So the Holidays Happened…Now What?

The holiday season is almost upon us! We all know that this time of year is a mad frenzy for present shoppers to fill their virtual carts. But on the other side, paid search managers are also scrambling, using the coming weeks to bulk up our accounts, beef up our budgets, build on our keyword lists, and generally prep for the holiday season showdown.

And as soon as it all started – it’s over. We let out one loud, collective sigh of relief and then take a deep breath as we start the New Year. So, now what?

Take this gift that’s been given to you and use your holiday data to your advantage.

  • Although most of your clients know that the holidays are a special time of year, make sure to remind them that they should be ready to see a post-holiday downswing so they aren’t concerned that something has gone horribly awry.
  • Use the data – don’t just undo all the changes you made for the holidays. Rather than just revert all those changes, take a look at what’s been working and just scale back where necessary to work with a more limited budget (assuming you may have increased it for holiday season).
  • Do some research and make a plan – ask around, look online, look at your other clients, and learn from them. See what worked really well for those that are similar to your client, and make a plan for Q1. Start looking at new campaigns, opt into a beta, test ad copy – there is always room for improvement.
  • Take advantage of the high volume of searches and scrub your SQRs. Look at what queries have been performing well that you can add to your campaigns, or do some negative mining and help improve future traffic quality. Also, take some time to do some keyword performance analysis, bid up on those that did well over the holiday season, and rethink those that are still under performing. Although the traffic volume was irregularly high for the holidays in comparison to other weeks, it is still a good indication of what people are searching for when they search for your product/service. Leverage this data to get the most out of your campaigns.
  • Revisit and redefine your goals and key metrics. This is a good time to look at the holiday season and the year as a whole to determine the bottom line and what is truly important to your client.
  • For e-commerce clients, have them do an inventory audit and see if there are any extra products that you can run promos on in the New Year. While volume has lessened, there is still some residual holiday shopping going on, and conversion rates are likely to rebound and improve at the beginning of the year.
  • Do some competitive analysis and see what your competitors did over the holidays – learn from their mistakes and successes.

While the holiday season can be relaxing and joyous for some, and a stressful nightmare for others, approach this endeavor as a learning experience. Use the data and volume to your advantage. Keep a record of what you did over the holidays, what the results were, and leverage it for future holidays and for prepping for the New Year.

Happy Holidays!

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