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Create a seasonal campaign

Take advantage of specific holidays, like New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, or Halloween, to promote your products or services online. This article explains how to maximize your return on investment (ROI) on your AdWords campaigns around a specific season or holiday.

Example

Jeff is the chef owner of a French restaurant in San Francisco, "Delish bouche." He'd like to promote his special New Year's Eve menu so customers can easily book in advance.

Before the season or holiday

1. Target your ads to the most relevant customers

Create a dedicated campaign

You're putting a lot of effort in for the season so we recommend you create this as a separate new campaign. This will allow you to have a specific budget allocated for the period, and will let you use this campaign the next year if it performs well. You'll just have to reactivate the campaign in a year's time.

Learn how to create a campaign.

Example

Jeff creates a new campaign called "Special NYE Menu" in his AdWords account.

Get your campaign ready to show a little early

Because it can take a few days to get your ad approved, you might find it helpful to create your ad a few days in advance and then pause it. Then, when you're ready for your ad to go live at just the right moment, you can unpause it.

Learn how to pause or resume your ad.

Example

In anticipation of New Year's Eve and the ad campaign for his special holiday menu, Jeff creates his campaign in November, then pauses it until the 10th of December, when his menu is finalized and he can begin advertising.

Get specific to reach interested customers

This campaign should help you reach customers who are most interested in what you offer. Make sure to adapt your keywords list, your ad text, and your landing page to the specific holiday.

Find out how to create successful text ads and choose the best list of keywords.

Example

Jeff chooses keywords including "restaurant new year's eve," "special menu NYE," and "New Year's Eve dinner," and creates his first ad which links directly to the New Year's Eve Menu:

New Year's Fancy Dinner
delishbouche.example.com/NewYear
Chef Jeff Prepared A Delicious Menu
Book now for 12/31 - from $50!

Use location targeting

Regardless of how great your ad is, it probably won't perform well if it doesn't appear in the right place. Reach your customers where they are and where your business can serve them by using AdWords location targeting.

Get more information about targeting specific locations.

Example

Since Jeff's restaurant is in San Francisco, he decides to target only this city. His ads will therefore be eligible to show to customers located in San Francisco as well as, by default, people located anywhere else who search using the term "San Francisco."

2. Don't miss the season or holiday by running into billing issues

Prevent payment declines

A payment decline will unfortunately prevent your ads from showing. Since timing is tight with seasonal campaigns, you might want to take steps to avoid this situation. To do so, first check the common reasons for declines prior to your campaign's start date to make sure this doesn't happen.

Learn what the common reasons for declined payments are, and how to look out for them in your account.

Add a backup payment method

To avoid your ads suddenly stopping because of a declined payment, we highly recommend setting up a backup payment method, especially if you're using automatic payments. That way, if your primary payment method doesn't work for some reason, we'll immediately charge your backup credit card to ensure your ads keep running.

Learn how to add a backup credit card.

Avoid a depleted daily budget during this period

A campaign that has spent its entire budget will stop running all of its ads until more budget is available. Instead of discontinuing your campaigns (and missing out on clicks) or stretching your budget (potentially spending more than you can afford), make sure your daily budget is appropriate in advance. Keep in mind that other advertisers may also put an extra effort on their AdWords campaigns during this season or holiday.

Find out how by reading about techniques for spending your campaign budget more effectively.

If you're paying with Bank Transfer, make sure it goes through on time

You can check what your balance is, and see if recent payments were applied.

In the previous AdWords experience, click the gear icon  and then click Billing & payments.

In the new AdWords experience, click the tool icon  in the upper right corner of your account, then under "Setup," click Billing & payments. Determine which AdWords experience you're using.

We also send you an email once we receive fund transfers. Please be aware that a reference number is necessary for us to connect your payment to your account.

The delay between the initiation of the payment and the actual reception of the funds can take up to two weeks, so keep this in mind when the festive season is approaching!

Learn more about how to fix a bank transfer issue.

3. Track the results of your campaign

Plan in advance to be able to measure the conversions

If you'd like to know which of your keywords or ads led to the best clicks and conversions, such as sales, AdWords Conversion Tracking can help you. This feature will allow you to refine your future seasonal campaigns.

Learn how to set up Conversion Tracking.

Example

In January, while going back over his campaign, Jeff notices that the keyword "New Year's Eve dinner" was particularly effective compared to "special menu NYE," and led to 76 contacts from potential customers. When he starts thinking about his Valentine's day campaign, based on this experience, he decides to bid higher on "Valentine's day dinner" than on "special menu VD."

Tag your URLs to get more insights into your visitors and buyers

Google Analytics helps you see how visitors get to and navigate around your website. This information can help you get the most out of the customer interactions you've attracted to your website through AdWords. Then, you can evaluate the success of your seasonal campaign and learn how to refine the next one.

Here’s how to link your Analytics and AdWords accounts.

Example

Jeff can use his campaign to know more about how people interact with his site. Thanks to Analytics, he finds that visitors who clicked his ad tended to leave the website from the Contact page. He realized this page wasn't particularly helpful. So he worked with a webmaster to include the address and phone number on the menu page in time for his Valentine's day campaign.

During the season or holiday

4. Make sure your ads are running when it matters the most

If you want to change your ads at the last minute, just create a new ad.

Instead of editing your ad text, try creating new ads to test how well different versions of your ad perform -- we'll automatically start to show your better-performing ad more often. This means you'll get the benefit of having your original ad run, while your new ads go through our approval process.

Read more about how to create a new text ad.

Example

After paying close attention to the performance of his campaign in mid-December, Jeff decided to create a new ad that would focus on the food rather than himself. His new ad read "Reserve early for a romantic New Years dinner." He submitted the ad for approval while the original ad was still running.

Make sure your ad is showing

If you're unsure whether your ad is showing, you can use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool or go directly on your account to check your ad's status and your account statistics. We know it's tempting, but it's best to resist the urge to search for your own ad on Google Search because that can affect the ad's performance.

Learn how to find your ad or use our troubleshooter.

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