holiday advertising strategies
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Google AdWords

5 New AdWords Strategies You’ll Need this Holiday Season (2016 Edition)

The “Holiday Season” breaks the only 2 rules of being a holiday:

  1. Holidays occur the same time every year
  2. Holidays exempt you from work

Sure, Christmas is and always has been on December 25th, but in the eCommerce and online marketing world, the Holiday Season comes earlier and earlier every year.

If you don’t prepare your marketing and advertising strategy, your Q4 will feel a lot like Santa trying to wrangle the Reindeer after a long hibernation:

getting ready for holiday shopping

We know it’s early, but these 5 new Google AdWords features will help you create holiday advertising strategies that will dominate the competition to close out 2016.

Tablet Bid Adjustments | Eliminate Wasted Spend, Target Your Best Audience

Understanding that people behave differently when they’re on a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer is crucial to success online. It can mean thousands of dollars gained or lost.

For instance, last holiday season, desktop users were almost 3 times more likely to buy online.

eCommerce Conversion Rates by Device Q4 2015
Data Source: SmartInsights

100 mobile users are not equal to 100 tablet or desktop users. In fact, if you’re selling a $50 product, 100 mobile users are worth $75 while 100 tablet users are worth $187.50. That’s $112.50 lost simply because you did not care who was coming to your site.

Analyzing how your ads perform across different devices is a core practice for successful PPC advertising. Before now, you could only analyze this data, not target or adjust bids to each device type. Instead of only being able to adjust smart phone bids or turn off mobile ads, you now have another layer of segmentation with tablet customization. Take the account below as an example…  

The CPA on mobile is nearly double that of Desktop and Tablets. We’d suggest increasing bids on desktop and tablets.

We’re all-in on Tablet bid adjustments, and you should be too. Follow this mobile bidding tutorial to learn how to set this up.

Expanded Text Ads | Drive More Qualified Clicks

Since the 2016 Google Summit, advertisers have waited patiently for Google to lift restrictions on the 15-year-old headline and description limits for text ads.

Expanded Text Ads are now alive and well!

Expanded text ads give you the opportunity to have two headlines, each capable of supporting up to 30 characters, and up to 80 characters for a description. 

This means more key information upfront, aka more information before a user clicks. This can mean more qualified traffic and less spent on wasted clicks. Though some have seen higher costs-per-clicks (CPCs), it seems worth it.

There are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Will your new messages conflict with your Callout Extensions or other ad extensions?
  2. Don’t switch everything over to expanded text just yet. Keep your old campaigns and test them against new ads using expanded text. More is not always better.
  3. Make sure the additional line is useful.
  4. Say something new. Don’t just use more words to say the same thing
  5. Understand Google’s guidelines – your expanded headline might not always show.

Google says these are for the customer’s benefit to better understand the products they buy, but this is really a win for us copywriters slaving away to shave 1 xtra character 2 fit in the limited space.

Responsive Display Ads | Save Time & Reach more of your Target Audience

Extra character space from Expanded Text ads is nice, but what about the poor graphic designer (or you pretending to be one) who has to pump out hundreds of images each time you run a new campaign?

It’s important to cover all ad sizes to prevent design from restricting your reach and performance, but is it worth the extra time and money?

Fear no more, designers of ads! You can now upload 1 ad and Google will alter it to match all kinds of display sizes and placements.

These are the 8 best performing display ad sizes:

Display Ad Sizes
But there are many more you could be taking advantage of with less effort. Less is more!

 That’s right. Simply provide:

  • 1 short 25-character & 1 long 90-character headline
  • A description up to 90 characters (which may get cut off with different placements, so shorter is better)
  • An image
  • A landing page URL

AdWords will auto-generate display ads to optimize to the various ad sizes and formats.

Mobile App Engagement Ads | Bring those users back!

With mobile eCommerce making up now 30% of the total U.S. market, Google AdWords has stepped up its game with mobile app engagement ads.

Paying for app downloads is notoriously hit or miss.

Google’s Head of Mobile App User Acquisition, Max Ade looks at it this way: “incentivizing people to download [is easy], but retention and the downstream metrics are really, really bad” (from Opt-In Mobile App Episode). Downloads do not equal users.

Google now lets you create lists based on existing app user’s actions that you can use to reengage them, offer them new features, and bring them back.

Google AdWords App Engagement Ads

Price Extensions | Transparent Pricing means Ready to Buy Clicks

Remember what we said about more upfront information being a win-win for your business? Google’s newest ad extension, Price Extensions brings the same returns. With 9 types of price extensions, there is a price extension to fit every business and scenario. 


Here’s a great tutorial on how to set up Price Extensions.

Now that Google AdWords features all these new tools to ease your digital marketing efforts, you can send the competitive holiday market a message: Bring. It. On.


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About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.