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Black Friday: 5 PPC Lessons

Black Friday: 5 PPC Lessons




We recently took over the PPC for an international womenswear brand, launching our campaigns on Black Friday week. Our campaigns were a huge success, vastly overshadowing the work of the client’s previous agency. Compared to last year’s campaigns we generated the following results:

Cost: (5.6%) Lower

Conversion: 140% Increase

Conversion Value: 135% Increase

ROAS: 149% Increase

Here are last year’s stats:


Compared to our stats:


As you can see, we generated far higher returns with a slightly lower budget. Here are the 5 Black Friday PPC lessons we learned from the campaign.

Don’t Just Increase Your Budget

Clients would always say, “It’s Black Friday; I want full coverage, no down-times. Increase the budget as much as you can.”

However, this is not always the best move. Increasing the budget too much can actually hurt your bottom line or your main KPI. In our case, this was the ROAS (Revenue/Cost). So we decided to just adjust as we went. Doing so, we achieved a 149% improvement in ROAS at a lower spend, with revenue increasing by 135%.

If your campaigns are not optimised and set up efficiently to begin with, your budget will only emphasise these inefficiencies. Ultimately, they may even lose money despite the increase in revenue just because of loopholes in your campaign

Unless you are confident that you can control where the increase in budget goes, we recommend just increasing it gradually throughout the campaign.

Learn from Last Year’s Campaigns

Always learn from your failures, and even from your successes. An experiment or campaign is only a failure if you did not learn something from it to improve later on.

In our case we knew that branded searches worked well; a low-hanging fruit for people searching for the brand name plus black Friday. So we made sure to get as much coverage for our branded search.

We also knew that our Google Shopping campaign needed a lot of work in terms of optimising the shopping feed, but there was not enough time to fix it. So we decided on just bidding low on items that did not sell that well and higher on the ones that did.

With these two concepts in mind, we needed to control our budget exposure properly. So we pumped more into the branded search and kept our Google Shopping campaigns at just the right amount.

Experiment With New Strategies

We tested different strategies throughout the black Friday week and here are the things that we’ve learned:

  1. Dynamic Remarketing Works: Think about it, after clicking a specific item and leaving the website, you are haunted by the irresistible discount and low prices of the item you viewed wherever you go on the internet. Yup, you are bound to splurge on it eventually!
  2. Avoid Black Friday Searches (“black Friday women’s clothes”/’black Friday clothing deals”): These terms are too expensive and have too many searches which will blow up your budget.
  3. Straight GDN Awareness Campaigns Work: Always remember there is that area in Analytics called Assisted Conversion, where it tells you which of your campaigns aided towards a sale for a user. Don’t just rely on last touch attribution.
  4. Be Careful with Mobile Apps: As with all things within the Google Display Network. The number of places your ads can appear on is massive. So, remember to opt out of advertising on mobile apps – specifically those games that your 5 year old kid aimlessly smashes on his/her tablet!

It’s Okay to Bid on Your Brand Name

A lot of companies don’t feel the need to bid on their own brand, just because they don’t want to pay for something that would already appear organically. But what if we told you that your competitors are indirectly bidding on your brand name without your knowledge.

No one is perfect when it comes to Google Ads. There are some competitors or even smaller brands you didn’t think of that may be getting traffic from your brand searches.

When someone searches for *your brand name +womens +dresses* for example, your competitors may be bidding on the term +womens +dresses; in effect having their amazing offer, deal, or discount ahead of your organic ad and stealing that potential sale from right under your nose.

So the next time you want to save a penny on bidding on your brand name, think about it again.

Plan & Start Early for Black Friday

As with all things marketing, it is better to be prepared one year in advance for next year’s business calendar. That way you won’t need to salve away the hours trying to rush something half baked.

Try to at least plan your campaigns three months in advance for an event, or even more. Work with your creative department, fulfilment, sales, and customer support teams to get insights on the customers. Have a sit-down with your client to discuss their goals and plans for the coming months and even years.

At the end of the day we are all working towards the same goal of having a successful business.

Want to find out more about how you can streamline your brand’s PPC campaigns? Get in touch or drop us a line on social.