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Last-minute PPC Checklist For Holiday Season

Illustration woman working from home at Christmas time with calendar and decorations

Last-minute PPC Checklist For Holiday Season

The holiday season(Q4) tends to be a very hectic period for digital marketers in general. It is very important to plan out a strategy for this period in advance to avoid any issues during peak time. Ideally planning for Q4  should be finalised by the end of Q3.

However, if you feel like you may have missed something then fear not, here at Siren Search we have created a very quick checklist for anyone doing Paid Marketing this season that can help you navigate this busy period.

PPC Checklist

Study Past Data 

Have a quick look at last year data, history is a great teacher. This holds true in this case as well. Before planning out anything it is important to look at your past performance and understand what worked best last year and what didn’t. This will help narrow down your focus and help optimise your budgets better.

Warning: Past data is just that, past data. It should only be used as a reference point for your strategy. Just because something did or didn’t do well last year that does not mean that will still be the case today. 

There are a lot of micro/macro factors that can impact performance. A prime example of this would be COVID -19. Consumers may not be willing to spend as much as they did last year.


When deciding on budgets it is important to prioritise your spending on what is working best. In order to do that you need to be flexible. Sounds like very generic advice yet so many of us don’t do it. 

If you are working with an omnichannel strategy look at which channel performance is driving better sales/conversions at a cheaper cost per conversion. Try shifting budgets to the platform/campaign that is providing the best return.


    • Holiday Campaigns/ad groups – Create separate holiday-themed campaigns/ad groups in order to keep them separate from the rest of the campaigns. It makes them very easy to manage and they can be paused once they have served their purpose.


Keyword Research

Use Keyword planner and Google search to identify keywords around gifting. We recommend knitting keywords based on themes into separate ad groups. This will help drive conversions with lower CPC as it helps improve quality score.


Audiences can provide you with interesting insights on how users are behaving, we recommend splitting your ad groups based on audiences/demographics, this will not only help you understand your audience behaviour but also help you invest your budget in a smart and efficient manner. Make sure relevant audiences are applied to the campaigns. We recommend checking audiences at regular intervals and applying bid adjustments to audiences that are performing well.

Bespoke Ad Copy 

This goes without saying, create bespoke ad copy and A/B test various holiday-themed messages. 

Take Advantage of Responsive Search Ads. It can help you A/B test with little to no effort as Google’s algorithm will do most of the heavy lifting by combining the best-performing assets. 

If your ad groups are separated based on gender or age then make sure your ad copy is customised with appropriate messages. If you are running ads on Facebook or Google Display then we are recommending testing various ad formats to identify which ad format is performing best.

Make sure the target keywords are mentioned in the headline and description to increase the relevance of the ad copy thus further improving the quality score of the keyword.

Ad Extensions

Extensions are also one of those things that get overlooked very often. We recommend utilising as many extensions as possible. This will not only make your ad copy stand out but it will also provide more relevant information to your consumers. In the long run, this can help you avoid irrelevant traffic coming from the generic keywords.

Brand/Competitor Activity

Keep an eye on your top competitors & make sure no one is bidding on your brand term. During the holiday season, we tend to see a lot of competition around the brand terms. Researching your competitors daily can provide you with valuable insight that can help you compete more effectively.


Holiday season tends to be the best period for investing more in remarketing campaigns, consumers are always searching for better offers, with the right messaging remarketing can be an effective tool for bringing back those customers. 

Competition tends to increase around this time as most people are searching for gifts, as a result, the search volume will rise. We recommend studying the search trend to identify the patterns when users are most active and increase budget around those times.

Device/location Bid adjustments

Look at which device is driving more conversions and increase bids on those particular devices. If a product is performing exceptionally well on a particular device that we recommend splitting them out into its own campaigns with a separate budget.

Automated bidding

Automated bidding tends to scare a lot of people and opinion is still divided on their use. One of the most common fears is that it takes a lot of power away from us to give it to Google. Although it is true to an extent from personal experience, we have seen some really great results being driven by automated bidding strategy. 

Shopping campaigns

Check Merchant store feed regularly and make sure product descriptions, correct prices and promotion feed approved and running.

If you are a freelancer or a small business owner with little experience of digital marketing than using automated bidding can take a lot of the pressure away from you but we would still advise caution. If not managed properly bidding strategies can cause havoc on your campaigns. 


We hope these quick tips will help you optimise your campaign for the holidays. 

If you are looking to learn advanced PPC then why not contact Siren Search. We offer online training on a variety of paid platforms. With years of experience in PPC, we can help you scale your PPC strategy


Rebecca is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Siren Search.

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