3 Steps To Grow Holiday Sales with Paid Search & Shopping

The best time to prepare for the holidays was 6 months ago.
The second best time is now.
Between planning time off work, the abbreviated weeks due to national holidays, and having to juggle all the “real world” holiday preparations, the holidays for people like you and me often leave us feeling like we have more work than there are hours in the day.

The holiday timeframe for this year will be different from any other we have experienced in the past, as 69% of US shoppers plan to shop online for the holidays more than in previous years with more people going online to browse and buy for the very first time, according to a survey from Google.

Google opened up its Shopping search results to unpaid, organic listings in April, and Bing followed suit in August. Getting your products into these results can mean free exposure to the millions of people that use Google and Bing Shopping to look for holiday gifts.

As you increase your Q4 marketing spend, one factor to ensuring a smart & effective marketing plan is Google’s paid search and shopping channels. These important steps will help you keep your paid marketing in tip-top shape before, during, and after the holidays. So, prime your campaigns for the busiest retail season of the year and let’s get started now.

1. Remarket to Customers
Set up In-Market Audiences to target shoppers actively searching for your products. And activate Similar Audiences to target new customers, allowing you to grow your paid search by ensuring shoppers will receive ads relevant to their search history.

2. Activate Promotional Tools
Promotions will be crucial in differentiating yourself from your competitors. During the holiday season, people are searching not just for products and services –but for ideas! Use Google’s Merchant Center Promotions to highlight deals and offers, while employing paid search ads to provide multiple links to multiple items for curious shoppers.

3. Review Keyword List
Different keywords generate opportunities during the holidays. Keywords normally placed on the negative list to lower cost, were too broad, or considered too “festive” may now boost your audience levels and create high value in Q4. By adjusting and monitoring their performance, you can maximize your seasonal campaigns and scale up your cross-promotions between your Google Shopping and paid search efforts.


Plan to have your staff ready to monitor social media and review sites, quick to respond and assist dissatisfied consumers. Addressing issues in a quick and timely manner (bonus points for creative ways to go above and beyond to resolve issues) is a good way to curb negative reviews – and possibly even turn negative posts into positive ones.

If the holidays took you by surprise this year, the above steps should set you up to be better prepared next time. At the end of the day, prepping for the holidays doesn’t have to be a Nightmare Before Christmas as our team is always available to get these and other marketing tasks done and out of the way, so you can concentrate on beating last year’s revenue goals.