We always hear people lament how the holidays come ‘earlier and earlier each year’. Seeing snowmen and ornaments in stores before Thanksgiving used to be shocking – now, it’s not uncommon to see wintery decorations in Macy’s in the middle of October.

The holiday season is usually a big one for advertisers, especially those in retail. There’s never a bad time to start to get your paid search accounts ready to handle the coming months, and these five tips will help ensure that you’re able to handle whatever November and December have to throw at you:

  1. Make your ads say exactly what customers are searching for with Keyword Insertion.
    When using Google and Bing, any words included in your search query that also appear in ads and search listings are displayed in bold font. So, if your ad contains more of the words that the customer typed into the search bar, your ad will stand out more. This will lead to more clicks, more sales, and a happier and healthier holidays for everyone involved.
    Since you can’t predict exactly what everyone will search for, there’s a handy tool called Dynamic Keyword Insertion. Using it, you can have your ad dynamically insert what each user types into your ad, so when it appears, it contains exactly what the prospective customer searched for, and stands out with bold letters. This isn’t a panacea, and the character limit still comes into play, but used appropriately, it can help make a good ad great.
  2. Tell your customers why you’re awesome. Lots of advertisers waste the 25 characters in their ad headline and 70 in their ad text. Don’t be afraid to say straight-up why your products or services are better than your competitors. Make your paid search ads uniquely you.
  3. Lose the ‘www.’ in your display URL- it’s SO 2000’s. Google and Microsoft require that your top-level domain (TLD) be consistent with your landing page for your ads. So, if you’re sending people to www.ChoskeConsulting.com, that means the only thing you should put in your display URL is ChoskeConsulting.com. The same holds true if you’re sending people to AdWords.ChoskeConsulting.com/really-long-url/wow-this-is-long.html, you can still have your display URL say ChoskeConsulting.com (or, to be super cool, make it say ChoskeConsulting.com/PPC; anything outside of the TLD is yours to play with).
  4. Install Google Analytics to your website and link it to AdWords. If you use Google’s AdWords paid search platform, you need Google Analytics. Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) is a free solution that easily links to an AdWords account for paid search tracking. Even if you’re using Bing Ads or another provider, Analytics allows you to tag your inbound links to unify tracking of all your marketing channels in one place. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?
  5. Give Choske Consulting a call! (#shameless-plug) In all honesty, the best way to get your paid search accounts up-to-par is to get an evaluation from the experts. You wouldn’t go to the library and check out a book to learn how to give yourself an annual physical; you’d call a doctor and talk in-person with an expert who can do what is necessary to ensure you’re healthy. Make us your paid search marketing doctors!
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