Black Friday is the highlight of the year for e-commerce PPC. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to prepare your Google Ads campaigns for Black Friday.
1. Decide What Your Offers Are
The first step is to determine your promotions. What will your offers be? Do you have enough stock to meet the demand? If you’re low on stock, consider being less aggressive in your bidding or focus on promoting products that have sufficient inventory. Maybe products that have struggled to sell throughout the year, and that you would like to clear out.
Remember, there are going to be lots of offers this time of year so it’s important to make sure yours are competitive. During Black Friday a simple 5%-10% offer may not be enough to entice most customers. Try to make offers that are simply too good for your customers to refuse.
2. Review Last Year’s Performance
Learn from history – your past performance data can be a gold mine of insights. Analyse your previous 2022 campaigns to understand what worked and what didn’t. Consider factors like ad messaging, bid strategy, product categories, and ad performance. Use this knowledge to refine your strategies for this year.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Did Display Remarketing work last year?
- Were there certain keywords that didn’t work or were too expensive?
- Did you achieve a top impression share for your most important keywords?
- Which ads performed best? Did the best-performing ads contain “Black Friday” or did they focus more on your offers?
- How well did your assets/extensions work? Did you use Promotion Extensions in Google Ads, Black Friday image extensions etc?
3. Set ROAS Targets
It’s important to determine your target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) leading up to Black Friday. Be mindful of the fact that consumers are increasingly happy to wait until Black Friday to make purchases. Therefore you should expect a fall in sales in the 30-40 days leading up to Black Friday – especially if you sell more expensive products. This will no doubt impact your ROAS in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Therefore, depending on your product’s Average Order Value (AOV), you may need to adjust your ROAS targets.
Be prepared to run ads at a lower ROAS for a few weeks leading up to build demand and awareness – this means you’ll have a large audience to target during the Black Friday weekend. The most important tip I can give you here is to go back to point number 2 above – look at last year’s data and focus specifically on your ROAS.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that as good as it is, you cannot reply on Smart Bidding alone – it may need your guidance during Black Friday. To help Smart Bidding, consider applying Seasonality Bid Adjustments. This allows you to signal that you expect higher conversions during this period.
4. Write Black Friday Ads in Advance
Writing compelling ad copy is essential for success. Ensure your ads are relevant to the sale and provide all the necessary information. Consider setting up Promotion Extensions and adding Black Friday references to your ads. For more impact, go the extra mile with recommended tactics such as countdown timers, new sitelinks, and inventory references to create urgency and highlight your promotions.
Once you’ve set up your Black Friday Ads, it’s important to remember to turn off your evergreen content. For example, if you are using Performance Max, create a Black Friday Asset Group within your PMAX campaigns and turn off your evergreen/always-on campaigns. We don’t recommend creating new campaigns as they will take too long to enter (and exit) the learning period – meaning Black Friday will have come and gone before you get the chance to really benefit from PMAX’s smart strategies.
Below is a great example from the aptly named “Black Friday Expert”. They have made sure to include all mentioned they possibly can, they added nice (and appropriate sitelinks) and finished it off with a nice Black Friday promo code to promote their 80% offer.
5. Optimise Your Keyword Strategy
Your keyword strategy should remain mostly consistent for Black Friday. Consider adding “Black Friday” to some of your keywords, especially if you’re in a competitive market. However, avoid advertising for the broad keyword “Black Friday” unless you’re using it for remarketing. Using Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner is helpful here when trying to figure out if you should make adjustments to your keywords strategy this year.
Below you can see that people are starting (very slowly) to use “Black Friday” terms at the beginning of October, but this really ramps up as Black Friday approaches.
Post-Black Friday Analysis
After Black Friday, it’s time to assess your performance. Reinstate your old bids, budgets and ROAS targets, pause your Black Friday ads, re-enable your evergreen ads, and most importantly conduct a post-event analysis. This is going to really help you when planning for 2024. Look at your results, did you meet or exceed expectations? Did you have enough or too much budget? Which ads performed best, and which under-performed? Overall, you’re looking for the lessons you can learn to help you prepare for next year. Remember, Black Friday always comes around a lot quicker than you expect.