Running a Christmas Sale Using a Small AdWords Budget

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photo credit: Wikimedia

It’s no news that the holidays increases sales, however, one of the drawbacks of the holiday season is the increases of competition and marketers.

So we’ve put together a list of marketing tips that will help you get the most out of your Christmas sale and on a budget. We’ve focused our actions list of Search Marketing since it has a higher potential of the best ROI.

Choose your keywords carefully – make sure that your ad wish show only on searches that 100% of people who are searching are relevant to you, searches that might be relevant should not be on your list; don’t think of it as “losing a potential customer” but think of it as allocating your budget from people that might buy your product to people who will buy your product for sure.

A characteristic that the holiday season is known for is the increase in searches, so don’t worry about exhausting the searches inventory.

Tip: one-word keywords should probably not be on your list, as they are most likely too generic and fall into the “might buy” list.

Stay clear of “Broad” match type – as in the point above, you really need to keep your keyword list as tight and targeted as possible, you don’t want Google to show your ads on keywords that it thinks are relevant to you. Due to the limited budget we want total control over the keywords that your ads are shown on, and for that reason, Broad is not the match type for this activity.

Another big con of the broad match type is that you bid you placed on the target keyword is the bid that the system attributes to all the words it find relevant, which is another point of no control that we want to avoid.

Brush up on your negatives – Another act of refining your keyword list, and making sure that your ads will show on the most relevant searches, is the use of negative keywords. 

You can use Google’s keyword planner to find out common search patterns in your industry that aren’t relevant to you, and simply put them as negative keywords from the get go, don’t wait for them to get to you.

For example, if you aren’t offering any free item you don’t want to show your ads for people who are looking for your product for free. (Remember to stay clear of the “might buy” list).

Tip: negative keywords also have match types, if there you spot a word that represents an intention that doesn’t fit your activity, like free for example, put just that word as a negative keyword with the Phrase match type (it will look like this: “free” on the negative keyword list), this will make sure that no search with the word free will trigger your ads.

Use “Call Only” campaigns – if phone calls are relevant to your activity, create campaigns with the sub-type of “call only”, these campaigns are targeted only to devices that can make outgoing calls.

Clicks on the ads from this campaign will call your number and not direct to a landing page. A lot of business are call oriented and have a high sale rate over the phone. Make sure to use scheduling if you don’t want to receive calls during all hours of the day.

Radius Targeting – if your business is a local business and you want to show your ads only to people who are near it, in a specific radius you can do that through your campaign’s settings.

Go to Settings → in the “Locations” section click “Edit” → click on “Advanced Search” → in the top of the right box you’ll see a few tabs, the second one is “Radius targeting”.

Now simply enter the center point (usually your business address) and the radius, in miles or kilometers you want to target around it.

Ad extensions, the more the merrier – make sure to utilize every ad extension you can, these are very helpful to CTR, as position and the amount of information in your ads. Do not disregard them, put the same effort into writing your ad extensions (if it’s site links, call outs or any other extension) as in writing your ad. Create Christmas oriented ad extensions; you can simply stop them after the holiday.

Give your ads that Christmas spirit – make sure to write Christmas oriented ads, make sure to refer to the pains of holiday shopping with a solution, like long lines, cold weather etc., emphasize how you can solve the issues you can.

Tip: remember that “Xmas” is less characters than “Christmas” but have the same meaning.

Use the countdown feature in your ads – when writing an ad you can add a countdown to it, this feature is known for increasing CTR. The instructions in how to use the tool are super simple, when writing an ad simply type a curly braces (“{“) and the drop down menu will appear, simply choose the countdown from the menu and follow the instructions shown.

Give your site the Christmas cheer – paint your site in red and green colors, you can also change visual elements on your site, like your logo, to be a Christmas oriented with a Christmas tree or some Christmas bells. This shouldn’t take any time, and doesn’t have to be at a designer level, you can do this in any image editing software.


Oz Wintrob has online Marketing experience of over 9 years. Experiences in various marketing platforms like: Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo Japan, Baidu, Yandex and more. I’ve managed various B2C & B2B activities, for companies of different sizes, from small independent businesses to big public corporations.  


Google Small Business, Oz Wintrob

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