christmas ppc

How to optimise your PPC ads for the Holidays

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to hit the ground running with your PPC holiday strategy. After all, the ‘golden’ quarter leading up to Christmas is a crucial period for every business. Get it right and it will be a hugely fruitful one too.

Google Ads reach a whopping 80% of global internet users and boost brand awareness by 80%  – if you’ve got a business and the budget, investing in PPC is a no brainer.

What’s more PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors.

Want to come out on top in the battle of the businesses this Christmas? You’ve got to ace your PPC strategy. Setting it and forgetting just won’t cut it when it comes to running PPC campaigns during the festive season.

In this handy guide, we’ll explain how to optimise your PPC ads for the holidays, in turn generating more leads, driving more sales and gaining your share of those all-important holiday sales.

Learn from the ghost of Christmas past


A fool proof method for improving any campaign is to learn from the past. What went well, what generated returns and what didn’t quite hit the mark.

If you have the data at your disposal sit down and take the time to analyse the previous year’s results:

  • Which ads had the highest click-through-rate?
  • Which ads drove the highest number of conversions?
  • Which of your ads gained good quality scores?
  • What kind of copy was most effective?
  • Which promotions or offers drove the most purchases?
  • How did you fare compared to the competition – where did you outperform them? Where did they outperform you?

Pinpoint each area that worked well as well as areas you wish to improve on.

Analyse your results against your businesses’ specific aims and goals to gauge the success of your PPC campaigns, identifying areas for improvement to incorporate into your strategy.

If you are new to PPC, don’t panic – check out this handy article on how to analyse your PPC campaign.

Present them with a remarketing campaign they can’t resist

A measly 4% of traffic converts first time. If you want to win back those that have bounced from your site this Christmas, you need to prioritise retargeting.

December is a busy time for businesses and competition is fierce, so how better recapture the attention of your audience than by retargeting ads of products they have already viewed to them? It’s a super effective tactic known to reach the 96% of those who don’t convert the first time around.

Customising your retargeting ads based on the behaviours of your visitors dramatically improves the chances that they’ll click and convert. After all, shopping remarketing ads can increase click-through-rate and conversions by a huge 400%

For more help with all things Shopping retargeting lists check out this step by step guide by Google.

‘Tis the season for holiday messaging and killer copy

‘Tis the season for marketers to incorporate holiday messaging into their PPC ads to target holiday shoppers.

To do this, you will need to alter and adapt your ad copy, keywords and landing pages to reflect seasonal language. After all – searcher’s queries change depending on the seasons. Around Christmas millions of us are searching for ‘gifts’ ‘gifts for men’ or ‘gifts for women’ and so on.

The second strand to acing your copy is to ensure that it’s creative, clear, concise and stands out from the crowd. Don’t play it safe. Make it that little bit different. And don’t forget to include a clear call to action that compels the searcher to act.

No matter how many bells and whistles your campaign uses, if your copy is sloppy you simply won’t drive the returns you wished for.

Remember – if you’re running a seasonal offer or promotion make it obvious. After all, 1 in 3 holiday shoppers claim that their purchases were driven by promotions.

For more help on creating killer copy for your PPC ads make sure to check out our handy guide.

Treat yourself to Dynamic Ads

On the face of it dynamic ads are much like any old PPC ad. But, there’s one big difference.

Instead of using keywords, dynamic ads use content from your actual website to decide whether to rank your ad. Google crawls your site, using the information to match it up to search queries. It makes sense, after all, 70% of relevant queries are not matched by exact keywords.

Another key difference with dynamic ads is that the ad headline is generated by Google.

Rather than crafting your own title, the information is pulled directly from your site. You are still required to create a description for the ad, but that is the only element that can be modified.

If you’ve not yet tried your hand at dynamic ads, now is a great time to set them up. This will save you lots of time over the festive period, without the need to carry out keyword research or create landing pages. Google does this all for you.

There’s also no need to worry about constantly manually updating your ads. Google crawls your site, detecting any additions or changes to your content, keeping your ads continually up to date.

Dynamic ads help you reach more relevant searchers on Google, leading to increased traffic and conversions.

For more help with Google’s dynamic ads check out this handy ultimate guide.

Get merry with your Budget

Impressions on your Google Ads can increase by up to 350% during the festive season. It’s no wonder that bid prices can increase by 140% over their yearly average too.

