PPC Best Practices for Black Friday & Beyond

31 October 2018


Here are some top tips for your business this Black Friday!

Black Friday is just around the corner. This is a key time of the year for many industries as customers start to move into the Christmas purchasing mind-set, and subsequently the market will become more competitive as advertisers increase bids, budgets and offer substantial discounts in a bid to win sales.


Recent Google data has also revealed that a high percentage of consumers are now purchasing before the Black Friday weekend, meaning that Black Friday is no longer just a one-day event, but rather a week-long sale period with customers expecting promotions long before Black Friday. We have found in the past few years that sales increase rapidly from Black Friday week and kick-start the Christmas shopping period as sales remain higher until after Christmas.


This presents an opportunity for businesses to; take advantage of an increasing demand; react to the changing market; and get promotions and strategies into place as best they can to benefit from greater purchase intent.


In order to help you do this, we have outlined some tips below to help you maximise your potential this Black Friday period. 


Black Friday: Key Players



Mobile & Video


Mobile, now the biggest driver of traffic and fast becoming the biggest source of online revenue as users are becoming increasingly more mobile savvy, will again be key to optimum Black Friday performance. 50% of all holiday shoppers' online purchases were made on their smartphones last year, and as the first interaction a consumer will have with a website is often on mobile, it is imperative that your website offers the best possible experience for Mobile visitors.


Along with mobile, Video is also a major player in Black Friday success, with YouTube now being the 2nd largest search engine and research supporting that over 90% of people now discover new products & brands via YouTube. A further 60% of shoppers also say that online video has provided ideas & inspiration for purchases (Google 2018).


Video Advertising is one of the most cost effective methods to introduce your products to a highly targeted audience and is also one of the main platforms consumers are using in their research. If you have available video or can have Video created, we would highly recommend utilising this for Black Friday advertising.




Search ads are the text ads that show above and below Google Organic search results. Your customers are actively looking for you here now more than ever, with mobile searches containing 'Black Friday' increasing by 80% in the past 2 years (Think With Google 2017), so it's important to be visible on Search at these crucial moments. So how do we do this?


Search allows us to target users by Keywords, as well as advanced demographic information such as age, gender, parental status and household income. Search also features a suite of tools for advanced targeting: For example, RLSA campaigns let you customise your search ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they're searching on Google, allowing you to bid on more generic keywords.  


Search Ad Content is also integral to success in Black Friday or Christmas campaigns. The following Search Ad Content and Formats are recommended for use:


  • Countdown Ads: We can use these to countdown when the Sale starts or when the Sale Ends - Makes the Ads more dynamic and stand out a little.
  • Expanded Text Ads: Two headlines rather than one will allow you to occupy more SERP real estate and provide extra information about offers.
  • Ad Copy: Include Black Friday in the Keywords you already have in your account as searches for this will be high.
  • Ad Customizers (If Functions): Use for lists to offer past customers a special price, or to change Ad text for Mobile Users eg. 'Buy On Your Mobile Today'
  • Sitelink Extensions: Refresh theseto highlight specific products you think will be best sellers rather than the generic sitelinks you may currently be using.
  • Callout Extensions: Promote unique offers to shoppers such as 'free shipping' with callout extensions.
  • Price Extensions: Showcase offers in detail so people can find what they want more quickly through your ad.
  • Promotion Extensions: Use promo code information during sale periods to help your ads stand out by highlighting the offers in Promotion Extensions.






Shopping ads are ads that include rich product information, such as product image, price and merchant name, and use data attributes from the product information that you submit in your Merchant Centre data feed. This format has a range of benefits such as having lower average CPC than Search and occupying more SERP real estate as they contain imagery and pricing information.




During Black Friday week/weekend it is extremely important that you update your Shopping feed at least once a day in order to provide availability information and price data. High demand can lead to products going out-of-stock fast, so your ads should stop showing as soon as a product is unavailable. It is also advisable to use Google Merchant Promotions, which can be used to highlight key discounts such as those on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. 


Title & Description Optimisation


Having a well-structured Shopping Feed will improve performance and increase conversion rates and relevancy. Is your shopping feed optimised efficiently? Below is a best practice example of how Shopping Feed titles should be optimised.




Display advertising is a simple, cost-effective way to advertise on millions of high-quality websites and reach 90% of internet users worldwide. Using display advertising, you can go beyond hand-picked website placements to engage with a hyper-relevant audience based on their online behaviours and browsing history.


With Display, we can target pre-defined user groups based on long-term interest, browsing activity and websites your users are likely to visit. For Black Friday we would recommend the following:


  • Update Custom Affinity lists (websites your audience have a long-term interest in).
  • Update Custom In-market lists (websites related to your business such as competitors) to generate awareness of your offers amongst an audience who are already interested in your type of product or service.
  • Take advantage of new In-market Audiences to reach users who have been actively searching for your product or service type in the past 30 days. There are a huge number of pre-defined In-market audiences available such as 'Holiday Items & Décor', 'Men's Apparel' and 'Perfumes & Fragrances'.




As always, it is essential to re-engage users who have already shown an interest in your brand during Black Friday. With Google Ads, you have the power to retarget users up to 500 days after they leave your site. We would suggest Remarketing to previous website visitors with Black Friday deals or Christmas offers as outlined below.

Black Friday Checklist 


  • Update budget for increased demand
  • Update bids for increased competitor activity
  • Create Black Friday sale ad text copy  
  • Implement countdown and IF Function ads
  • Implement relevant Ad Extensions
  • Use High Quality Creative to attract New & Returning site visitors
  • Ensure Mobile site speed is optimised
  • Identify top 10 - 50 products to prioritise budget for products most likely to convert
  • Implement Promotion Codes where applicable.  


Need help with Google Ads? Get in touch!



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