone know about it!
- Keywords - It might seem one of the most obvious points but one that is still often forgotten. Using Valentine's Day related keywords can be essential to capturing the extra traffic during this period. It is quite common for gift buyers to not have a specific product in mind when shopping for their loved ones and will instead search on terms such as "Valentine's Day gifts" and "Valentine's Day ideas" as examples. Even modifying original keywords by adding "Valentine's Day" to the term can assist in generating these additional clicks; a general online chocolate shop might gain benefits by including keywords such as "Valentine's Day chocolates" for example in addition to their regular chocolate related keywords.
- Remarketing - Choosing the perfect gift for your loved one on Valentine's Day can be a difficult task and generally involves a lot of browsing as comparisons are made between potential gifts on various websites. This means that many sales aren't necessarily going to be completed on the first visit to your landing page as funnels are abandoned to check out competitor websites. Therefore it is so important to remind the potential customer that your business exists during their browsing experience, with this being achieved via remarketing. By constantly having your display ads appear to them (and potentially with better deals than the first one you offered) you have a much greater chance of attracting the customer back to your website and finalise a conversion resulting in a sale for you.
- Mobile - We are often reminded how fast the mobile market is expanding and this will be no different for Valentine's Day. By creating a separate mobile campaign and preparing your ads, landing pages and overall experience for mobile devices you can obtain an edge over your competitors and be sure not to lose out in mobile sales.
- Sitelinks - With so many advertisers taking advantage of Valentine's Day it's important to stand out from the crowd as much as possible. It has been proven that sitelink extensions are an excellent way of doing this as CTRs generally improve when your ad displays these. Try using Valentine's themed call to action phrases (such as "Treat Your Loved One to Chocolates") within each of your sitelinks to really attract searchers into clicking through to your landing page.
- Prepare - If you use any of the advice above then it is absolutely essential that you prepare for increases in both traffic and competition. Ensure that your budget is increased enough to capture the additional clicks while also making sure that your website can physically handle a traffic spike. It is also important to raise and monitor bids during this period as competitors will be looking to do the same, just keep in mind that a return on investment is your ultimate goal.
By adding a Valentine's edge to your marketing strategy you should see the results pay off. Don't forget that these sales do not occur on the 14th of February but instead weeks before as individuals begin to purchase gifts for their loved ones ready for the big day. Do yourself and your business a favour today by optimising your AdWords account ready for the Valentine's Day build up!
*I would like to give a mention to the following community members as parts of the article were inspired by their knowledge:
I have been managing AdWords accounts for over 8 years now at an international marketing agency level and also as a freelancer. I am very passionate about Google's PPC platform and pretty much anything else that is Google related. My theory in life is to learn something new every day and this community is definitely a good place to do so; I would recommend anyone reading this to stick around as it's an excellent source of information with great people contributing to it.
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