Prepare Your Holiday SEM Spend for Christmas, with 3 Forecasting Tips

Managing your holiday SEM spend can be a chore, but is a crucial part of search engine marketing.  Often, we are seeing retailers run out of AdWords dollars before, or during, peak revenue periods. From mid-November through to Christmas, New Zealand consumers are hitting up Google to find out what they need to buy, for whom, in greater quantities than the rest of the year.

So how do you stay on top, keeping potential customers looking at your brand when you need them too? The answer lies in forecasting – understanding when and how you will need to spend your advertising dollars, based on previous years of data.

Today, on the Pure SEO blog, we will be breaking down holiday retail forecasting. While the data can get complex, the basics of retail forecasting are simple.

1. The formula for forecasting clicks.

We can break retail forecasting into a simple formula: historical data x expected growth rate = 2018 estimate.

In the case of attempting to determine your holiday retail period estimate for AdWords, we’d be looking at November-December AdWords clicks 2017 x expected growth rate (based on this year’s trends – has your business been busier or quieter?) to determine your 2018 clicks (and therefore, your 2018 AdWords spend).

Naturally, there are uncertainties to account for, both positive and negative when forecasting. And forecasting for clicks can become particularly complex and arcane – but, at its root, it is a simple process.

2. Understanding last year.

How did last year look? Was your advertising spend sufficient, or did it get spent too quickly? This could have left you with a reduced budget to reach people throughout the holiday season.

It is important that you understand the demand for your business, and adjust your budget to suit. After all, the goal is to make sure that consumers can see your brand when they need to.

Understanding demand is also about understanding the expected growth rate. By now, you will have nearly a year of data to date, detailing clicks over time, week-on-week. When we compare this data to last year we can arrive at figures.

Let’s say you have been receiving an average of 5% more clicks on your ads each week, in 2018 compared to 2017. When we apply that growth rate to the clicks received in the 2017 holiday weeks, to arrive at an estimate for clicks in the 2018 holiday week.

3. Ultimately, this is an estimate.

Lastly, it’s crucial to understand that the holiday SEM spend figure you arrive at is an estimate. It will help you generally prepare for demand, offering more detailed insight than gut feeling can give you.

Of course, clicks will be high in the weeks immediately next to Christmas. That is an intuitive insight, based on what we all know about the Christmas period. But when you look at the data critically and use it to forecast, you may find that your clicks throughout November are higher than average, and increased demand may continue right into January. These clicks naturally need to be accounted for, and advertising spend adjusted to suit.

Therefore, while forecasting just provides an estimate, using forecasting critically can help give you insights into the demand to expect more generally around the holiday period.

Is your advertising spend prepared for the holiday season?

Are you needing to talk to search engine marketing and optimisation experts in New Zealand? Pure SEO can help your business thrive through the holiday season. We have a qualified team of SEO and SEM experts who can help your business succeed online. Contact us, or give us a call at 0800 SEARCH to talk about your holiday SEM spend today.

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