While many consumers are still in holiday-mode and enjoying the heatwave, now’s the time for advertisers to be planning for the crucial Q4 period. This year, online sales during this period are predicted to keep rising. In 2018, eMarketer predicts that retail e-commerce sales will exceed one-fifth of sales for the first time with this growth attributed largely to holiday shopping. For most retailers, this mean that the Q4 period can make or break their entire financial year.
With paid search advertising now making up 46% of digital ad revenue, it’s a key channel to engage consumers during Q4 across the funnel. If you weren’t already aware, Rakuten Marketing now offers paid search as part of our Integrated Marketing Solutions (IMS) service. Our search business has been thriving in the US since 2009 and we’re excited to offer search to our clients to allow them to streamline performance marketing channels through one partner.
To help you get a head start for Q4, we’ve caught up with Ryan Lewis, the newest recruit to our Paid Search Team in the UK. Ryan has provided a timeline for your paid search strategy to make this holiday season your most successful yet.
August –September: Brand awareness
Now is the time to start driving brand awareness, so ensure you maximise your brand impression share during this time. Pair your strategy with one that ensures bids and quality scores are fully optimised to keep brand impression share strong. This will help ensure that when someone searches for your brand, they see the right messaging – for example, new product arrivals or a major sale – that confirms they’ve found the brand they were hoping to engage with.
September – October: Customer acquisition
Paid search is an intent-driven channel so it offers an effective way to acquire new customers during this period – especially with non-brand keywords. Consumers conducting these searches are often researching gifts. Make sure you’re using the right combination of keywords, messaging and targeting using tools such as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads and Customer Match early on in Q4. This will help increase the chances of your brand being top of mind when it comes to purchasing time later in the quarter.
November and December: Conversions
During these two crucial months, you’ll need to optimise your campaigns to increase the likelihood of conversion. Ensure you use the appropriate targeting mix for the right audience. This can take many forms from the messaging of your ad copy, the right mix of ad extensions, bidding adjustments, location and device-use. Getting the targeting right will ensure that your target audience has an experience that is relevant and valuable to them, and therefore increase their chance of purchasing. For example, one headline may better target new visitors rather than existing customers. Alternatively, a lower bid may be more feasible for loyal users who frequently purchase on mobile.
Request a Free Search Audit
If you’re interested in finding out more about our paid search solution to ensure you maximise your returns this festive season, then you can request your complimentary search audit here. Our team of search experts will analyse your account to look for areas of improvement across your current paid search and PLA strategies to highlight:
- Potential market share and associated revenue
- Opportunities to improve efficiency and return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Missed cross-channel optimisation between PLAs and paid search
- Relevancy issues negatively impacting performance
- Shortcomings in cross-device strategy
- Poor account structure and resulting increased costs
- Inconsistent branding and messaging
If you’re interested in finding out more about our paid search solution, you can do so here.