PPC Holiday Shopping Tips for Local Retailers

Well we are a few weeks into Q4 and we all know that means that the holidays are upon us. This means big business and big marketing budgets for e-commerce sites as they ramp up to Thanksgiving night, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However if you are a small, local or regional retailer, this does not mean you shouldn’t be thinking about your holiday strategy.  You have many AdWords tools at your disposal to generate holiday activity to your site and your business.


Certainly one of the first things you will want to consider is what your company’s marketing appetite is for holiday season. If you take a small example of a local holiday retailer, your budget may be set at $20 per day. As search volume is going to explode in late November, you may want to consider increasing your budget. If you are in retail and it is critical to you, make sure you are not out of budget at 11:00 AM on Black Friday when shoppers are out and about on their phones! Think about giving yourself a daily budget boost for those critical days. (And create a reminder to drop it back down once the rush stops.)

Your Website and Landing Pages

I recognize that not every small retailer has the access or ability to edit your site. However if you do – be sure to create some holiday specific landing pages. Perhaps this simply entails changing the theme of the site. Or maybe it is building offer specific pages to get users into your store. Lasty, don’t forget about the mobile presence of your site. Make sure these items are in order well before late November.

Ad Copy

First and foremost – create new ads to display in late November. It is really important to build holiday verbiage into your ads to compete. Depending on your keywords and your products, this is the best time to speak to the holiday shopper. Use your holiday sales, discounts and promotions in ad copy. Make the consumer aware you are pushing your services or products at special rates and discounts or exclusive offers around the holiday time. Additionally, if you are looking to generate more foot traffic, perhaps create an in-store only offer and build it into your ad copy.

Callout Extended Hours & Attributes 

If you are competing against national firms, use local to your advantage. Use callout extensions to make your local presence stand out. Talk about “Serving South Bend.” Take this a step further if you have a convenient location during holiday traffic and emphasize it — “Convenient Parking” or “Located Near Hwy 47.” In addition to this, make sure your hours are featured within your callout extensions. Finally, use callouts if you have a convenient location (Located By Highway 47) or another tidbit about your hours like, “Open Friday from noon to 11!” or “Special Holiday hours!”

2015.10.14 Callouts





Use your actual physical location in the location extensions to ensure that your physical business presence sticks out among the sea of search results.
Your initial goal may be to get users to your website, and then to your physical business. Having searchers see your physical address in the SERP against other non-local listings flooding in for the holidays will help you get the click. Shoppers will want to buy local so make sure they know you are indeed local!

2015.10.14 Location Extension





Google recently released a statistic stating that 90% of online buyers do their research cross device before buying. This means that they may be searching on their phone for you, then at home on their iPad and then at work on their laptop before making a purchase decision. Playing into this, make sure your ads are coming up in the mobile environment and consider boosting your bid within this this device type.

2015.10.14 Device Bids







Hopefully this gives you a few reminders and tips if you are a smaller local retailer trying to a piece of the online holiday traffic surge.

Joseph Ford

Joe Ford is a Managing Partner at Netvantage Marketing. In addition to overseeing day to day business operations of Netvantage, he directs paid search strategy and management. Ford is on the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors, the Marketing Committee for Impression 5 Science Museum, and the Executive Board of the Capital Area IT Council. Additionally, Ford is an adjunct faculty member in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.

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