Planning for the New Year & Tips from Google

As another year comes to an end, what’s on your list to make 2013 an even better year than 2012?

We’ve mentioned before that Christmas and the New Year is a time to be hitting your campaigns hard, so why not start off as you mean to go on? Here’s some interesting statistics that our friends at Google have shared with us.

Based on data from the past three years during the two-week periods before and after Christmas, Google say that traditionally, there is an increase in desktop dating queries of +32%. What’s more, clicks will increase by +56%, with a high proportion of these brand related owing to heavy branding during this time. As such, Google would recommend our partners  increase investment by +50% during the post-Christmas period.

In mobile terms, there is traditionally a +25% increase in search queries, a staggering +61% uplift in clicks and, by margin, only a +7% rise in Cost-per-Click. On your mobile campaigns, Google recommends a +75% increased investment.

So, on to planning your year ahead – here’s the thing; you need to bear in mind that it’s not a perfect world and you can’t anticipate everything that’s going to happen. But, if you put a plan in place, you have something to work towards and you can keep track of the things that you want to achieve, even if you encounter some bumps on the way. Setting goals, no matter how big or small, is important; work with your Partner Manager to put together a series of 3 month plans. You can then review, refine and tweak these throughout the year.

In order to put an effective plan in place and make it worthwhile, you need to ask yourself some important questions:

Looking back on the previous year, what worked? What didn’t work? What can you learn from these things?

How are you going to expand your network in 2013? Do you have sites set up in all territories that we operate in? Do you have cross sell set up between your sites?

Are you set up on mobile? Do you have a mobile landing page? Do you have mobile specific campaigns set up to advertise your sites?

Are you tracking everything? You can’t make effective marketing decisions if you don’t know where your full and basic members are coming from.

Are your campaigns optimised? We cannot stress enough how important it is to test campaigns, have multiple versions of ad copy and keywords plus separate, device-specific campaigns. You can then analyse what is working effectively and generating the best possible ROI.

May it be time to think about refreshing your design? You don’t have to completely redesign your site and if you’re worried that a new design might deter members, run an A/B test to see which one achieves better sign up and conversion rates.

Have you put your sites on a rate card to test price points? It might be that your customers are willing to pay more for their membership.

Do you have any ideas for marketing campaigns targeting your existing basic members to increase conversion rates? We are always open to ideas and the Comms team always love to hear feedback from our partners.

If you have sites operating in international territories outside of the UK, ensure that you know when those countries celebrate national holidays. Have holiday appropriate marketing copy at the ready to engage your members.

It’s important to plan, but the key is to keep your plans flexible. Plans can change and you need to be reactive to what your members want. Ultimately, you want to make decisions that are going to generate you the most revenue in the long term.

So, work closely with your Partner Manager to put some goals in place; work together to achieve them. Most importantly, have a great 2013!

Melissa Thompson, Partner Manager at

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