Which Paid Search Ad Copy Is Winning This Holiday Season?

Christmas has arrived! All year long, advertisers have been strategizing and planning for the winning campaign to boost their clients’ sales during the holiday season. Once the holidays have come and gone analysts can finally start to gather sales data and determine the success of their efforts.

From shopping on Thanksgiving to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Chanukah, Christmas, New Years and every excuse in-between, advertisers have been carefully implementing their advertising campaigns to try to win your business and win it they have. According to Search Engine Land, retailers in the US increased paid search spend by 48.1 percent during the shopping season and revenue was up 31 percent from 2012.

If you are familiar with writing PPC ad copy, you probably know that sometimes the most clever ad wins and other times the best price incentive gets the click. This is why it is always best practice in PPC to be constantly testing your ad copy. Like many of you, I had numerous people to buy gifts for this holiday season and took to Google for suggestions and deals. Look at some of the phrases I searched and some of the ads that popped-up. Can you spot the holiday-themed ad in the higher position?

“Gifts For Mom”

gifts for mom all togetherEach of these ads includes specific offers that might be appealing when you are looking for a gift for your mom as well as shipping information so she gets her present on time. Two of the ads also have Seller ratings being displayed letting Google users know which advertisers are highly rated for quality service. Answer: Best Buy position 7, Fossil position 3 and Target position 9.

“Gifts For Dad”

gifts for dad final

As you can see, in each of ads the retailer is hoping that offering “Free Shipping” will be an incentive for you to click their ad. They are all using the same selling proposition but one of the elements of this ad they could be testing is the placement of the “Free Shipping” text. In some cases having this text in description line 1 can make a significant difference in the click through rate or vice versa. Answer: JCPenny position 8, Amazon.com position 7, Wiliams-Sonoma position 11.

“Kids Christmas Gifts”

kids christmas gifts final

Each of these ads is within the 1-3 position and use a range of different best practices such as including keywords within the copy and using Dynamic Keyword Insertion which is advanced AdWords feature that dynamically updates your ad text to include one of your keywords that matches a customer’s search terms. Answers: Target position 1, Crayola position 2, Orvis position 3.

“White Elephant Gifts”

white elephant finalIn this particular search engine results page there were only 6 companies bidding on the term “white elephant gifts” in my location. What they do well in their ad copy is incorporating terms in their copy such as “unusual” and “odd” which are adjectives that I would absolutely want to describe a white elephant gift. Answers: Practical Presents position 5, Ugiftideas.com position 4 and Uncommon Goods position 2.

 Keep in mind that there are numerous factors that go into ad rank on the search engine results page including bids, landing pages, quality score and click-through-rate.  Testing ad copy is an important aspect of optimizing your PPC account and can have a significant impact on your ad rank. At 435 Digital we recommend testing ad copy every 4-6 weeks and only test 2 ads against each other at a time (otherwise known as an A/B test). Which Google ads have gotten your attention this holiday?

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  • John Carter

    I’ve spoken with a lot of PPC companies, but the most important thing that you can actually do to your marketing campaign is landing pages. Most companies sell you 1 single thing such as web design, or just Google Adwords, or just popups, or just retargeting etc. This is completely ludicrous because while 1 thing may make a difference in a stable marketing campaign, there is no single element that is a make or break element in online marketing, you need the entire package, and then hone/optimize from there. My business revenues increased by over 60% in two months once I picked a good agency that did more than just PPC, but also did my landing pages, retargeting, banner ads, etc. In fact, I’ve got Simon’s phone number right here, you can talk to him too. Just give him a call at 219-733-4687.