8 Perilous PPC Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season

8 Perilous PPC Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season

Your food is bought, family and friends have been invited, and gifts are wrapped. You may think you’re a holiday pro until you log online to find your PPC account in shambles!

With this season being such an important time for countless businesses, you don’t want to fall victim to any PPC mistakes when it comes to your holiday marketing. ‘Tis the season to remember common holiday PPC pitfalls—and how to dodge them.

I’m going to share my tips on how you can turn these holiday perils into holiday presents your account will be eager to unwrap.

1. Ramping up your spend a little too much

Your holiday marketing ramp up doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with raising your PPC budgets. While in some industries bid prices have been known to increase as high as 140% over their yearly average during the holidays, don’t let this scare you into raising your bids and budget beyond your means.

Think of your holiday PPC campaigns as you would a sport: you can be the most in-shape person in the world, but you’ll lose the game if you lack the necessary skills. In this case, your budget is your fitness level and your strategy is your skill level. Your budget can only take you so far in PPC, but your optimization strategy is what will bring home the trophy.

With increased demand and heightened competition, you may find raising your holiday PPC budget a must-do. That’s completely reasonable, but being cautious with it can save you from wasting PPC spend.

2. Putting all your PPC budget into one tactic

I should have put a warning in the beginning that there will be a lot of anecdotal analogies in this post. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

During the off-season, you may have one “tried and true strategy” that works for your account. However, since holiday customers will be everywhere across their devices this season, a multichannel strategy is the best option for PPC success.

Not only will you want other PPC strategies running in case one tactic falls short, but you’ll also want to maximize your PPC opportunities across channels.

3. Not running ads on mobile

A mobile PPC strategy is a holiday strategy that will ensure you capture every potential customer this season.

It’s no secret that all PPC channels have huge mobile audiences, and that matters even more so during the holiday season. In fact, 64% of smartphone shoppers turn to mobile search before heading to a store, and 76% of mobile shoppers change their mind about which brand they choose after searching online.

A mobile marketing strategy for the holidays should include clear and concise ad copy and landing pages that look good on a mobile screen. Also, try taking your mobile marketing a step further by bidding up on mobile devices, placing display ads on apps, or implementing campaigns specifically for mobile devices.

4. Not being inclusive

This holds true for all of your December marketing ideas. This year and beyond, diversity and inclusion in PPC should be a given when considering the holiday season.

For example, 70% of millennials (a large PPC demographic) are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in its promotional offers—even if the viewer themselves does not identify with that demographic.

If you want to make the most out of your PPC this season, your ad copy and creative assets should be inclusive of all cultures and winter holidays.

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5. Trying something a little too new

Cosmetologists preach to brides and grooms to not try anything new the week of their wedding. The same goes for PPC—high traffic holiday times aren’t ideal for trying a strategy you’re not 100% confident in.

If you want to branch out into exciting new strategies during this time, start small with a low-risk budget and a back up plan in place. Be sure to research beforehand to see how similar strategies have performed during this time in your industry. It also wouldn’t hurt to audit your account to understand your holiday performance in past years, so your expectations land in a reasonable spot for a new strategy. 

6. Landing page outages

The last thing you need during this peak season is for your holiday landing page to pop up with errors. Run a landing page audit to make sure it’s good to run through the holidays. That could include practices like testing out your forms or purchase processes, adjusting copy to be clear and concise, and checking for any possible fires before you need to put them out.

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7. Account disapprovals or holds

With Google’s recent 3-strike policy update for ad disapprovals, your radar for potential disapprovals should be on high alert. Even if you aren’t in a high-risk industry, double-check your ads for any grammatical errors, mismatching links, or poor ad strength.

Aside from your ads getting taken down, having your entire account put on a hold during the holidays would be even worse. In your account, navigate to the billing section and ensure that your payment information is up to date.

In my experience, I’ve seen many accounts go down due to credit card limit issues as well. Be sure your form of payment has a threshold that meets your high holiday spend.

8. Using the same ad copy you would normally

‘Tis the season to spice up your ads! Take advantage of this festive time of year to give your audience something fresh to look at. 50% of consumers say holiday ads impact their purchasing decisions. If you’re not running a holiday-specific ad, you’re missing out on the influential power on sales the holidays have.

The holidays are an exciting time for many, and you can show your brand’s fun side with authentic and emotional holiday copywriting. For example, try sprinkling in festive language into a text ad, or swap out your brand colors for holiday colors on a display ad.

However your business chooses to celebrate the season, it’s sure to be well-received by an antsy holiday audience.

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Turn these PPC mistakes into holiday marketing wins!

Think these holiday PPC mistakes are unavoidable? Think again! To recap, here our tips to turn these woes into holiday marketing wins:

Raise your bids and budget only when necessary.
Run a multichannel PPC strategy.
Make your holiday PPC campaigns mobile-friendly.
Make sure your ads are diverse and inclusive.
Don’t try anything new that you’re not 100% comfortable with.
Check your landing pages for any potential snags.
Resolve any disapprovals or payment issues before the season starts.
Use authentic (and cliche-free!) holiday copywriting

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