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Why did my advertising get more expensive in the autumn?

It’s quite common to see the cost per click in search advertising rise in the autumn, and advertisers rightly want to know the reason why. I’m fairly sure that a significant factor is increased competition in the auction from an increased number of advertisers. In the industrial sector however, the reason is not the imminent Christmas period; I believe it’s because there are a number of advertisers returning to the auction after the summer.

Pay-per-click advertisers who pause their campaigns in the summer probably don’t really understand pay-per-click advertising. If you advertise in magazines, and think that many of the readers will be on holiday in August, I can understand the decision to concentrate on months where more people are around. But that doesn’t apply to results-based advertising. If nobody’s around, you won’t pay anything. So just carry on as normal! You’ll actually benefit from the reduced competition.

The same applies to advertising at night or at weekends. We have many clients who’ve queried whether or not it’s a good idea to do this. Sure, you won’t get many clicks out of business hours. But nor will you get an invoice for the ads. “Hang on though”, they say. “Nobody will be looking for blue widgets at 3am on a Sunday morning, so while I realise that we probably won’t get any clicks, if we did get them, it’d surely be money wasted, right?”

The answer is: “Have you tried?” Most of our clients who’ve looked into it find that if they get 5% of their clicks overnight or at weekends, they also get 5% of their enquiries (or engaged website visitors) then too. Some find that the conversion rate is even higher out of hours! I guess that if someone clicks on an ad for blue widgets and spends time on your site at 3am on a Sunday morning, they really have a need for your product. As ever, it’s all about the measurement.