Tip Two for your Holiday SEM Campaign: How to Strategize your Keyword Bidding

It is widely known that consumers shop differently during the holiday season than they do during the rest of the year. First, they visit online retail sites more often and for a longer period of time, they purchase more in terms of items sold as well as dollars spent, and they participate in online searches for certain types of items more than others. Since the holidays are when most retailers make a large portion of their profits, it is essential they consider how to alter their SEM campaigns to cater to their consumers’ shopping habits.
One of the most effective ways to reach online shoppers is to tailor keyword bidding to fit the time of the year as well as current bidding trends. During the holiday season, the Cost per Conversion (CPC) for categories like flowers, gifts, apparel, and consumer electronics jumps anywhere from 50-80%. This huge markup needs to be addressed so advertisers can use their ad spend as efficiently as possible. Below are 5 essential things to remember in keyword bidding:
  1. The bidding strategy should be product category-specific. Everyone knows it important to understand which categories are profitable to bid on, it is even more important to know the ones which not to bid on. Categories that cover a very broad range, are incredibly popular, or simply cost a lot of money will not benefit your campaign as much as other words or categories could.
  2. Day-parting tactics help in better utilization of advertising budget. Fine tune your campaign further by bidding various amounts on keywords during different hours of the day. Use historical data to find out which words have the best CPC at which hours.
  3. The days of “vanity bidding” (aiming for the top listing position at any cost) are over. Frivolous spending is a thing of the past, and retailers need to stay current with the times and state of the economy by streamlining their spend. Aim for the most efficient way to be within the top few spots.
  4. Value per click is the ultimate measure of bidding efficiency. Once again, it isn’t whether you achieve the top listing position or even get an incredibly high amount of traffic to your site that’s important- it’s whether or not consumers actually purchase a product.
  5. A conversion is an outcome of multiple clicks on (often) multiple keywords. It is too simplistic to attribute a conversion to the last keyword click, so make sure you are bidding on a variety of keywords in a certain category.
These tips can be implemented in both short term as well as long term SEM objectives, but it’s important to remember that bidding is a real-time process and manual bid management is often not sufficiently expedient for campaigns with 5000+ keywords. Bid optimization technologies, such as LXRRetail, use complex algorithms to optimally execute this process. If you’d like to hear more tips about your SEM campaign, check out our YouTube video series that explains all ten tips in our e-book.
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