This means that marketers need to adjust their budgets to stay in the game. Although cost-per-click increases, conversion rate and sales also increase during the holidays – so increasing your budget will pay off.

Although funnelling in the funds to stay on the first page of Google means stretching your budget, failing to do so will ultimately lead to losses. After all, a whopping 40% of all clicks on Google’s search engine results page go to the top 3 paid ads.

The clock is ticking – create a sense of urgency

Creating a sense of urgency in your ads is a powerful tool. After all, Wordstream saw a 3x increase in sales by creating urgency around the closing of their sale.

Presenting a time-bound offer to searchers urges them to act, there and then. A consumer that sees a limited time only 50% off promotion is more likely to buy right away rather than wait and miss out on the offer.

Simply adding a countdown to your ads can have the power of pushing potential customers into buying customers. After all, reports have shown that adding a countdown timer increases revenue by 10%.

For help on including a countdown in your ad, check out this guide by Google.

The key is to present searchers with an offer they can’t afford to miss out on. Conjure up that sense of FOMO (fear of missing out.)

Get cracking with Ad Extensions


Marketers should be utilising Ad Extensions year-round, but especially at Christmas.

Google has stated that using ad extensions typically increase an ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points.

Ad extensions allow you to take up more of that valuable room on the search engine results page. Offering more information about your product, service or business, as well as additional links, offers or discounts, they give searchers more reason to choose you over the competitor.

So what information can you include in ad extensions?

  • Location extensions: this is a handy feature for businesses with a physical store, allowing you to include your address, the distance from the searcher to your store or a mapped direction to your address. This is a hugely important feature for physical businesses, after all 46%of all Google searches are looking for local information.
  • Call extensions: here, businesses are able to include their phone number, encouraging searches to reach out and call businesses.
  • Sitelink extensions: sitelinks allow you to entice searchers with links that lead them to specific landing pages on your site. So, if a searcher is looking for a ‘fender electric guitars’ and your sitelink directs them to a landing page full of your range of fender electric guitars, you’re helping them get where they want, quicker. These are super handy for increasing click-through-rates.

ppc ad

  • Callout extensions: this is extra space to include any special offers or promotions which, as we’ve touched upon, is hugely important to shout about during the holiday season.

ppc ad

  • Price extensions: every consumer is influenced by price. Including prices in your ads encourages and entices the searcher to pick your product over the competitors.
  • App extensions: finally, if your business has an app, app extensions allow you to encourage searches to download your app.

Don’t forget negative keywords


Negative keywords are the ones that trigger search results with little or no relevance to what you’ve got to offer.

Once you’ve figured out what your negative keywords are, it’s time to exclude them. Otherwise you’re throwing away good money, annoying searchers and not generating leads or sales.

To find out what your negative keywords are simply head over to your campaign, select the keywords menu and hit search terms. This will show you a list of all every keyword and search term that has triggered your ad. From here, you can pinpoint any that aren’t relevant to your product or business.

This is a super useful tactic, especially during the Christmas period where searchers have their shopping hats on. Building up your negative keywords list will allow you to rank only for relevant searches that are likely to drive conversions.

For more help with negative keywords check out this super handy guide by WordStream.

And finally – don’t lose steam

40% of festive purchases are made in the last 10 days before Christmas. That means it will be highly profitable to target these last-minute shoppers.

Make sure you have planned your PPC budget wisely to stretch to these shoppers. Don’t miss out on those all-important impressions during the last leg because your budget runs out.

It will also be highly important to outline your delivery options to searchers.

After all, those that have left their shopping to the last minute want to know that their orders will arrive before the big day. If your business can offer express delivery or click and collect highlight this in your ad copy.

Next Steps – ready to optimise your PPC campaigns for success this Christmas?


The average business makes $3 for every $1.60 spent on Google Ads. What’s more, the top 3 paid advertising spots receive 46% of all clicks. That’s right, PPC ads are a powerful tool for businesses, and especially so during the festive season where businesses are all battling it out to win over those all-important customers.

We hope you enjoyed our top tips for optimising your PPC campaign for the holiday season. For more help creating a killer PPC campaign that drives real results, simply get in touch with us today. We don’t just manage a PPC campaign, we live and breathe it.

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