In honor of Columbus Day (and the thousands upon thousands of AdWords accounts that are paused over the long weekend) I thought I would offer a few tips for PPC managers that decide that they want to maximize returns during weekends and holidays.
In most (but not all) cases Search traffic tends to be less valuable over long weekends and during an holiday break. People’s minds tend to be away from work and more on leisure. While this may lead to increased revenue or impressions for the B2C space, it can drastically reduce the output for B2B lead generation. Don’t worry, there are still some things you can do to keep the leads coming in during these times.
Improve Traffic Quality Through Distribution Channels
There are certain sites that will never produce poor quality searchers and views for your site. Trade Journals, Forums, Industry Sites, and other niche sites on the Content Network may be excellent performers for you, and should never be turned off.
You don’t have to give up on pure search traffic either. First try opting out of the Google’s network partners, and see if traffic directly from Google performs better. Third, you have the option of pausing all keywords except for the most specific long-tail search terms and phrases. This will make sure you screen out all but the most specific, qualified searchers.
Stick to the Daylight Hours
Use Ad Scheduling to limit the hours that your ads are displayed. The quality of a search impression tends to diminish as the day progresses, and it is unlikely your target audience is surfing the net at 3AM (and if they are they probably aren’t looking for your product). This tactic is especially effective for campaigns opted into the Content Network.
Mind Your Bids
I don’t usually recommend using Google’s Position Preference, but since many of your competitors may remain dark during the weekends, your ads will naturally get raised into a higher position. This can result in more clicks and a rapidly depleted budget, so instead we suggest that you keep your ads to the lower end of the first page. If your intended audience is dedicated enough to be researching your business over a long weekend, then they are dedicated enough to check out all of the relevant companies on the first page.
Set a Conservative Daily Budget
You can set aside a certain amount of your monthly budget to be spent on the weekends. This prevents you from risking more on click charges than you are willing or able to spend.
Don’t Set It and Forget It
Last but not least, if you decide to keep your AdWords campaigns active over the weekend you need to dedicate some time to log in and monitor results. If you implement some of these changes you may find that your search marketing activities are even more successful during the weekends or over the holidays. Good luck!