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Improve PPC Performance Now: How to Take Advantage of Seasonality


PPC professionals love to talk about seasonality. Whether it’s ecommerce growing during the year-end holiday season or lead gen taking a nose-dive during the same season, everyone has an opinion on seasonality.

The question really is: how many PPC professionals are taking advantage of seasonality to improve their performance?

The other aspect of seasonality that isn’t discussed much is making your PPC campaigns relevant to the season at hand – regardless of whether it is your high or low season. Matching your ad copy and landing pages to the current season is a simple and effective way to boost click-through and conversion rates.

Why Write Seasonally Relevant Ads?

The answer is simple: the goal of every PPC ad is to be as relevant as possible. Relevant to:

  • The search query/keyword.
  • The searcher’s needs.
  • Your product/service.
  • Your landing page.

What if you could add another layer of relevancy?

Tie your ads (and subsequently your landing page) directly into the current season. By doing this, you will create ads that are blatantly “fresh” and relevant to searchers. Your ad won’t be just another boring message in a sea of messages – you will stand out in the crowd!

An Example of PPC Seasonality

Toward the end of last year I was working with one of my lead gen clients on new ad and landing page testing ideas. During the brainstorming session, I remembered having much success running “New Year’s resolutions” type ads in January in previous years. This was the perfect opportunity to get the ball rolling.

Starting January 1, we launched an ad variation in every ad group that was specific to New Year’s resolutions. The theme was effectively “Have big goals in 2014? Power your resolutions with…”.

The ad and landing page copy was a direct match. The New Year’s ad variation went into 50/50 rotation with each ad group’s previous best-converting ad.

The Results?

Better than expected!

  • Click-through rate:
    • New Year’s Ad: 1.10 percent
    • Other Ads: 0.62 percent
  • Conversion Rate:
    • New Year’s Ad: 9.10 percent
    • Other Ads: 8.17 percent
  • Cost-per-Acquisition:
    • New Year’s Ad: $48.83
    • Other Ads: $61.63

In short, the seasonally relevant ad won the battle for click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost-per-acquisition. The results were important enough that this will be a cornerstone of message testing for this client throughout 2014.

Carry This Success through the Entire Year

OK, New Year’s resolutions are an obvious seasonal tie-in. But every year is chock-full of seasonal themes and holidays, so you should start writing ads accordingly.

Consider the season (spring, summer, fall, etc.). Consider the holiday. Consider current events (if appropriate). Whatever will make your ads fresh, relevant and stand out from competitors in the search results!

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Thom Craver,
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Simon Heseltine,
Josh McCoy,
Lisa Raehsler,
Greg Jarboe,
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John Gagnon,
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