The start of a new year can be a rocky time for paid search advertisers. Contracts come to a close or a new start and everyone has checked out from their holiday shopping carts. Whether you’re starting fresh with a new account or maintaining others, it’s important to keep a keen eye while consumers return to their desktops.
1.) Poise yourself for traffic changes.
The end of the holiday season can be a slow time for most brands and services. Consumers are focused on the presents they’ve just opened and typically aren’t looking beyond the returns counter for new purchases. The same patterns can be seen in recruitment, B2B, and general service industries. After all, who’s thinking about hiring a new PPC agency when they’re skiing with the family in Aspen or jet-skiing in the Caribbean? About the same amount of people applying for jobs when it’s unlikely they’ll see a response until January.
But low traffic (if you are using the right paid search agency!) shouldn’t last forever. People return from their families and plant themselves in front of their office computers. Once again consumers are logging into Facebook and going about their daily routines with the help of Google.
As you can see below, impressions rise sharply in at least three major industries after their dip at the end of the year. Think clearly and try to predict if your campaigns would be affected by seasonal search. Are your services resolution-worthy like exercise or organization equipment? Brace yourself for a traffic spike. Do you sell Menorahs? Your time will come again next year.
2.) Budget is everything.
Now that we’ve established whether or not you should expect increases in web-traffic, you should re-visit your bidding. You don’t want your budgets to stay down and miss out on relevant traffic, but you don’t want your high-budget accounts to inflate too quickly either. Sure, it seems like common sense, but after a month or so of bidding steadily it can be easy to overlook or be unprepared for these changes.
3.) Prepare for the next spike
Superbowl season can cause unprecedented spikes for brands on local and national levels. Ensure that you have clear communication with clients about their plans for other media this time of year. If they are vying for ad time during the big game, adjust your bids accordingly. You may want to increase your overall budget for the month as well to get extra eyeballs on your brand before game-day. The more awareness you have, the better chance you have to capture a sale.
4.) Ad scheduling and delivery
As search habits change, so should your ad placements. Low search volume may lend its self well to accelerated ads, but as people return to their workday routines a more even approach might be more desirable. There is no point in burning your budget quickly when more qualified traffic can be captured later in the day. Similarly, you should adjust your flighting to conform to your consumers’ daily routine. If your product requires a lot of research, showing ads throughout the work day may no longer be profitable as consumers have less time during working hours. It’s all about knowing your products and services.
Hopefully these tips can help you navigate your accounts throughout the start of the New Year and prepare for the unexpected.