By Daniel Stevenson

Discover how you can shape your Black Friday marketing strategy based on Google's annual insights.

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The most wonderful time of the year is once again upon us. Unbelievable savings, two-week long Black Fridays and most importantly, endless viral videos of irate Americans snatching kitchen appliances from weeping 5-year-olds. But how can we adjust our normal Search strategy to take advantage of the seemingly inexorable demand of the masses? Our friends at Google have sent us their key 2015 insights, and I have plucked out six of the most interesting ones in order to demonstrate how you can create a strategy based on data rather than assumptions.

Google's Black Friday Insights 2015

Temporary Keyword Coverage

Google state that there was a significant uplift last year in searches on ‘black friday’ and ‘best’ terms – although these would ordinarily be keywords that you might avoid, the gap between the research and purchase stage is so short over Black Friday weekend that coverage here is key for remaining front of mind for the consumer. Although your current keyword portfolio might pick up a lot of relevant terms via phrase match, you need to ensure that you can bid competitively for ‘best’ and ‘black Friday’ terms, especially on high-ticket items.  In addition to this, Google have stated that brand loyalty tends to go out of the window on Black Friday as users search desperately for the best deals. This means that you’re going to need to devote a higher proportion of your budget and resources to your Generics campaigns compared to your Brand + Product campaigns, although ensuring coverage on both remains key.

Device Optimisation

It is the ‘Year of Mobile’ for a record 29th year in a row, and proportion of searches coming via Mobile continues to rise year-on-year. Mobile was the most-used device on Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend last year and that statistic is only likely to rise again this year – bearing this in mind, removing all previous negative bid adjustments is a must in preparation for this period. In addition, it could be worth setting your Mobile bid as your base bid and then adjusting Desktop/Tablet accordingly based on performance to ensure full coverage. Ensure that you are sending people to Mobile-friendly Landing Pages and that all your extensions are mobile-optimised, and hopefully you should be in a solid position to take advantage of people whilst they’re not sending Snapchats of themselves as a dog.

Promotion Suggestions

Although clients will often have pre-decided what their promotions are going to be over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a gentle nudge in another direction might get them to re-think their plans. Last year, more people used a Free Delivery promotion than any coupon or discounts, so encourage your clients to think outside the box when it comes to picking and choosing their offer – potential customers might be more tempted by Free Delivery on all items compared to a standard ‘10% off’ offer, particularly when delivery charges tend to be quite high. In addition to this, remembering to push Gift Cards via Paid Search is a must as 7 out of 10 people said that they received one last year – even adding this as a sitelink onto Brand campaigns could result in a decent uplift of revenue over the period. 

So there we have it – a firm base upon which to build your Black Friday strategy. Enjoy the sales, kids.

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