Our search experts have come up with a list of key tactics to help you win in the battle of the bids this Black Friday. Use our checklist below to maximize your PPC ROI during Black Friday and beyond in the end-of-year buying season.

Account optimization: it’s the little things that matter

  • Label your Black Friday ad groups and campaigns for easy filtering and management; you want to be able to quickly add or remove terms and change your bid when faced with new threats or opportunities
  • Simple but effective, keep a list of specific competitors you need to outrank on the SERPs so you can focus your monitoring efforts and increase bids fast when those brands move. 
  • Replicate your current keywords and add  ‘Black Friday’ exact match to them. For example, the term “gaming headphones” may get more traction if it’s placed as  “Black Friday gaming headphones”, as users search for Black Friday specific deals. Similarly, use the term Black Friday and related messaging in your ad copy and pair it with your branded keywords. 
  • Use countdowns and time-limited deals in your text ads, responsive search ads or Dynamic Search Ads to tap into consumer FOMO. You can either set the countdown for the user’s timezone or for your company’s timezone using the COUNTDOWN or GLOBAL_COUNTDOWN formats respectively. 
  • Review your 2019 data for patterns and anomalies. When did your competitors start or stop advertising for Black Friday last year? What is the optimal lead-up and how does that impact the halo effect? This year sees users searching from the 27th September onwards for Black Deals. Amazon, amongst other retailers, started advertising in October. Might you be missing key opportunities by not advertising earlier? 

Watch your back: counterfeiters and rivals want your sales 

  • Be on the lookout for metasearch engines that will run ads on your terms but take traffic elsewhere. They not only steal your high-intent traffic, they also create a bad user experience that can harm your brand. If they’re soliciting using your trademarks or protected brand terms, create a record and share with your Google rep or legal team.
  • Beware of counterfeiters poaching your clicks. They will bid on your brand terms and offer consumers fakes, driving up your CPCs and snagging your sales. Even your channel partners can cannibalize your sales by using branded terms in ad copy but linking to alternative products. As with metasearch engines, having a technology which can record brand infringements automatically will save you time and give you peace of mind.

Stay ahead of Google Merchant Center announcements and opportunities

  • Google Shopping has launched new features for shoppers to access price insights, price comparison, and price tracking when deciding on a purchase. Consumers can now see the range of prices for a given product, as well as which retailers offer it at a cheaper price, or other extras such as free shipping. In order to combat this, you need a technology which tracks prices to understand your competitor strategy and which offers are the best price point.
  • Consider testing Smart Shopping’s new customer acquisition goal by adding a conversion value target to your campaign. To get the most out of this new functionality, ensure your product descriptions and attributes match user queries with an on the ground competitive intelligence tool like Adthena.
  • Google’s new ‘additional countries’ feature makes it easier to showcase your Black Friday deals in multiple regions. However intelligence on competitors in these same regions is limited in the Google stack, so consider investing in further tools to give you the competitive edge in SERPs.

2020 Retail trends

  • Wearable tech is on the warpath.  Year-on-year Oculus products have grown 250% in popularity of searches, likewise Apple watches have increased by 140% and the Fitbit charge 4 grew by an astronomical 1,250%.
  • Hoovering up the competition. As working from home has become the default, it’s no surprise that household appliances have seen a surge ahead of Black Friday. Searches for vacuum cleaners have grown 60% in the past month, Roombas and robotic tech have seen uplift as tech (and money savvy) users look for the latest deals.
  • Console yourself. Unless you’ve been on the moon, you would’ve seen the launch of X-Box’s series X consoles. Not only did terms containing preorder shoot up 1,150% year on year,  searches for the console are expected to double this week. Not to be outdone, searches for Playstation 5 pre-order have grown 3,400% YoY ahead of its launch on November 12

What’s next?

Monitoring your search landscape is always in season. Whether you’re planning for this year’s festive period or for the next 12 months, having the right competitive intelligence tool is critical to your strategy’s success. As you plan your 2021 PPC playbook, make sure you know who you’re bidding against, what the most cost and click effective terms are, which ad copy works best in which location… Or, you could, just use Adthena.