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September 13, 2023 - By Barron Rosborough

Your Essential BFCM Google Ads Checklist

Most people (over 60%) have clicked on a Google Ads advertisement before, and ad click-thru rates more than double during the holiday season. Ads are arguably never more critical than before the Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) season. This Google Ads checklist covers everything you need to know before the holiday season or any major campaign.

  1. If your promotion starts the week or day of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, create ad groups, extensions, or ads at least 72 hours in advance. This week, Google’s automated review process is overloaded and will take longer than usual for ad approval as this is the busiest time of year.
  2. If you have a sales or gifting page on your website, create a new remarketing audience targeting users who have visited these pages between the last 7-90 days.
  3. Launch Promotion Extensions, making sure to input the occasion. Remember to schedule when the extension should go live and shut off.
  4. Launch and schedule Sitelink Extensions if you plan to have a gifting or sale landing page on your site during your promotion. 
  5. Launch and schedule Callout Extensions “calling out” your promotion. Do this with any video or image assets, too. 
  6. Utilize Google Merchant Center Promotions as a great tool to add to your shopping campaigns. Google will disapprove these ads if the price on your site differs from what’s reflected in the ad. Google wants to make sure the consumer is not confused. If your price change based on your promotion is reflected when someone goes to “check out, ” it will be approved.
  7. Add Seasonality Bid Adjustments. These adjustments are ideal for short events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This informs smart bidding of expected changes in conversion rates for future events! Smart bidding isn’t “smart enough” to expect an increase in conversion rate. This adjustment helps smart bidding keep up with the growing demand. 
  8. Promote your sale by creating new ad copy, replacing at least one headline and description in your “evergreen” copy. The best way to set this up is to duplicate all the ad groups in your currently running campaigns. Once you have duplicate ad groups make sure to, pause, rename and label them as “Black Friday and Cyber Monday”. Keep the ads and obviously, the campaigns live as you still want your current efforts to keep running. Once that is done replace the duplicate ads with the updated promotion-specific ad copy. After that, you keep the ads and campaigns “enabled” while keeping the ad group paused. This will make sure the ads don’t run until you want them to. During this time the ads will be reviewed by Google’s automated system so when you decide to turn the ads on they will run right away without any review process. Also, label all of your evergreen ad groups as “evergreen”. You will find out why in step 9.
  9. Create two rules within the Google ads platform. One, automatically turn off the evergreen ad groups with all your evergreen ads and turn on Black Friday/Cyber Monday ad groups. Create a second rule reverting those changes once your sale is done. This is a bit tricky as you need to make sure to set this up correctly as the rule won’t run if it isn’t. The easiest way to create this rule is to label all your ad groups.
  10. Increase budgets, and expect an increase in spending during these sale dates. During this time, intent increases with consumers, which affects metrics like search volume and CPC drastically! Curious about how much to increase budgets? Get an audit from Hawke AI to see what your competitors are spending. 

Remember to not make any significant changes to your shopping feed 3 weeks before your Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions. Make sure to keep everything consistent in your feed so Google’s machine learning doesn’t go into the learning phase for any reason! 

This Google Ads checklist will help you during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday preparations or any other major campaign your brand plans.

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