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WATCHPRO WORKSHOP: Perfecting pay per click for Black Friday

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By: Bradley Hall, Head of PPC at the SEO and digital marketing agency Glass Digital

It’s difficult to predict what this year’s Black Friday will have in store for watch retailers.

The UK has officially entered a recession, which could well mean that people will be holding their purse strings a lot tighter, and it’s hard to say what kinds of restrictions and regulations will be in place on 27 November.

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If your business has taken a hit over the last few months, you might also want to focus on keeping your profit margins strong, while trying to entice potential customers with the promise of a bargain.

You may be reassured to know that the ecommerce space is thriving at the moment, though. In July, online retail sales were up 52.9% compared to the same month of last year (ONS), even though physical shops in the UK had reopened a few weeks prior.

And, as the infection numbers are rising once again, it’s quite possible that more people will choose to shop online this Black Friday, rather than heading out to their local high street.

Pay-per-click advertising offers an efficient and cost-effective way of grabbing the attention of Black Friday shoppers.

It will allow you to secure space on relevant Google SERPs and target people who are specifically looking for the timepieces that you sell.

You do need to put plenty of thought into your strategy to get the most out of it, though — especially this year when coronavirus has thrown a lot of uncertainty into the mix. Here are my top tips for getting it right in 2020.

Choose the right products to promote

When you’re putting together this year’s PPC strategy, you need to think very carefully about what shoppers are going to be looking for. A lot of people’s lifestyles and finances have been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, which means the products that might have been Black Friday best-sellers in previous years may no longer be the best choices.

Take a close look at your sales data from the last few months to determine what people are actually interested in buying at the moment.

And, if you stock seasonal products, you should focus even more specifically on the weeks leading up to Black Friday.

It’s a good idea to break things down according to the different demographics you serve, if possible, as this will make it even easier to target your Google Ads appropriately.

You also need to think about which watches you’re going to have in stock, and what your inventory levels will be like.

Because you might see a huge increase in sales on Black Friday, there’s the risk that the products you’re promoting could sell out.

So, consider whether it might be best to push the watches that you’re going to have the most of. You won’t want your PPC ads to start sending potential customers to a page that says “out of stock” on the day.

You also need to think very carefully about your profit margins. For example, can you afford to give a significant discount on everything, or would it be best to stick to promoting the high-ticket timepieces you offer?

This will be different for every business, but it’s something you really need to consider.

Make your ads as click-worthy as possible

Black Friday is one of the most competitive days in the ecommerce space, so you’ll want to do everything you can to drive people to your site and encourage them to convert.

It’s best to create your ads around a week before Black Friday, as this means they’ll be up to date, but you’ll also have time to make any necessary tweaks if they aren’t approved by Google.

It’s vital that you look at what other businesses have done for Black Friday in previous years. It’s also worth checking whether they’ve started to promote their deals in advance, so you can get an idea of what you’re up against.

Sign up to your competitors’ mailing lists, visit their websites on a regular basis, and look for any hints of what they might be planning so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Make sure any information you have about your sale is included in your ad copy, so people know exactly what they’re getting when they visit your site on Black Friday.

You should also try to capitalise on the hype by making it clear that these deals are very limited and will end once the shopping event is over. Including an urgent call to action like “buy now” can make a huge difference, and you’ll also want to highlight any of your USPs, such as whether you offer free or next-day delivery.

This could help you to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re looking to sell your wares through the Google Shopping platform, you can also create Merchant Promotions.

It’s incredibly important that you put these together ahead of Black Friday, as this will ensure that the discounts you’re offering show up directly on the Google Shopping page, where people might be searching for your products.

Adjust your budget accordingly

While it’s important that you have a strategy in mind ahead of Black Friday, avoid setting this in stone. Instead, monitor your campaign throughout this busy shopping period and make any necessary adjustments to your budget as you go. If things are going well, keep spending by all means. However, if your campaign isn’t quite performing how you expected, don’t continue wasting your spend.

Of course, with PPC marketing, bidding on the most appropriate keywords is incredibly important if you want to maximise your ROI.

So, use Google’s Keyword Planner to look at which search terms are most popular around this time of year.

It’s best to look at keywords that include “Black Friday” and the names or types of products that you stock. Typically, the more niche you can go, the better.

You should also think about allocating some of your budget to retargeting your ads at customers who have already visited your site but left without making a purchase.

These are people who have already been thinking about buying from you, and letting them know that you’re offering a Black Friday discount could convince them to part with their money.

People who are already familiar and interested in your products are going to be a very high-quality audience, and failing to market your products to them on Black Friday could lead to you missing out on a lot of sales.

Watch retailers should already be thinking about Black Friday, and it’s vital that you put plenty of thought into your PPC strategy if you want to thrive in these uncertain times.

Take these tips on board and you can give your company the best possible chance of succeeding in November, despite everything that’s happening in the world.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder