PPC Chat Streamcap – PPC’s Summer Vacation

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with a seasonal line of questions titled “PPC’s Summer Vacation.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What are some keywords (positive or negative) and/or messaging that you find work well during the summer?

  • Many construction related keywords see a big upward trend during the summer. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
    • Construction gets a MASSIVE bump as soon as spring rolls around. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Haven’t seen seasonality of summer affect many of my clients actually… Terrible first answer considering todays theme, right? – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • I’d say adding the year to your copy helps out, ie “Summer 2012 Rentals” – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
    • Yes, seasonal copy helps CTR & Conversions. – James Svoboda
  • I manage large retail accounts and we find a shift to patio, BBQ & outdoor games/tools – leverage kws off tvadverts too. – Ben Phelan (@broadlogic)
  • Also, copy that speaks to summer benefits, ie: “stay cool,” “fun in the sun,” etc. – Matt Umbro
  • Seasonal urgency (Hurry summer is ending soon) – seems kinda cruel, but works for e-comm! – Aaron Levy
  • Summer’s good for “walk-in” special offers to web clients. People like to go places in the summer. Anything w/a family-oriented twist can work.  – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Instead of a call to action, I just put H.A.G.S. in all of my ads. Works like a charm. – Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
  • Focusing on leisure and cooling off (for my products) – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • Waterparks, vactations rentals, hotels… all of these boom when summer starts. – Lance Wilson (@crestonwave)
  • On construction and renovation reply and service magic have some tasty ppl offerings. European airport car hire is booming in our car rental business – Ben Phelan

Q2: How do summer holidays play into your PPC strategies?

  • Usually expect traffic dips during short holiday weeks for most campaigns…. especially B2B. – James Svoboda
    • Most weekends in general. – Aaron Levy
  • They help a lot, especially with urgency in copy. – Matt Umbro
    • Great way to add sense of urgency to ads or do a promo. – Matt Dyer (@mattchstik)
  • I track seasonality very carefully & chg messaging by season (not just summer) where needed. But “vacations” are not something that matter to my clients. – Theresa Zook
  • Memorial day and Columbus day are known for big sales. Get yours ready early since your team will probably be ooto. – Aaron Levy
  • Always trying to drive volume during the summer doldrums, and holidays help get the click. – Chris Kostecki
  • I look for opp for clients who have an affinity with summer rec, ie BBqs, boating. – Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM)
  • Ad copy & keyword targeting changes, always have to be thinking about what the user is looking for in the moment. – Claire Remmetter (@cremmetter)
  • We always send out holiday themed nl’s for our vouchers and car rental businesses and they consistently perform better. – Ben Phelan
  • Do you create summer specific landing pages and how do they perform?
    • I would die happy (or at least complain less) if I could get my clients to do specialty landing pages at all. – Theresa Zook
    • I don’t always get specific landing pages, but any summer related graphics certainly help. – Matt Umbro
    • We always create seasonal specific landing pages with promos etc. We test both & the seasonal LP always do better. – David Lonergan (@LoonieGuy)
    • Some clients put fireworks behind their logo for the 4th but thats pretty much it. – Aaron Levy
    • If client has budget, traffic volume is acceptable, and messaging works. Can’t always justify costs for every LP we want. – James Svoboda
    • Many summer LP done- they are promotional, so they work better than non-promo camps and LP. – Lisa Raehsler
    • Father’s day is a huge holiday for one of my clients. Tailor messaging there. – Luke Alley
    • We haven’t used summer specific LPs in the past, but we’re going to be testing one out soon **excited to see the results** – Claire Remmetter

Q3: For lead generation clients, what trends do you see during the summer months?

  • Depends on the client. We focus on lead gen & a lot of our clients have seasonal budgets. Some peak in Jan, some in July. – Claire Remetter
  • Repeat: Usually expect traffic dips during short holiday weeks for most campaigns…. especially B2B. – James Svoboda
  • Less leads as I tend to find those in the private sector take the most vacation during the summer. – Matt Umbro
  • For lead generation clients, this is good time to change up offers, to counter the slight slow downs. – Lisa Raehsler
  • As for themed PPC a cro experiment increased conv by up to 12% for themed landing pages. – Ben Phelan
  • Again, depends on the market. Some industries, summer is busy season. Others, not so much. Can see traffic dips around holidays, etc., but some industries unaffected.  – Theresa Zook
  • I usually see a more-drastic-than-normal drop on Fridays through the weekend (not just holidays). – Aaron Levy
  • We tend to see peak performance on “fake” holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc). – Claire Remmetter
  • I don’t see any impact on linkedin ads for lead gen for some reason. – Lisa Raehsler

Q4: How does your messaging differ between Google, MSN, Facebook and/or LinkedIn during the summer months?

  • Doesn’t. Pass. – Theresa Zook
  • Doesn’t really vary by platform, more by vertical and campaign for summer seasonality. – James Svoboda
  • Nothing valuable to add… We don’t run FB/LinkedIn & Google/MSN doesn’t vary much. – Claire Remmetter
  • We only switch it up for Facebook for most clients. – Noah Brooks (@noahbrooks)
  • Facebook & Adwords are completely diff audiences, so messag should always be custom to those channels, summer or not. – Lisa Raehsler

Q5: What tips do you have for client interaction during the summer months (knowing that vacations are being taken)?

  • Work with clients around their schedules and expect delays due to vacations and holidays. 2 way street also. – James Svoboda
  • Don’t be shy about email communication in leiu of a phone call. and don’t stop working just bc someone’s away or data is low. – Aaron Levy
  • Make sure clients know when you are taking vacation, keep communication up! – Luke Alley
  • Send a sched for yourself early & ask for theirs. Avoid Fri afternoon calls. Be more prepared for off-topic chit-chat. – Theresa Zook
  • Most clients are understanding when you explain you or your staff are not available. – James Svoboda
  • Be very aware of your own schedule, too. plan projects way in advance to account for so many delays. – Claire Remmetter
  • If you’re going to be incommunicado, have a backup. I’m not bringing my phone on the beach, client shouldn’t suffer because of it. – Aaron Levy
  • Good time of yr for bonding, altho, for most, work continues the same as any other time of yr. – Theresa Zook
  • That’s why we have smartphones and tablets. – Noah Brooks
  • I would also say don’t be afraid to be a little more blunt – Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we can all chilax on the job. – Matt Umbro
  • Always run 3 month kw plan, understanding of time off, 2 week advance on work and an iPad + variety of sims for holiday. – Ben Phelan
  • Generally, can’t honestly say summer changes my sched or client interaction at all. – Theresa Zook

Q6: Though closer to the end of summer, how important is “back to school” advertising for your clients?

  • No client where it matters. – Theresa Zook
  • Only 1 client where it matters, and it’s more just to change up creatives than anything else. – Claire Remmetter
  • HUGE with any client that touches the market (either parents or kids). Gotta prep way early so you can hit the go button fast. Makes a huge difference in bids/promos/lps as well. – Aaron Levy
  • Historically, back to school hasn’t been a huge deal for many of my clients, though it can help if messaging and deals are right. – Matt Umbro
  • September marks the beginning of growth in white goods and electronics for us, more return for efforts there. – Ben Phelan


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This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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