Welcome to the Holiday Marketeer blog series in which Boost Media serves up hearty portions of 2015 holiday digital marketing strategy. In this installment, we share #BlackFriday metrics and what SEM marketers need to do about them—right now!


#BlackFriday is just around the corner, but data shows customers are behaving like it’s already here. There are lots of things SEM marketers need to do to take advantage of this massive revenue opportunity. It can be difficult to get everything done in time, so we’ve compiled a #BlackFriday SEM checklist based on industry data to help you prioritize.


#BlackFriday metrics that matter

  • $2.7 billion. The sales revenue Black Friday is predicted to generate this year.
  • 18%. The difference in lift derived from mobile sales on Black Friday compared to mobile-derived sales on Cyber Monday in 2014.
  • 100,000+. The number of #BlackFriday tweets already posted within the past 7 days—more than a full week before Thanksgiving.


What these metrics mean for SEM marketers right now

There’s a huge opportunity unfolding to boost your sales surrounding Black Friday. It’s happening just as much if not slightly more on mobile devices as it is on desktops and in stores. Most importantly, it’s happening now! Get started right away with these tips:


#BlackFriday SEM master checklist:


Budgets, bidding, and billing

  • Double-check your IOs and billing setup. You don’t want your account to get shut down because of an expired IO.
  • Increase daily budget caps. This is not the time to enforce even spend pacing.
  • Consider using position-based bidding rules to ensure coverage on critical revenue-driving terms.

Tracking and measurement

  • If you’re using third-party tools and tracking, make sure your redirects, refcodes, and campaign analytics are functioning as expected.
  • Run a test conversion to make sure your account is tracking revenue and conversions properly across all networks and in your bid management platform.
  • Make sure your remarketing tags are properly set up so you’re ready to keep your Black Friday customers engaged for the remainder of the holiday season.


  • Review and implement Boost’s Holiday Mobile Ad Creative recommendations.
  • Test your mobile experience—from search, to ad click, to landing page, to shopping cart check-out—to verify that it’s working smoothly.
  • Ensure that you have properly geo-targeted mobile campaigns to support in-store shopping promotions.
  • Verify that your locations, store hours, and phone numbers are displaying correctly on mobile.
  • Make sure you have at least two mobile-preferred ad variations live in case one gets disapproved.
  • Double-check your mobile bid multipliers. Even if you normally use negative mobile bid multipliers due to ROAS constraints, you may want to increase mobile bids during Black Friday.
  • Consider whether or not you want to bid on store hours, location, and customer service-related branded keywords on mobile. You may want to separate them into a campaign with less ROI-focused goals. This touchpoint is important but might not lead to immediate online conversions.

Site and landing pages

  • Monitor site load time and issues with your shopping cart process throughout the day. Create alerts in case load time becomes an issue. Have engineering staff on-call to address problems as quickly as possible.
  • Make sure you are driving Black Friday keywords and ads to landing pages with Black Friday messaging.
  • Update your AdWords Scripts to check for landing page errors several times throughout the day.

Ads and ad extensions

  • Pre-launch new promo ads in a paused state so there’s time to get network approval before you need to go live.
  • Check that you have at least two ads live in every ad group to avoid going dark if one ad is disapproved.
  • If you’re going to pump money into Black Friday search terms, make sure you have corresponding specific ad creative that uses the exact keyword text. Every advertiser on the SERP will be bidding aggressively on the same keywords. The only way to compete, differentiate, and control costs is to have the absolute best ad creative to win customers and lower CPCs with better quality scores.
  • Check your sitelinks and other ad extensions. Now is probably not the time to have “wedding registry” site links showing on Black Friday keywords, for example.


  • According to the above Google Trends chart, people are seeking out Black Friday ads and searching on retailer-modified Black Friday keywords. Make sure you are bidding on the following keywords for your brand in exact and broad match:
    • Your brand + “black friday”
    • Your brand + ”black friday ads”
    • Your brand + ”black friday savings”
    • Your brand + ”black friday deals”
    • Your brand + ”black friday discounts”
    • Your brand + ”black friday coupons”
    • Your brand + ”black friday promotion”
    • Your brand + ”black friday sale”
  • If you want to be aggressive and have extra budget to burn, repeat the above keyword list with competitor brand terms.


Putting it all together in SEM for #BlackFriday

There’s a lot to coordinate during this busy time of year. We hope you’ll find this master checklist helpful for maximizing the massive Black Friday revenue opportunity, delivering a mobile experience that delights customers, driving a strong ROI, and capturing early Black Friday demand through SEM.



About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.