The Top Three Tips to Make You King of the SERP This Black Friday and Cyber Monday
by Margaret Davis, 20 Nov 2018
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are crucial days for online retailers. Last year, US retailers earned a record $7.9 billion on Black Friday and $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday. On Black Friday 2017 alone, Amazon exceeded $5 billion in sales, and was responsible for nearly 50% of all online transactions.* Given that roughly half of US households have an Amazon Prime membership, what does it take for a retailer to compete with Amazon’s deals? Not only will Amazon be funneling more media dollars into promoting their deals, but, like a ripple effect, consumers are taking notice. Therefore, competitors are clamoring for best ad rank in an effort to crowd each other out during these two 24-hour windows.
In 2017, DRUM analyzed year-over-year performance for a specific retail category, discovering that during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, our average cost-per-click increased by more than 20%, while both our ad average position and impression share worsened. Basically, we were paying 20% more for a lower ad position and less ad visibility on the SERP, versus the prior year.
So, how do you keep your client’s paid search ads in the best position, all while also achieving their goals and maintaining efficiencies? Here are a few key takeaways from our Black Friday and Cyber Monday success story, where we utilized the prior year’s insights to conquer the SERP on a major retail account.
- Identify your top keywords.
Which keywords drive the most conversions in your paid search account? These are the keywords that you always want to have the best 1.0 average position. Find your historical top-converting keywords, and take a look at each one’s average position. For example, if “Red Shoes” is one of your top converting keywords, you’d naturally want your ad to show at the top of the search results page when someone searches for it.
However, not all accounts have unlimited (or near-unlimited) media budgets like Amazon, so pick your top keywords wisely. We selected our keywords according to their retail category, where we knew our offer was competitive to Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers. At DRUM, we’re all about maximizing efficiency, whether our client has an ROI goal, or a cost-per-conversion goal. Therefore, we selected keywords that would be worth incurring an incremental cost while remaining within our KPIs.
- Utilize reports and automated tools to help you maximize impression share on those top keywords.
Automated rules automatically make changes to your keywords according to the settings you choose and can be implemented within each search engine’s UI for various actions. For example, one of the automated rules we implemented was to keep our top keywords above minimum first page bid. So, whenever someone searched “Red Shoes,” automated rules ensured that our ad would show on the first page, rather than requiring us to manually monitor each auction every hour. We scheduled our automated rule to check hourly and boost our keyword search bids if our ad no longer appeared on the first page — thus ensuring we wouldn’t miss out on any conversions due to our ad not showing on the first results page.
Using Auction insights reporting from the prior year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we analyzed our top keyword’s impression share** relative to our competitors — a figure measured on a scale of 1% to 100%. If a keyword has 100% impression share, it likely has a 1.0 average position.
We discovered Amazon was bidding on some of the same keywords as we were. More specifically, Amazon’s impression share and average position improved during these days in 2016, resulting in our paying a higher cost-per-click on our keywords and ads. As a DRUM best practice, we utilize various automated bid strategies for our top keywords, but by implementing automatedrRules, we can ensure that our ad will always show.
**Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive, compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get. Impression share is a good way to understand whether your ads might reach more people if you increase your bid or budget. (Source: Google AdWords)
Don’t throw away your KPIs.
Lastly, and most importantly, whenever implementing major changes to your paid search or shopping account, it’s always smart to monitor spend. Monitoring your account’s performance every one to two hours will ensure that you aren’t spending inefficiently, as there will also be smaller retailers investing more ad spend on these days.
Naturally, this makes the environment more expensive, and you want to make sure the additional cost is resulting in more conversions. Check each search engine’s UI and pull conversion reporting to ensure you aren’t wasting your client’s money. Are your top keywords holding up? Are competitors really impacting your results? Or, can you take a step back? And, if reporting shows that your account isn’t performing, it may be better to pause your keywords altogether than to spend money inefficiently. Overall, be certain to budget for cost-per-click increases and allocate budgets for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, just like you would for Prime Day.
Our strategies helped DRUM maintain competitive ad positions during Cyber Monday and Black Friday last year, all while driving more conversions versus the prior year. And remember: Always stay up-to-date on new features coming out for Google AdWords, Bing Ads and Oath Ads to help maximize your paid search account’s efficiencies.
Want to learn more about our paid search best practices?Contact us!
Get updates; just enter your email below. Simple as that.
