Insights from the Commercial team: Christmas PPC trends

When you’re making a Christmas pudding, it’s essential that all of the ingredients are right to make it taste good. The same rules apply to PPC campaigns; every element needs to be correct for your campaign to be successful and of the highest quality.

Consumer behaviour trends haven’t changed much since last year. If anything our jobs as marketers have become more interesting, with greater and more varied opportunities to reach audiences at different times in the day, in different contexts. The added complexity of this also means that in order to show customers the best value proposition, campaigns need to be rigorously planned.

We want to make sure you find the right customers and make the best out of the busy festive season that the online dating industry experiences. Here are the ingredients for the best Christmas pudding and tastiest PPC tactics:

Ad offers and keywords

Now is a good time to look back at historical data to analyse the ad and keyword performance over a long period of time. You should ask:

  • Which ads converted best?
  • In which devices and context?
  • In which position?
  • Which keywords bring the best quality members?
  • Do they appear in the optimal position?

Although click-through-rate (CTR) generally increases with ad rank, in some instances, it may be more beneficial to rank second if the correlation between conversion rate and overall acquisition cost is better. Get rid of non-performing keywords or replace them with others from your search query report, add negatives and check they’re not stopping substantial keywords from triggering your ads.

Extensions and sitelinks

If Google is your main source of traffic, bear in mind that since October ad extensions and formats also have an impact on the way Ad Rank is calculated. It’s important to make sure that you’re using the most relevant extensions and to check that your bids are high enough. Additionally, review your quality score to confirm that it isn’t suffering.

Device bidding

You can track keywords using device parameters. This will allow you to analyse which device performs best for each campaign and adjust your bids accordingly.

Be aware that looking at the front-end only could be misleading. A campaign could perform worse on mobile devices when it comes to ad conversion, yet outperform desktop when it comes to upgrade ratios (or vice versa). Take advantage of the Campaign Tracking tool in the Partner Portal to make sure you are putting your money where the value is.

Want to make your campaigns even better? If you notice a big difference in a particular set of keywords (say some of them perform especially well in mobile), consider moving them across to a new campaign and start bidding more aggressively.

So the pudding is ready – it’s time to add the cream and polish your campaigns off!

When you have enough data available, adjusting your bids by hour and/or day of the week is a good way to maximise your budget. For instance, you might get a lot of clicks at a particular time of the day but see that those clicks don’t lead to new memberships. In this situation, try placing lower bids during those hours and reserve part of your budget. This will allow you to compete more intensely at times when you know your users are more likely to complete the signup process.

Fresh out of the oven

Have you ticked all of the boxes above? We hope so! At, we encourage you to keep checking the mix is perfect as you go along and continue adjusting the ingredients for the best results. Christmas and New Year are the best time to reach out to new people, and in a competitive market like online dating, everything you do has to be the best it can be.

The finishing touches

As with any recipe, PPC is not just about creating tasty ads. Presentation needs to be equally appealing and first impressions matter.

Use the best performing landing pages

The days of desktop-only are long gone. You should have already addressed this, but if not, it’s vital that your site is fully responsive. Use high-converting landing pages to capitalise on the increasing number of visitors reaching your site via mobile devices. If you are bidding strongly on mobile, make sure you also have mobile optimised ads.

Segment your message appropriately

There’s no point in giving visitors a slice of pudding when they’re already holding it. But you can improve their experience by offering an upgrade; the cherry on top. Following the same logic, why try to persuade existing members to sign up when you could convince them to have a paid membership and a better chance to find love? Use remarketing lists and the demographic layer to further convince those who have shown interest in your product what you have to offer. Not only will this save you money, but it will also instil confidence by showing that you care about their success.

There really is proof in the Christmas pudding! If you have any questions about the topics covered in this blog, contact the Partner team who will be happy to help.

Nuria Gonzalez, PPC Specialist, Commercial team.


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