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Holiday 2011 Run-Up: Your Holiday AdWords Budget

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Speaking of budgets, let's talk about your holiday AdWords budget. From January through October you should be spending your advertising budget on targeting keyword phrases that return the highest ROI. Perhaps these are long tail phrases like "pandora rose bead," but certainly not simply "pandora bead." The long tail phrases (those 3 words or more) are usually much less expensive than the 1 or 2 word phrases.

Here's the cost as of today's measurements:

"pandora bead"
Extremely high search volume and competition
Top ad position costs $3.29 per click

"pandora rose bead"
Extremely low search volume and medium competition
Top ad position for less than $1.50 per click

During December you should expect to see the AdWords click prices to spike up to $35 for most generic jewelry phrases. Last year we measured "engagement rings" at $32 just to have placement on page 1 of Google and even more if you wanted to be at a higher position than #10.

With cost per click at that level, you really need to have your ad copy, landing pages, and website funnel all working seamlessly. Any weak link in that group and you'll spend $5,000 per week without a single sale. Although even with a finely tuned online presence, you might still spend $1,000 per week throughout December when targeting generic phrases.

So should you target those generic phrases when the cost is so high? The answer is yes, if your target customer in December is the uneducated jewelry gift giver. They won't know to search for "pandora rose bead" or "pandora blooming rose bead," and they will simply search for "pandora bead" to find a local store.

Another strategy that might help lower the cost of the generic ads is by using holiday modifiers like these:
"gifts"
"best"
"for mom"
"for her"
"for him"

Continuing the Pandora bead example and using google.com/insights/search to give us some ideas...

"pandora gifts for her" had a high volume of searches in December 2009 and nearly doubled in size for December 2010.

"pandora bead gifts" had a high volume of searches in December 2010.

"best pandora bead" had an equally high volume of searches in December 2009 and 2010.

"best pandora gift" has a high volume of searches in December 2009 and nearly doubled in size for December 2010.

Each of these three examples would laser target that holiday gift buyer with a budget while at the same time staying within a reasonable advertising budget of your own. In fact, when we checked the AdWords Traffic Estimator for click prices on these four phrases we get an answer of $0.00. Obviously the price will not be zero, but apparently no one is bidding on these 3 phrases which leaves a wide opportunity for any of you jewelers that want to grab it!

Try the same strategy with your other keywords; you should find similar golden opportunities.

Before launching into a Holiday AdWords campaign, make sure you cross reference Google Insights with the Google AdWords Traffic Estimator. As an example of how important this is we found another Pandora example...

The phrase "pandora beads Christmas" show a 3 year trend of popular searches in December 2008, 2009, and 2010. When looking in AdWords we find high competition with potential click pricing of $3.54. However the phrase "pandora bead Christmas" shows a similar 3 year trend in search popularity but no AdWords competition and a $0.00 click price.

The single letter "s" made all the difference in that one. Even though these little gemstone tricks are great to find you also need to know that the traffic volume is probably much lower. You would need a few of these gemstones to equate to the sales value of a single diamond, but your buy-in cost will be much lower.

The topic of our next Holiday AdWords Nugget will be trademark issues and ad writing ideas. See you tomorrow!
AT: 10/18/2011 10:58:48 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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