With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, it’s not too late to shore up your advertising campaigns to get the most out of this holiday season. With that in mind, Google and Bing have offered up some tips to make sure you’re giving your campaigns the right attention both before and after Christmas.

Google’s Advice: “Plan Ahead”

In a recent post on the Google Analytics Blog, Google offered up some informative data on the online shopping trends they saw last year. As you might expect, Black Friday sees a very healthy spike in transactions for online retailers. What might surprise you is just how much more important it is to focus on Cyber Monday. They’ve provided this handy chart to show the impact of the holiday season:

Google Transaction Volume Lift for Holiday Season
It’s not even a contest. Cyber Monday soars past Black Friday for online retailers.

To take advantage of these spikes, Google suggests that you carefully monitor your traffic and make sure to increase your bids on key days. This will allow you to drive your ads into higher positions to capture consumers who are motivated to buy. Google also provides a weekly breakdown to give you an idea of how you should structure your bid raises over the season:

Google Transaction Rate Lift, Weekly (2013)
Setting your own bid modifiers to take advantage of those spikes is key.

You don’t need to modify your bids exactly to that curve, but it does provide strong evidence for how the holiday season unrolls online.

Bing’s Advice: Rise Early on January 1

As important as it is to focus on the heavy shopping season, it’s equally important to keep your eye on the ball after it drops on New Year’s Eve. With that in mind, Bing has an excellent article on how to keep your campaigns rolling in 2015. The New Year brings with it resolutions, and Bing shares some good internal data to help guide you to a successful New Years Resolution targeted campaign.

  • Fitness – The volume of fitness searches on desktops and tablets remains fairly steady throughout December and January.  Top searches on the Yahoo Bing Network were for Lululemon apparel and Planet Fitness.1

  • Smoking cessation – These searches peak a couple days before Christmas and again the last week of January.  Top searches on the Yahoo Bing Network were quit smoking and Chantix.1

  • Weight loss – Searches begin to build on December 25, with strong peaks through January 25. Top searches on the Yahoo Bing Network were for Garcinia Cambogia (dietary supplement) and Weight Watchers.1

  • Mobile – On mobile devices, the search trends for smoking cessation and weight loss are similar to the desktop; but more post-holiday fitness searches take place via mobile.1

  • Timing – Different search terms also heat up at different times. For example, “quit smoking” is the top term in the smoking cessation category overall, and it peaks January 28, whereas “smoking cessation” peaked a few days before Christmas.1

If your business offers products or services in the weight loss or smoking cessation category, you owe it to yourself to try and reach these consumers when they’re at their most focused. Only a small fraction of people keep their resolutions, but those that do may continue to use your products and services throughout the year to achieve their goals.

It’s Not Too Late!

There are still two weeks before Black Friday leads into Cyber Monday and the Christmas season provides a boost for retailers all the way up through Christmas. Put a plan in place to manage your bids and ads now, and you’ll be ready to take advantage of the influx of buyers for your business all the way into next year.


  1. Microsoft Internal Data, December 2013 – January 2014 (cited by Bing Ads Blog, 11/11/2014)