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What Are The Paid Search Trends To Watch For The 2018 Holiday Shopping Season?

Shopping, local searches and audience optimizations are some of the biggest considerations to be kept in mind.

Here are a few key paid search trends to take note of:-

Google Shopping is king in retail –

The retail advertisers must now focus a significant portion of their attention on the campaigns to be ready for the holiday season. Keeping close track of which products are driving traffic and orders and mining query reports for potential negatives and/or query-mapping optimizations is necessary.

Advertisers should also be careful of newer Shopping variations that are becoming increasingly prevalent in search results. With Google increasingly choosing to show the units for more general searches having Showcase campaigns active and ready is more important than ever.

Another important variation of Google Shopping ads which stand to play a vital role this holiday season are Local Inventory Ads (LIA). This would give users information on when a product is available for pickup at a nearby store. These units have also grown in the share of Shopping traffic accounted for the past year, for participating brands. LIA trends can depend profoundly on advertiser strategy during the holidays.

Users shift to navigational apps in the final days of holiday shopping –

For the last several years, the U.S. Bureau of the Census have reported an increase in the commerce share of total U.S. retail sales.

Users not only turn to traditional search engines in researching offline purchases, but also go straight to navigational apps, including Google Maps. While Google has yet to provide reporting to cleanly segment Maps ad traffic, click type reports make available some insight as the “Get location details”.

Usually, Dec. 23 and 24 were by far the main days for Maps clicks. This trend shows that shoppers modify their search behavior and go straight to navigational apps. This is once they know shipping will be pricier or too slow to arrive in time.

One thing to certainly be concerned about is offline attribution. Since searchers are naturally more likely to head in-store than convert online. Online Conversion Rate may slip as traffic from Maps grows. Being watchful of it throughout the holiday season will help ensure ads are being bid based on the full value they drive, both online and offline.

Audiences –

It is possibly no surprise to you that audience segmentation has grown tremendously in importance over the past couple of years. Nearly, 30 percent of all Google paid search traffic is now attributed to Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), Customer Match or Similar Audiences.

Advertisers should be trying to use these audiences to enhance the value of these shoppers who are already familiar with the brand.

It is important to keep in mind that last click attribution often expands the true value of ad clicks from these audiences, since some audience members would end up converting anyway.

Apart from bidding adjustments, alterations to ad copy and landing pages can help place the most effective offers and experiences in front of users, based on interests displayed during past interactions with the brand.


There are plenty of other paid search bits and pieces to focus on throughout the next few weeks, but shopping, local searches and audience optimizations are the important considerations to keep in mind. Getting them exact can go a long way towards making the next few weeks as successful as possible.

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