The Importance of Good PPC and SEO in Preparation for Black Friday

While Black Friday is always an important day for businesses that rely on pre-holiday sales each year, Black Friday 2020 is set up to be one of the most unique deal-days in history. If you’re a digital marketer, time is running out to prepare for this year. But with a few strategic updates, you’ll be set to capitalize.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to re-shape the way we interact and do business, many brick and mortar businesses are either shut down completely or limiting how many people can enter at a time. Masks are required, or at least strongly encouraged, and a portion of would-be Black Friday shoppers are considering whether it’s worth it to risk exposing themselves in order to be the first one through the door to snag the new PlayStation 5.

E-commerce has become part of our everyday lives, with many consumers already accustomed to shopping online instead of visiting stores in person. Brands like Amazon exist entirely out of convenience for both buyers and sellers. Buyers who don’t need to leave their house. And sellers, who can focus on shipping orders instead of re-stocking shelves. As the first Black Friday in the digital age to take place during a worldwide pandemic, November 27th could be the most internet-dependent Black Friday yet.

And then there’s Cyber Monday, which typically has been the more online-heavy shopping day before COVID-19.

With some experts making predictions about earlier sales, a more extreme focus on bargains, and anticipated products rolling out, there’s no time to lose.

Brands that sell online should be preparing better than ever to be found by the right audience, in the right place (online), at the right time (which in this case is a special Friday in November). While these make up the critical elements of any marketing strategy, companies that have been getting by with mediocre execution might suffer a staggering blow this year as they struggle to compete with the biggest brands.

The online traffic is definitely coming, perhaps more than ever before. Are your website and PPC campaigns ready to capitalize?

5 Ways to Prepare Your PPC Strategy

1. Evaluate Your Keyword Targeting

While the “money” keywords you are probably already targeting are still good, Black Friday brings some temporary search terms you’ll want to be prepared for. Keywords such as “black friday deals”, “gift ideas”, “discounted ____”, and others will see a spike in volume during Black Friday weekend. 

The specific keywords you should be targeting will vary depending on your industry and product or service. Think proactively about what your customers will be searching for, and pull from any historical data you have access to. Some Black Friday searches may already fit within your targeted keyword type, but it’s a good idea to create new ads and keyword targeting specifically for Black Friday.

Be ready for the big day by:

  1. Adding Black Friday-specific, low-funnel keywords
  2. Creating Black Friday-specific ads

2. Monitor Search Terms Over the Weekend

Stay on your toes! As Black Friday happens, and in the few days following, you may come across some search terms being used that you aren’t yet targeting. It’ll take some quick action and your ongoing attention, but you may be able to quickly add keywords or new ads to your campaign and snag some more sales you would have missed otherwise.

3. Look at Years Past

Ideally, this year’s Black Friday isn’t going to be your first rodeo. If it is, buckle up!

To prepare for this year, look back at your PPC numbers from Black Fridays past to see which ads performed the best, what keywords spent the most, and any other insights you can grab as you look to do it better this year.

4. Think About Target CPA or Target ROAS

Yes, people expect a good deal on Black Friday. And yes, you expect to sell a ton over the weekend, making up for any discounts you offered. But remember, you still need to end the weekend having made more than you spent.

Think about how much you can afford to pay for a PPC conversion before the conversion isn’t worth it. Crunching these numbers will help you be smart as you fight for digital space with your competitors.

5. Vary Your Ad Types

If you sell a physical product that you can ship, and for which there is any kind of online search volume, you should be using Shopping ads. Period.

But Search and Display can still be useful as consumers investigate deals and think about what they might want to purchase. If you have the budget, spread some money across the different ad types and maximize your reach. Perhaps a competitor isn’t spending as much on one type as they are on another— cheaper conversions for you.

3 Ways to Prepare Your SEO Strategy

Yes, Search Engine Optimization is “the long game”, it’s true. If your website is in a terrible place for organic search results right now, you won’t get it functioning flawlessly by Black Friday this year. But you can still do some things to prepare.

1. Have a Black Friday Deals Page

You know people are going to be looking. Show them what they’re looking for. As with every piece of well-optimized content, you should obviously be smart about your keywords, use internal navigation, etc.

2. Check on Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

If your site is doing well enough to show up for a decent amount of searches already, you could see a lot more impressions around Black Friday. Update any weak title tags or meta descriptions so that you can stand out from the other organic results, turning more of those impressions into clicks. 

Depending on the page, you may even want to temporarily include a Black Friday-specific call-to-action and messaging. But you need to hurry with the updates so Google can index everything in time.

3. Add Banners, Internal Links, and Navigation

Your stronger pages are probably going to get most of the traffic over Black Friday. If your site is set up well to capitalize in this way, you may not need to change much. But if you have other, more specific product or service pages where you want people to go that are a little harder to get to, adding things like on-site banners, internal links, and temporary Black Friday navigation tabs from your main menu can help funnel visitors to the pages you want them to go.

As always, you want to make the purchase process as easy as possible, especially on one of the biggest purchasing days of the year.

Good luck to you!

The year 2020 has been hard on a lot of businesses, including ours.  EKR Agency wishes everyone the best of luck as you prepare for a unique Black Friday and work to keep your business going.

These are just a few of the things you can do to better prepare. If you need help with any of your marketing and advertising efforts, our team can help! Give us a call.

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