Bidding Up a Storm: Why You Should Avoid Peak Season Bidding Wars

On the retail calendar, the Christmas period is without a doubt peak season. This time is an opportunity for retailers to go hard and tip their sales for the year.

In the sporting and gambling industry, our 'peak seasons' tend to be around significant betting events - The Grand National, Cheltenham Festival and the start of the Premier League season in the UK, the Melbourne Cup, AFL and NRL Grand Finals in Australia etc.

Whether retail or betting, organisations tend to want to go hard in PPC bidding around their respective peak seasons. But is that going to get you the best results?

Let's mull over this for a minute. If everyone is going hard on PPC bidding, your costs are skyrocketing, yet your chance of cutting through the noise is plummeting.

You need to be in the race to be seen and heard by your customers, but thankfully you don't always need to play the same game.

Festive season

If you have the unlimited budgets to outbid your competition on popular terms, go nuts. However, for smaller players and smart players, it is wise to go niche in these peak seasons to get better value from your paid search campaigns.

Here’s what you need to do:

Learn from last year

Chances are you've been through this before so critically analyse what was learnt: What did you learn from the ads you ran? Did one message perform better than others? Use that again. What budget did it take you to get into the first position? This will indicate what you're going to need this year. Which keywords or categories served you well? Which proved too hard to advertise to? Modify your strategy according to your learnings.

Budgeting

Set your budget

You are going to need to increase your budget in peak seasons; this is a given. It is important also to set a budget for what you want to spend and what you're willing to pay. In the event you have thoroughly prepared, set the smartest strategy around keywords and still your 'want' budget is swallowed too soon, you need to have another number pre-approved from whoever controls your budget. If you do not have this approved ahead of time and can't get through to this person on the day, you've missed your opportunity.

Be Prepared

Prepare your ads in advance and upload to your AdWords account so that you can make sure that they get approved, or disapproved, well in advance. Include the specific products you run promotions for in your sitelinks. Ensure that every part of the process has been diligently optimised to safeguard against any wasted opportunities or costly mistakes.

Optimising your paid campaigns during peak events and seasons is no easy task. It requires dedicated focus from a savvy specialist to ensure you are getting the best results possible. It is a time where you're at risk of losing a lot if you are not well prepared. Fortunately, our team are at the ready to help you optimise your paid campaigns across search and social. Get in touch today to see how we can help.

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Image Credits:

Kevin Dooley fsecart

Author: Aaron Phelps

Aaron is Digital Fuel's head of biddable media and has over six years experience in paid search. He enjoys MMA and following Liverpool FC.