It may be only July but it is never too late to start thinking about preparing for your back to school PPC campaigns. It is estimated that the back-to-school/college retail audience spent roughly $72.5 billion in 2013. This makes the back-to-school season the second top spending season behind the holidays. This is obviously a huge opportunity for PPC marketers. The important factor about the back-to-school shopping season that you must keep in mind is that it is long – about three months! This is because school start dates vary across the country, from as early as the first week of August to mid-September giving us a three month time period to play with. Don’t think however that you have three months to get your back to school PPC house in order. Studies have shown that 73 percent of shoppers filling their carts three weeks to more than two months before school starts. Talk about a head start!
Are Advertisers Spending On The Right Queries?
To launch a successful back-to school PPC campaign you must first get an indication of what search terms the back-to-school shoppers are using. Looking at aggregated data from both Google AdWords and the Yahoo Bing Network we can show ad spend and impressions served by keyword– giving you a peek into how the two match up in the real world:
Bing Ads Get In Depth On Back to School PPC
Bing Ads wanted to get a closer look at what was happening with search advertising in the retail market during the back-to-school time period. They wanted to find out what is being advertised the most? What is being clicked on? What keyword combinations are working best for search ads during this specific season? Let’s take a look at how word choice in retail PPC ads during the back-to-school season can impact your campaign success.
Three significant things became apparent right away: 1. In a vertical as broad as retail, we are bound to see some obvious favorites when it comes to ad copy choices. Word combinations getting the most clicks on both PC/tablet and mobile include “Official site” or “quality” in the title and some kind of promotion (“shipping”) or superlative (“best,” “new”) in the description section of the ad. 2. Offering discounts (“X% off”) appears more effective on PC/tablet than mobile. This suggests that the ease of price comparison via desktop makes it easier to hunt for the offers on a PC or tablet rather than a smartphone. 3. Keywords that hint at buyer options (“products,” “top,” “selection”) are strong pullers for both device categories. Searches may start with broad terms, and narrow once the user finds the site offering the variety they’re interested in.
Breaking Down the Bing Study
The Bing Ads researchers looked at roughly 39,000 search ads between July 15 and September 15, 2013, in the retail vertical. These ads generated more than 113 million impressions. This is what they got:
Heatmap: PPC Ad Performance on PC/Tablet
Top Keyword Combinations for Mobile and PC/Tablet
Other Advertiser Insights
• It might be time to go back to school, but it is also time for organized sports to kick off. Notice that the keyword “Sports” was a top keyword on both PC/tablet and mobile in either the ad title or description. It might be worth tying in your promotion with an organized sporting event. • “Official site” performs better on PC/tablet than it does on mobile, where users are given fewer ad options and are more likely to click on the top choice regardless of whether it’s “official.”