As retailers tweak their ad campaigns for the upcoming holiday season, they might want to pay special attention to their paid search campaigns. Marketers often hold some incorrect assumptions about how to maximize the payoff from paid search campaigns. Writing for SearchEngineLand, Matt Lawson explains what to expect during the 2010 holiday season.

According to data provided by Marin Software, the peak daily online conversions occurred during the week of December 6th last year. By December 14th, the ground shipping cutoff date, conversions slid steadily until the post holiday bargain period started on December 26th. “This ‘peak week’ delivered 24% of the impressions, 18% of clicks, and 25% of the profit generated for all of November and December,” Lawson writes. What does this mean for online retailers and paid search campaigns? Here are a few trends to consider:

  • Peak Week is not the same as Cyber Monday: While there is a definite spike on Cyber Monday, and it beats Black Friday, online conversions reach the highest point during the week of December 6th.  Shoppers know they can place orders that week and count on receiving the goods in time for the holidays.
  • Shoppers Buy Late: Lawson recommends that marketers pump up discounts and promotions via search before Thanksgiving to prod shoppers to place an order early rather than late.
  • Sundays:  Online shoppers tend to gravitate to their computers and place orders on Sunday during the holiday season.  Paid search promotions could extend to Mondays as that is the second busiest day of the week.
  • Post Season: A certain segment of the consumer market shops after the holidays. Whether these people are waiting for post-season sales or trying to use the gift cards they received, they comprise a market and should be targeted with paid search campaigns.

As the economy improves and more people begin shopping in both online and offline venues this year, look for retailers to fine tune their paid search campaigns to bring in business.

[Source: Lawson, Matt. Maximizing Paid Search Campaigns for the Holidays. SearchEngineLand.com. 27 Sept. 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010