With December only two weeks away and Christmas just around the corner, a lot of businesses will be looking at slowing things down over the holiday period. In my experience (with the exception of retail), most other forms of business generally wind things down for the week over Christmas as they give their staff a much needed break. But what about your Google advertising?
Many businesses tend to pause on the AdWords front for a few weeks over Christmas which at face value makes sense, but, if you dig a little deeper it’s actually quite counter intuitive. Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t put a hold on your ads and a couple of insider tips on what you can do instead!
1) AdWords, being an auction based advertising system means that the more competitive it is in your auction, the more expensive your clicks will be. The beauty of continuing your advertising over Christmas is that your competition generally won’t. This means your cost per click can drop and your average position can increase! This, in the long run, is a good thing as it flows into your AdRank and in the long run puts you in a strong position with regards to your history with Google.
2) In relation to the point above, if you pause your ads while your competition runs theirs, you will be disadvantaged in the long term as you scramble to regain your old position, let alone improve upon it.
What I mean by this is that if you pause your ads, you no longer show, in turn relinquishing your place to your competition. What commonly happens is that your competition can take that position from you, probably for cheaper than what you paid for it -- given there is less competition. In turn, they are building history and ad rank with Google in that particular position for that particular cost per click. When Christmas is over and you re-enter the race, you will need to spend the time and money to gain back your old spot, which can take weeks or even months depending on how competitive your keywords are.
3) Pausing your ads can have a negative effect on your AdRank and can undo the good work put into your campaign throughout the year. Putting a hold on your ads mean you have to spend time and money on regaining your ad rank, position and history with Google in order to gain your old position for the lowest possible click cost. As previously mentioned, if your competition does not pause, then they are in fact benefiting from you being out of the race and it becomes even harder.
4) Over this time, even if you are shutting down, is the perfect time to be looking at the month ahead. You can use the search volume over Christmas to build a pipeline of work for when you return -- which makes a lot of sense. The last thing you want to do is come back to work in January to an empty inbox and no voice mails from clients looking for your service/products in the new-year.
To help build this pipeline, all you need to do is run ads to a landing page explaining that the business is shut until the first week in January and you will make their enquiry a priority upon your return. This sets the expectation with your customer, lets them know what is happening from your end, and more often than not, you will find they are happy to wait to be seen to.
5) While you and your business have time off over Christmas, so do your customers. Trends data shows that over this period search volume increases. This means that as people have time off, they are still searching products or services they might need in the New Year. If you’re maintaining your position on Google over this period you can be gaining valuable clicks at a time when people have the time to look into and research your business.
So how do we combat this? It’s fair to say that you may not want to keep your ads running at a full budget and full schedule for this time, but there is nothing to say you can’t reduce your ad schedule or budget to keep Google’s algorithms busy. Lets say you have a $1.50 cost per click, there is nothing wrong with reducing your budget to $1.50 per day. In theory you will still get one click per day, but what is important is that you still get impressions. With this, Google sees that you’re still active. They see that you have your hat in the ring and will continue to show your ads. Once you get your one click for the day, your ads stop running but the benefit is that you have unbroken history with Google.
Not only that, if your competition do jump out of the race over Christmas, you will probably find that you can test strategies such as measuring the quality of the traffic that comes in through a higher ad position without having to spend any extra money.
In short, just because you’re shutting down for Christmas doesn’t mean your ads have to. In fact, it could work much better for you in the long run if you use this time wisely.