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With Black Friday (Friday 26th November 2021) and Cyber Monday (Monday 29th November 2021) just around the corner, your Google Ads account and all of your campaigns must be in tip-top shape. So get an early start, and set your campaigns up for success today with Zelst’s kick-ass guide to Google Ads this Black Friday.

Note: As we discuss Black Friday, we refer to the whole sales weekend, including Cyber Monday. We have a variation of clients here at Zelst who we help maximise sales on Black Friday – some clients focus on one day, whereas others have campaigns running up to a week on either side of the Black Friday weekend.

Screenshot from Google Trends

How to prepare your Google Ads account for Black Friday

Preparedness is critical for Black Friday success, but be aware of setting this year’s goals based on last year’s performance as Covid (sorry, we will try not to mention it too much!) led to an influx of online shopping.

Google Search Ads

At least a few days ahead of the big event, we recommend you create a range of ads that highlight your specific Black Friday deals. With the Google Ads approval process becoming more stringent each year, you want to ensure your ads are approved ahead of time so you can make full use of every hour of the Black Friday weekend. Want to learn more? Google Ads have produced this helpful video to explain more about ads and extensions. 


Optimise Search Ad Copy

Your ad copy is vital, so make it as appealing as possible by adding your specific Black Friday deals within the headlines and the descriptions. Also, don’t forget to set up extensions, including price, site links, callouts and structured snippets. Ad extensions are a great way to encourage additional clicks to the site through the extra information displayed.  New to creating ads? The Zelst PPC team have put together a comprehensive guide all about PPC terms, check it out here.

Target Relevant Keywords

Black Friday and the surrounding weeks are an excellent time to use broader keywords, helping you capture new variations of generic non-brand terms. For example, consider including search terms such as ‘gifts’ or ‘present’ to maximise your Christmas sales. In addition, review the keywords that may have been paused within your campaigns. These could be enabled to capture as much traffic as possible over the sale period.

Set Up Search Ad Countdowns

Countdowns within ad headlines are super simple to set up and increase the sense of urgency. For example, the Google Ads countdown feature counts down by day, then by hour, then by minute. These will especially work well for those businesses running a one day Black Friday sale as it shows consumers that if they don’t buy now, they will miss out on a great deal.

How to set up – when writing a headline, start with the ad text you want to include, then open a { and select countdown from the drop-down menu.

Utilise Extensions

Promotion extensions allow you to add more value to your standard search ads. They allow you to highlight sales and promotions to people actively searching for a product or service like yours. This type of extension is simple to set up and you can choose from a selection of pre-populated occasions.

Remarketing and RLSAs

Remarketing is a key tactic that should be utilised when you are creating your Black Friday campaigns. When you already have engaged visitors, for example someone who already has added an item to their basket but has not yet purchased, you could remarket to them with a promotional code specifically for Black Friday.

It’s also essential to make use of the remarketing lists that are populated with November users, this is the time when consumers start researching their Black Friday purchases. Also, ensure you utilise RLSAs (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) by adding them to all of the Black Friday PPC campaigns and applying bid adjustments.

More about RLSAs – Typically, advertisers would use the Google Display Network for remarketing, however, RLSAs give you the option to leverage the high intent of Google Search Ads to increase conversions and revenue as Google allows you to apply bid adjustments to those users that may have already visited your website. To read more about RLSAs, check out this article from Neil Patel.

Similar Audiences

Google Ads automatically generate audiences known as similar audiences. Google Ads use website tags, rule-based remarketing lists, and Customer Match lists to create a list of users with similar search behaviour to those that are the most valuable to your business. Read more about similar audiences here.

Google Shopping Campaigns

The quality of your shopping campaigns are only as good as the information you provide to potential customers. So it’s essential that your product feed is fully optimised and is approved within the Google Merchant Centre well in advance of the sale weekend.

When it comes to your specific shopping campaigns, it will depend on the types of promotions your business is running. For example, if you are running a particular promotion on a limited number of products, consider setting up a shopping campaign focusing on just these products.

It’s also important to utilise the Google Merchant Center’s promotion feature. To learn more about promotions, check out this helpful video:


Rather than using the above feature, you could include a new column in your product feed called ‘sale_price’ where you can input the special sale price you are currently promoting. To learn more about sale prices view this helpful article from Google.

 Google Ads Black Friday Checklist

  • Don’t limit your campaigns – ensure you have a budget plan in place ahead of time.
  • Set up promotion extensions within Google Ads.
  • Add Black Friday references to your ad headlines and descriptions.
  • Consider adding countdown headlines to your ads.
  • Set up ad extensions – including price, site links, callouts and structured snippets.
  • Feed management is the key to product listings, so ensure all products within your feed are fully optimised.
  • Add a new shopping campaign focusing on those specific products that are on promotion.
  • Utilise the use of Google Merchant Center promotions OR include a sale_price column within your product feed.
  • Use both RLSAs and similar audiences within all of your Black Friday campaigns.
  • Avoid issues with approvals, updates, promotional changes by doing everything ahead of time.

And don’t forget to make the most of Black Friday by organising your other marketing strategies too – just follow our complete guide to preparing your business for Black Friday!

If you need some support with your Google Ads ahead of Black Friday, please contact the Zelst PPC specialists today to see how we can help.