How to Prep Your PPC for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined are expected to surpass $21 billion in ecommerce sales this year, according to That’s a lot of eyeballs glued to their screens, scanning frantically for the best deals. And how will they find those deals? By searching.

Are your paid search advertising campaigns ready to capture their share of the Cyber Week shopping hoards?

Black Friday tends to brings to mind mobs of people up at midnight, trekking to their favorite stores, and pushing through crowds to fight for the deal of the century. Whether you participate in the riot or stay home to watch football games, you can’t ignore the fact that the sales generated on this one weekend surpass the average monthly sales during the rest of the year for many businesses.

These eight tips will help you prepare your PPC campaigns for Cyber Week, keeping your campaigns front-and-center with shoppers.

1. Advertise a deal.

Let’s face it, Cyber Week searchers are looking for deals. What product can you make your loss leader – that sacrificial lamb that you’re willing to sell at a loss to get them in the digital door? Make it something they actually want or need, then make it worth their while. Can you do a percentage off, a BOGO (buy one, get one), or BOGOHO (buy one, get one half off)? Free shipping is important, especially since Amazon Prime has conditioned shoppers to expect it.

2. Increase your budgets.

Shoppers aren’t the only frantic ones during Cyber Week. Advertisers worldwide increase their budgets during this critical week to make sure they drive the revenue they need. If you don’t do the same, you may find yourself offline while everyone else profits.

3. Check your ad delivery schedule.

Shoppers act very differently during this week than at other times. They’re more likely to get up during the wee hours when early-bird sales start or shop later for night-owl sales. They’ll definitely be shopping very heavily from Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday. Make sure your ad delivery settings don’t take your campaigns offline during crucial shopping hours and days.

4. Use Google’s countdown widget.

Great for instilling a sense of urgency with shoppers, Google’s countdown widget enables you to automatically display the number of days, hours, and minutes remaining until the end of your promotion. Using a countdown in your ads will make your sale or promotion stand out from the crowd.

5. Clearly state your unique selling proposition.

Tell shoppers in your ad copy why they should feel great about buying from you. Highlight things like:

  • Always 50% off retail
  • Free shipping
  • In stock now
  • Hard-to-find items
  • 50 years in business
  • Made in the USA
  • Gift wrapped for you

6. Ship in time for the holidays.

Many Cyber Week shoppers have their eye on holiday gifts. It feels like a long time until Christmas and the other winter holidays, but it’s not too early to reassure searching shoppers that you can ship to them by then.

7. Check your landing pages.

If you have been neglecting the landing pages you use for your ads, now is a great time to make sure they are in top shape. Landing pages play an important part in the PPC sales process. To ensure your shoppers have a good experience, and stay until they’ve purchased, make sure to optimize your site using these six landing page tips.

8. Start planning early.

This time of year should be on your mind far ahead of the holiday season. Ads need to be loaded early to get through the editorial review process, and this year that load time on Google is even longer. Getting your Cyber Week promotions in your account ahead of time allows you to make sure that all the ads are in place, and approved, prior to Black Friday.

Digital advertising presents an amazing opportunity to reach your searching shoppers, during Cyber Week more than any other week of the year. Following these eight tips will make sure your advertising campaigns are ready to shine on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Note: This article was originally posted on Nov 19, 2009, and was substantially updated Nov. 1, 2019.

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