It's that time of year again...
It’s a question we get every year at about this time: “Should my business put our PPC campaign on hold for the break? And if I pause, what will happen to my campaign?”
The answer isn’t a straightforward one. It depends on what your product is, how your business operates, and what your competition is doing over the break, as well as a host of other factors unique to you and your business.
Ready to find out if your business should keep its PPC running? Let’s dive in.
First things first
The first thing to remember is that you’re likely to lose traffic over the holidays, regardless of whether or not you have PPC running. Most service-based businesses can expect to see a drop in site traffic (let’s face it – who wants to spend their break with their accountant or mechanic?), but businesses that specialise in tourism, retail, leisure, FMCG, home improvements, and other (more enjoyable) services will likely see even more traffic than usual. If your business falls into one of these fields, you may even want to ramp up your PPC over the break!
Take a step back for a moment and put yourself in a potential client’s shoes. What are you thinking about these holidays? Is it booking a hotel to spend time with your family, or booking your next oral health check? Is it visiting a coastal resort, or visiting your accountant? Are you buying a present for yourself, or buying new business stationery? If your vision of a great Christmas break involves using a service like yours, PPC is likely to benefit you over the holidays. If not, give some thought to backing off over the break.
That being said, here’s a few more questions to ask yourself when deciding if holiday PPC is right for you.
Will your business be open?
If you’re out of office, rely on a physical storefront which is set to close for the break, or are otherwise unreachable or not operating, you may be better off saving your PPC campaign for a time when it can actually help your business.There’s no point directing customers to a service they can’t benefit from: you’ll be creating frustration instead of conversions and wasting your click budget.
If people can book or order in advance for your services, PPC could be a great way to secure business for after the holidays. Just remember to block out the dates that can’t be booked and put your PPC on pause if you end up running out of space – if you can’t make any more money from your campaign, there’s no point letting it run. It’ll just be costing you for no reward.
Do you rely on direct communication?
If your PPC campaign is pushing people to make contact, it’s not going to be useful if there’s no one around to talk to. There’s no point in encouraging your customers to talk to thin air – you’ll only be wasting your click budget and annoying your potential clients.
if you’re encouraging your clients to leave non-urgent messages with a general expectation that they’ll be answered after the break, you can still secure new customers by leaving your PPC campaigns running. Just remember to add a note to your contact page warning your customers of the delay, and ideally giving them a time frame they can expect a response in.
Are you offering emergency services?
Emergency services (like automotive repairs, emergency dental, and plumbing) are especially necessary during the chaos of the holidays, and often come into short supply as businesses close for the break. If you’re staying open to offer these services, even if your availability decreases, it could be worth running a PPC campaign to catch those in need.
However, business will likely go to someone who’s open, regardless of how many ads are running: if you’re advertising an emergency service that you won’t be offering during the emergency situation, you’re encouraging people to click away from your PPC ads after clicking, wasting your click budget and reducing your ROI.
Even if you’re not offering holiday emergency services, PPC can benefit your cause if your competition aren’t either. If something goes wrong during the holidays, it’s likely that those affected will start looking for someone who can fix it within a few hours. If they can’t find someone who’s open (who will usually take preference, even if they don’t have ads running), they’ll likely decide who to contact once they’re available again.
Can your business function without you there?
A lot of businesses rely on having people available to service their customers’ needs, and can’t function without having physical staff in operation. If your business relies on having cashiers, client support agents, or other client-facing staff members who won’t be operating, consider saving your PPC for a time when your leads can be effectively nurtured and brought to conversion.
If your service lets people self-serve or purchase online without human interaction (like if you have an online store), you can let your PPC keep doing its thing. Your ability to sell isn’t affected by your absence, so you’re not risking disappointing or annoying your customer. Just remember to update your site with a note about shipping times, availability, or other things that might be impacted by your Christmas break – it goes a long way in reassuring your customers that you’re on top of the situation.
But what will happen to my PPC campaign if I pause?
The beauty of PPC is that it can be paused when it’s not needed, unlike other advertising methods. This can save you money by eliminating the need to spend on clicks, but it can have an effect on how well your campaign functions.
Dropping out of the bidding cycle can slow your campaign’s inertia. Google tends to favour campaigns that have been running longer, and pausing your campaign can decrease your exposure. If this is likely to have a significant effect on your future campaigns or will give way for a competitor to get the leg up on you, Your PPC will likely recommend that you don’t pause.
Luckily, campaigns tend to regain pace on their as your PPC resumes operating and gains credibility again. Even if you lose a bit of traffic and ranking due to your pause, you can generally expect it to return to normal levels after a few weeks.
Still not sure if you should keep your PPC running or not?
Give us a call for some expert advice. We can help you make the decision that’s best for your business, and guide you through the process of getting your holiday PPC in order.