fall trees signify a time for change

How To Account For Seasonality In PPC Marketing

What seasonal changes are happening in your industry that need to be accounted for in your AdWords campaign? Are you even aware of these changes?

When I woke up this morning I noted a crisp, slightly frigid feeling on my face. Not quite “winter is coming” cold, but just enough to remind me “oh right, fall is coming.”

For many marketers, we keep track of the seasons with our work. Editorial calendars, seasonal trends and quarterly reviews are always top of mind. But for the majority of people, seasons come and go very subtly. It’s important not to miss the signs as they happen!

Here are some tips and tricks to spruce up your AdWords campaign before fall begins in earnest.

1. Update Your Editorial

Have you ever wondered why grocery stores stock Easter candy and chocolates way, waaaay ahead of time? Or, why Christmas decorations pop up as early as November?

In the world of Marketing, it’s much better to be prepared and catch the early shoppers, than to be late and miss the whole event.

By updating your editorial calendar, not only do you stay on top of upcoming trends that you know are going to happen, but you’re also preparing for copy changes in your ad accounts as well. Don’t be the lone advertiser selling summer clothes when everyone is always showing off their fall collection! Tackle PPC advertising, SEO content and social media all at once by putting together an editorial.

An editorial calendar is at the heart of a marketing agency’s ability to stay on top of your brand. Trust us! Plan a full season ahead – you won’t regret it.

2. Dig For Data

The best campaigns are ones that you “know” will work.

The best ad campaigns are the ones launched with proper research and planning.

At the heart of it all – is data. Google AdWords provides a wealth of data at your advertiser’s fingertips, which can be mined for golden nuggets of information. Here’s what I like to do to check for seasonality trends:

  • Compare major key performance indicators (KPIs) of the current month, compared to the last month
  • Compare major KPIs of the current month to those of the previous year
  • Take a “bird’s eye view” of the whole quarter – how effective has this period been, compared to the past?

If your marketing campaign is going well, you’ll notice a general improvement in performance compared to the previous year. You might always notice an improvement compared to the previous month – but this could be due to seasonality. In order to get the full picture, you need to have a few words with yourself:

“We’re doing really well compared to last month! But, more importantly, are we improving faster than we did last year?”

A 20% increase in sales suddenly doesn’t seem all great, if you experienced a 50% increase in sales between the same months in the previous year.

Tip: If you don’t have a year’s worth of Google AdWords data, that’s okay. Take a look at your Google Analytics traffic instead. Usually, you’ll be able to gauge the general performance of your website based on the number, source and quality of your web visitors.

3. Act On Your Customers’ Changes

The beauty of Google AdWords is that it provides exact, specific keyword search data in the “Search Terms” report. This means that you can get really granular in identifying your visitor’s search terms (this cannot be done in Google Analytics, as Google blocked that functionality a few years back).

Using the Search Terms report, take a look at what your visitors were searching for last month, compared to this month. Are there any changes in what they’re searching for? Which keywords are bringing in the most traffic?

In our monthly marketing report to clients, we like to touch on any changes in customer behaviour. Which keywords are more popular? Which aren’t? Why?

Asking these questions are crucial in maintaining a high-performance AdWords campaign. If your agency or marketing department aren’t proactively asking these questions – it’s up to you to ask! Or, if you’re a marketing manager you might want to consider adding these kind of statements and insights to your regular reports. It’s the best way to grow a PPC campaign!

4. Identify The Effects of Common Seasonality Factors

We love using checklists to make sure we’ve covered all possible angles of seasonality. It’s amazing how often you’ll miss small details if you don’t have a checklist on hand! (Ever buy groceries without a shopping list?)

Some common seasonality factors that may affect your customer’s behaviour include the weather, holidays, cultural celebrations, and regular local events.

The effect of seasonality can very subtly alter your customer’s behaviour. The most obvious forms of seasonality are shown when your KPIs are affected (more clicks, better traffic, fewer views, lower click through rate, etc). The less obvious effects can show in the most obscure reports – such as time of day when customers click on your ads, weekend performances vs weekday performance, and the platform(s) that customers use to interact with your ad.

5. Update Your Content

Chances are if you’ve updated your editorial and reviewed your campaigns for seasonality, you’ll have a lot of things you want to change.

Spread the love! Google AdWords isn’t just useful for PPC advertisers. Take your trends and insights and show them to your content marketer – or, whoever is in charge of social media. Make sure that your business has a unified marketing strategy. There’s little effect on your business if you’re bringing the right people to the site, but the site itself isn’t up-to-date.

Keep in mind: There is always something to promote. Click To Tweet

During the selling season, you’ll be busy advertising sales and new promotions. During the offseason, it’s important not to neglect your branding. As we sometimes say – “Spring is here! Time to promote summer.”


Accounting for seasonality allows you to be ahead of the curve – this is especially important as AdWords becomes more and more competitive. With limited advertising space, you’ll often be competing with similar businesses with a comparable offering. The early bird gets the worm – accounting for seasonality will get you PPC results before your competitors are even aware of the changing trends.

Did you find our PPC marketing tips useful? Interested in seeing what we can do for your business? Contact our marketing agency on Robson in downtown Vancouver, we’ll be more than happy to help! Come give us a visit – we always have chocolate.