Insights

28th October 2021

The Three ‘Paid Search’ Questions to ask in October

Have you thought about Christmas yet? What about Black Friday? When is the right time to start planning for these events for your website? This month we are looking at three important questions for B2C websites in the run-up to these important events.

Question 1 – Do you know where your sales are coming from?

Whether we want to think about it or not, the inevitable run-up to Christmas has already started this year. B2C websites experience a slow but steady increase in online traffic from the end of October all the way to Black Friday, and year-on-year this change is arriving earlier and with more volume. 

In order to know where the sales are coming from you need to prepare in the following ways:

  • Make sure your Conversion window is long enough. People browsing now may purchase after the default 30 days.
  • Change your Attribution Model to Data-Driven, this will give you the best idea of how much each campaign has contributed to your sales.
  • Make sure that emails and social media are correctly tagged in Google Analytics.

Question 2 – Have you installed Google Analytics 4 yet?

If you are expecting a large increase in traffic over the rest of Autumn and Winter, then you should install GA4 now. All indications are that the new analytics works better with more data, so start collecting information about user sessions, traffic and acquisition as soon as possible.

You shouldn’t turn off your current analytics – run both in tandem. You can add conversions from GA4 to Google Ads, just exclude them from counting towards your current campaign Conversions.

If you need advice setting up Google Analytics 4 you can contact us here, or read our Insight Article here.

Question 3 – What do I do about Smart Campaigns?

While Google’s machine learning ‘Smart’ bidding campaigns are designed to cope with increases in traffic for set holiday periods, they have, historically, struggled to deal with data from movable Flash sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many companies found themselves having to turn off Google Ad Campaigns for the days leading up to these events, as the repeated clicks from browsers who weren’t ready to buy until the launch day would confuse the Automated Bidding and Smart Shopping Campaigns.

This year you can fix that with a ‘Seasonality Adjustment’ – recommended if your website is expecting a lower (or higher) conversion rate over the period of 1 – 7 days.

  1. Go to Tools & Settings in the top menu bar of your Google Ads Account
  2. Select Bid Strategies from the Shared Library section
  3. Select Advanced Controls from the left-hand menu
  4. Use the blue/white ‘+’ symbol to add a future adjustment

The best way to tell Google what you expect to happen to your conversion rate is to look at last year’s data in Google Analytics. If your conversion rate dropped in the days between your sale announcement and your launch date – put in a predicted decrease. If your conversion rate rocketed on the launch day and a few days afterward, then let Google know it is an anomaly so it doesn’t try to promote that product page more after the sale is over.

It’s a fairly new feature, but it is unusual as it gives you a measure of control over one of Google’s signature features – Smart Bidding.

If you have any further questions about what a Google Partner can do for your Ad Account or Paid Search in general, please get in contact with Varn, and we can help.

Article by: Dave, Paid Search Marketing Manager More articles by Dave

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