How to Save Money on PPC Marketing During the Holiday Ad Rush

Published: December 14, 2021

Brady Heid


After everyone finally accepts the gloomy fact that winter is here, we quickly remember that winter also brings some of the warmest moments in the year as the holiday season quickly approaches.

While this can mean different things for different people, it only means one thing for businesses that focus on getting the most out of their pay-per-click (PPC) marketing budget: costs will rise.

With that in mind, most business owners and/or business marketing departments are quickly shuffling budgets. This is to ensure they’re getting the most out of their marketing dollars. As simple as this sounds, a PPC marketing plan that doesn’t consider the increases in holiday spending can quickly doom your Q4 digital marketing efforts and performance.

In this blog, you can expect to learn about digital ad performance during the holiday months. As well as some strategies that have proven to be successful to combat the increase in PPC costs.

What You Should Know About PPC Marketing: Costs Will Rise

With the vast majority of holiday shoppers either shopping online, the online traffic during winter increases every year. Most recently, e-commerce traffic grew 207 percent from Thanksgiving to Christmas when comparing 2020 to 2019.

More people shopping online means more competition, and with more competition, digital costs per click (cpc) will rise. It is the simple rule of supply and demand.

Studies show that bid prices can grow by upwards of 140 percent during the holiday season. Although extreme, there are ways to get out ahead of the holiday demand.

Whether your company is service-based and looking to find leads through PPC marketing, or your company is product-based and expecting an influx of traffic to your e-commerce store, the fact remains that costs will increase. That means that you will need to adjust accordingly.

These adjustments can look different for everyone. There are a few strategies you can use to instantly lower costs and be more efficient with the costs that you incur.

PPC Marketing Tips and Efficiencies During The Holidays

Here are some PPC marketing tips to help you maximize your return on ad spend during the holiday season:


During this time of year, your PPC marketing costs always fluctuate. Which is why you want to make sure that you have the most control over your campaigns as possible.

When we have our search campaigns’ bid strategies set to utilize Google’s algorithms and bid toward maximizing conversions or conversion value, we essentially surrender all control of our spending per click.

One good way to combat the lack of control when it comes to spending per click is to utilize a manual bidding strategy. In other words, you will never spend more on a click than desired. While using manual bid settings, you can also control your spending by updating demographic, locational, and audience-related bids.

Often, we set our best-performing segments to bid up somewhere between 10 to 20 percent or even 30 percent. While this is a great bid strategy to use during most months, adding a 30 percent cost to something that historically increases in cost already is not the most efficient way to spend in the holiday months.

The main idea here is that it’s important to  give yourself enough control over your campaigns to manage your PPC budget during the surge in Internet traffic.

While Internet traffic increases between 80 and 100 percent from November to December, the last thing you want is your costs to increase by the same amount.

Giving yourself every opportunity to control your bid settings is the best and most cost-effective way to combat the increase of Internet traffic and average costs during these winter months. (Be sure to remember this when putting together your PPC marketing plan!)

Website Efficiency

Updating bid settings and strategies all you want during the holiday months to save your PPC budget may not matter. More importantly, you need to make sure your website is ready to withstand holiday traffic.

Your website traffic may not increase a ton over this time, or maybe it will, but the bottom line here is that if your website does not load quickly, you will waste your PPC budget, and the strategies you’ve tried to lower costs will be all for naught.

People doing their holiday shopping online are doing so to save time. It’s quicker than shopping in-store, but people still don’t have time, so they’ll refuse to wait for websites to load.

For every second delay that a website takes to load, conversion rates drop by nearly 20 percent. If efficiencies are what you’re looking for, make sure you start by confirming your website load speed.

It won’t matter how many good strategies you use to lower the cpc if all your marketing dollars are wasted. Don’t let users quickly bounce from the website after getting frustrated with slow load times.

Although this will not save you any money directly, it will ensure that you use your holiday PPC budget to its maximum efficiency. Plus you are not wasting any of those hard-earned clicks.

Brand Awareness

Limiting cpc and maximizing website efficiencies are ways to limit costs and maximize dollars spent. Another way to limit holiday costs and increase sales is through brand awareness campaigns.

Historically, brand awareness campaigns through YouTube, social videos, Google, and social display ads are the cheapest ways to familiarize users with your brand. While additionally getting them to visit your website, and influence their purchasing decisions.

Over two-thirds of holiday shoppers either research or are influenced by what they see online before making a purchase decision in-store or online.This makes it as much–if not even more–important than controlling costs and website load speeds.

Create a seamless customer experience. Plus familiarize them with your brand can prove to pay dividends once the holiday season ends.


While every brand has a different digital marketing approach and strategy, all marketing departments have the same goals in mind during the holidays: maximize efficiencies and minimize wasted ad spend.

There are many different strategies businesses can use to control their ad spend dollars during the holidays, and following our three easy steps will ensure that you are not only combating the increases in holiday costs but staying as efficient as possible when finding ways to drive online and offline sales.

Do you need help from the professionals to maximize your marketing dollars spent? BrandCraft can help make sure you’re spending your PPC marketing budget efficiently for the best ROI potential. Contact us today.

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