The Goldilocks approach: Christmas gift keywords
When it comes to planning out gift-orientated keywords for the holiday season, evaluating where to focus for volume and results can be a task in itself. Not too long tail, not too broad match – but just right to bring in the correct sort of traffic that will lift revenue rather than just server load.
Different retailers approach this in different ways. Some aim for the highly competitive ultra-broad match terms like “gifts” or “Christmas gifts,” reasoning that a smaller slice of such an enormous pie still makes for a more than adequate dessert. This sort of thinking is focused around traffic though, which takes us back to the old dilemma of quality vs quantity. With the narrow sales season for Christmas gift shopping, can you afford to target the vast volumes of traffic normally needed for a decent revenue return on such broad (and usually poorly converting) terms? How do you even tell if it is worth it?
With the rise of 100% (not provided) traffic thanks to Google’s adoption of secure searching, this is the last chance most retailers will have to get a good picture of the conversion rate of their year on year revenue data in a purely keyword-based sense and will have to extrapolate in future based on keyword targets on landing pages and the conversion rate of the pages themselves (or the smaller samples of keyword data available from referrers other than Google). Time to dive into Analytics.
The (current) Organic Search report coupled with the eCommerce report will help you understand keywords that drive revenue. Make use of advanced filters to see how those gifts and presents are doing. Which drive the most traffic and which drive the most revenue? Don’t assume that the terms which produce the most traffic will also produce the most revenue on the assumption that a smaller conversion rate but a larger volume of traffic will make the numbers add up. See the table above for a great example for a luxury goods retailer where the term “gift ideas for women” pulls in more than double the traffic of “luxury gifts” but produces less than half the revenue. Better to target the latter than the former to raise revenue over the holidays.
Don’t forget to look at brand terms too – what types of gift keywords do people associate with your name? Is it vouchers, general keywords, particular recipients or occasions, or something more unexpected? You can leverage this knowledge in social campaigns and awareness advertising like display and RTB to capitalise on this perception or attempt to broaden it in new directions, depending on your business goals.
Finally, for shorter key phrases with broader matches when you want to rake in traffic to grow brand awareness, don’t forget the “ideas” market, especially in the October-November area when people are still desperately trying to work out what to buy for Great Aunt Freda this year. Search volumes are respectable across the board for everything from “christmas gift ideas” to “family gift ideas” and you can pick up some good long tail traffic which is less competitive by tailoring to particular markets around your products like “gadget gift ideas” or “tech gift ideas” (for the Firebox and I Want One Of Those ends of the retail spectrum) to terms like “beauty gift ideas” or “jewellery gift ideas” at M&S or Debenhams equivalents.
Target specific potential pain points by identifying particular recipients or needs – terms like “stocking stuffer ideas” or “gift for boss” have plenty of volume behind them but lower competition than the broader or more popular idea searches. These may not have the highest conversion rate (at least until early December when panicked shoppers just want to grab the first vaguely suitable thing they can get shipped in time!) but are great for campaigns on shop blogs and social – ask your customers for their suggestions, get people to share wishlists, make your own recommendations based on price range and recipient. Add a dash of shipping promotion, a touch of gift wrapping and you can make your eCommerce site into a real holiday shopping hub for old and new customers alike.
Now that’s “just right!”
Senior Digital Account Executive
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