Voice applications and natural language are bigger than the kitchen.
by Bryan Knouse, 29 Oct 2018
Are you ready for Amazon advertising?
by Debra Wang, 25 Oct 2018
Even Mighty Amazon Can’t Deliver on Grocery Delivery
by David Randolph, 15 Aug 2018
Google’s ready for Its face-lift
by DRUM Media, 25 Jul 2018
Why it’s important to invest in non-branded paid search
by Kelsey Chadwick, 27 Jun 2018
Why paid search should be your go-to media
by Katherine Jianas, 18 Jun 2018
Why Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal makes me thrilled for the future of content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 21 May 2018
YouTube for Nonprofits
by Virginia Doty, 15 May 2018
Takeaways from MarTech 2018
by Michael Cruz, Chief Content Officer, 15 May 2018
Which do your consumers prefer? Inbox or Mailbox? (Infographic)
by DRUM, 14 May 2018
Get smart with Google smart bidding
by Hailee Sosnowski, 27 Apr 2018
The amazing power of personalization
by DRUM, 19 Apr 2018
Beyond once upon a time: dialogue and the art of storytelling 2.0
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, VP/Creative Director, 17 Apr 2018
SEM 101 for Nonprofits
by Jay Reyes & Chase Bender, 12 Apr 2018
How to inspire workplace creativity
by Stephen Steger, 03 Apr 2018
Local SEO for brands and franchises: Top 3 tips from 15 SEO experts
by Greg Lee, 02 Apr 2018
Next steps for advertisers after the Cambridge Analytica Facebook breach
by Traci Hendrix, 26 Mar 2018
Are you ready for the GDPR? A guide for advertising agencies
by Jerelle Gainey and Debra Wang, 15 Mar 2018
Q&A: Experts dish on the future of paid search
by Chelsea Huston, 06 Mar 2018
Why content moments are the key to understanding content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 28 Feb 2018
Why bad advertising is a form of bad manners: lessons from a Ugandan storefront
by Scott Johnson, 20 Feb 2018
Retailers and the lower funnel trap
by David Randolph, 06 Feb 2018
What’s the body language of your content really saying?
by Zoë Courtman-Smith, 31 Jan 2018
10 things to look for in enterprise SEO software: 2018 tool review
by Greg Lee, 30 Jan 2018
The top 3 PPC marketing search engines of 2018
by Debra Wang and Vladimir Bradic, 26 Jan 2018
How new changes to Google Grant will affect your nonprofit
by Shelby Huckeba, 19 Jan 2018
Latest Giving Tuesday campaign ideas from marketing-minded nonprofits
by Adam Binkley, Jay Reyes and Ruby Wustrak, 18 Jan 2018
State of Social in 2018
by Ashley Reed, 17 Jan 2018
Top 7 posts of 2017
by Jamie Wigington, 17 Jan 2018
How should SEM experts prepare for voice search? [INFOGRAPHIC]
by DRUM, 17 Jan 2018
7 Digital trends that will change how you market in 2018
by DRUM Media, 17 Jan 2018
What advertisers need to know about Apple's intelligent tracking prevention
by Jerelle Gainey, 06 Oct 2017
Using direct mail to reactivate online customers
by Rosann Bartle, 22 Sep 2017
Bing shop ‘til you drop
by Hailee Sosnowski, 14 Aug 2017
Finding a web design process that works
by Todd Chambers, 02 Aug 2017
3 Commandments for creating incredibly engaging content
by Ben Heiser, 02 Aug 2017
Twitter ads and targeting techniques that work
by Annie Green, 27 Jul 2017
5 benefits of paid social advertising
by Karina Khemani, 14 Jul 2017
Oh snap! Snapchat just upped their ad game
by Traci Hendrix, 12 Jul 2017
Dying is easy, comedy is hard
by Scott Johnson, 10 Jul 2017
Marketing and the meteor test
by Scott Johnson, 05 Jul 2017
The value of local SEO (Even when your customers aren't)
by Gregory Lee, 23 Jun 2017
The best Facebook ad types and targeting options for driving sales
by Annie Green, 15 Jun 2017
Linking online marketing to offline consumer behavior
by Heather Roach, 08 Jun 2017
To push a nonprofit's mission, you have to push with passion
by Nicole Bendel, 05 Jun 2017
7 ways B2B marketers can find success in social media
by Traci Hendrix, 31 May 2017
Google’s data-driven attribution: what you need to know
by Kimberly Honore, 23 May 2017
The skinny on Yahoo's native search retargeting feature
by Shelby Huckeba, 15 May 2017
Why you should always include brand search in your digital strategy
by Katherine Jianas, 04 May 2017
How to use content marketing to finally unify marketing strategies
by Gregory Lee, 16 Apr 2017
5 things we learned at Google’s “Search in 2017 & Beyond” event
by Kimberly Honore, 05 Apr 2017
To sell to the ego, you gotta talk to the id.
by Zoe Courtman-Smith, 04 Apr 2017
Social listening inspires smarter business strategies
by Alicia Trahan, 03 Apr 2017
Brand safety: how programmatic partners protect our clients' brands
by Brittany Altman, 31 Mar 2017
How inactive subscribers can affect deliverability
by Billy McNair, 27 Mar 2017
5 reasons to insist on 1st party data for CRM targeting
by Samantha Halpin, 22 Mar 2017
Conversation, not content, is king
by Scott Johnson, 15 Mar 2017