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Holiday Search Marketing Tactics Can Be Applied Year Round

Web Liquid’s webinar “Search Marketing Tactics for Online Retailers this Holiday Season” [1] provided some useful insights into the effects of a down economy on holiday e-commerce spending, as well as tips for investing across media channels and connecting with consumers, not only during the holiday season but year round.

Outlook for 2011:

Holiday e-commerce spending will take bigger hit than year-round spending:

Although the 2010 holiday season reported a 12% uptick over 2009, the holidays’ share of total retail e-commerce sales was greater in 2005-2007 vs. 2010 (21% vs. 19.7%). 2011 is expected to have similar results.

Understanding the Holiday Consumer:

– Cost Conscious Shoppers: Strategies for less spending include: only buying gifts on sale, more comparison shopping, buying for fewer relatives and friends, more ROPO (research online/purchase offline), and spending less money.

– Early Bird Shoppers: Only 35% of consumers shop for gifts in November and December. With that in mind, advertisers and marketers should consider January through October to be just as important for capturing holiday sales as November and December.

-Last Minute Shoppers: 44% of holiday searches around last minute gifts and store locator terms were performed from mobile devices.

Marketing Solutions:

Paid Search: Be prepared for rising media costs during the holidays.

-Review past holiday performance – CPCs, CTR, etc. What worked, what didn’t?

-Use Google Insights to forecast search query volume based on previous holiday seasons.

-Adjust bids and budgets accordingly.

-Don’t wait until Q4.

Display: Only so many search queries to be had. Stimulate more demand with Display.

-Start with top performing search keywords.

-Use best performing search ads with high CTR or Conversion Rates as a guide for creating Display ads.

-Focus delivery of ad impressions on relevant and performing sites.

-Launch retargeting campaigns with targeted messaging.

Mobile: Reach consumers who are likely to spend more.  Mobile/Tablet users found to spend more on average for e-commerce transactions.

-Optimize to revenue or average order metrics.

-Break out campaigns by device: Desktop, Mobile, and Tablet.

-Use ad extensions such as Location extensions and Click-to-Call.

-Prioritize mobile-optimized web content and apps.

Social: Reach consumers in other “friendlier” environments. Consumers exposed to brands through social media are more likely to search and click.

-Leave off “top-rank” ideology for ROI.

-Focus on Average position metrics vs. CPC & revenue.

-Discover profitable keywords to use as audience segments on Facebook advertising.

How are you integrating mobile, social, display and paid search into your 2011 holiday marketing strategy?

About Ami Grant

Ami joined The Search Agency in 2004 and has over 9 years of online marketing experience both on the publisher and agency-side. She is responsible for SEM campaign management, strategy, and maximizing ROI. Before joining TSA, Ami was a Senior Content Solutions Editor at Yahoo! Search Marketing, where she spent over 2 years optimizing accounts through keyword generation, creative development, and landing page recommendations. Ami is originally from Austin, TX and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a certified Google AdWords Professional and SEMPO–LA Chapter Member.