How To's

Seasonal Landing Pages: How To Correctly Use Temporary Landing Pages

As we head towards the end of the year, gifting is on everybody’s mind. From Black Friday to the holidays, sales are ramping up and exclusive deals are to be found across the retail landscape.

In stores, temporary sale sections can be built to capture seasonal demand and showcase gifting products before they’re taken down in January and stored away for the next season. The same thing can be said about your beauty website.

In this article, we’ll talk through temporary landing pages, and how they can benefit your beauty brand during key shopping periods. We’ll discuss how to use temporary landing pages correctly, when to upload them, and how to maintain them for best effect.

Temporary VS Permanent Landing Pages

Landing pages are the various digital touchpoints that your website visitors use to navigate your brand, products, and content.

There are some pages that will remain pretty consistent during your website’s lifetime without substantial changes. These will include pages such as  ‘Contact us’, Privacy Policies, Terms and Conditions.

Yet most others are more dynamic and likely to be refined over time with proper optimisation and aesthetic tweaks in order to improve user experience, grow search visibility and optimise conversion rates.

You can learn more about developing highly optimised product pages here: SEO For E-Commerce Product Pages- The Do’s And Don’ts

However, what if these pages aren’t created with seasonal search demand in mind? After all, people make thousands of Black Friday-related searches for beauty products every year – with most of those searches predictably starting in November.

Google Trends shows searches for ‘black friday’ and ‘christmas’ started to build around November 21st last year

There’s a choice to make for your SEO strategy. You want to target the thousands of people searching around Black Friday, but do you:

a) Take an existing landing page and optimise that for seasonal terms?


b) Create a temporary page specifically for that search intent?

We believe option B is the best. Here’s why:

Why Use Temporary Landing Pages?

There are a few key reasons why we think temporary landing pages are so powerful:

1. Refining Page Purpose Across the Site

Every eCommerce site will have many dozens of existing landing pages, some of which you could feasibly tweak to suit the intent of your temporary landing page.

However, while you could spend a bunch of time optimising the closest-relevancy page you have, you’ll never truly be able to get things just right. Pages that are live all-year round generally perform better when tied to a specific purpose, and introducing drastic changes to those pages for just a couple weeks out of the year can really throw Google off, reducing their visibility.

Creating pages around a hyper-specific user intent allows you to target longtail keywords. These terms will be relatively low in search volume (such as ‘[your brand] christmas deals’), but you know that anyone searching them are ready to convert.

2. Boosting Your Website’s Seasonal Relevancy, Over the Long Term

As we’ve seen time and time again, Google heavily favours websites that are constantly looking to improve their relevancy. Temporary landing pages help you do just that.

Ask yourself: how many times have you visited a Black Friday page outside of November? The answer is probably never, and Google feels the same way. But it’s important to have that page on your site all year round. The only thing temporary about this kind of landing page is the search demand it’s built to attract.

It’ll still sit on your domain, gradually building authority with search engines, hopefully earning links from your digital PR activity – ready to rank for the next year’s Christmas deal-based search intent. 

Remember that SEO is a long game. If you’re building a temporary landing page today, it isn’t just about Christmas 2022, it’s for many festive seasons from now.

3. Reducing Cost-Per-Click (CPC) in Paid Campaigns

With your competitors all vying for audience attention in the latter months of the year, it’s only natural to expect cost-per-click (CPC) numbers to increase. Therefore, making your ads as targeted and relevant as possible can have a very strong effect on how much you end up spending.

Shoehorning ad copy about Christmas bundles to your generalised shop page is going to send your costs right up, but having a Christmas landing page itself is a much different story.

4. Driving Your Own Data

There are plenty of third-party sources, such as Google Trends and SEOMonitor, which we use to track how people behave around seasonal shopping events. 

However, creating temporary landing pages around a specific event means that you can start generating your own data when people start landing on those pages. This data, whether it’s through Google Analytics, Google Search Console or other platforms, is yours and yours only, giving you highly-accurate information to base your tactical decisions on.

Doing this can help to inform when your paid campaigns begin, or what typical conversion rates are during key shopping events. It could tell you when Google starts ranking your seasonal page, or whether it’s ranked all year round.

Or it might show that people start researching their Black Friday shopping many weeks in advance, while Boxing Day deals are strictly a last-minute thing.

Whatever the learning is, creating a temporary landing page gives you the data you’re learning from.

Temporary Landing Page Best Practice

We at Foundation have built up a set of rules that we advise our clients to abide by at this time of year. Here’s our best practice guide for temporary landing pages:

1. Research, research, research

The research phase can be applied to pretty much any aspect of SEO work, but it’s one that simply cannot be missed out.

One good way of giving yourself a head start is to take the keywords your storefront or maybe even clearance pages are already optimised for and littering in “black Friday” or “Christmas” at the start, middle and end of each query.

You’ll give yourself a healthy list of keywords to target.

Be sure to also look at your competitors, but not just at this time of year. Some tools like ahrefs’ Site Explorer can allow you to retrieve historical information about a webpage, including the estimated amount of traffic and its keywords, all of which can help you point out the peaks and troughs of a page’s lifetime.

Ahrefs Site Explorer

This information can allow you to determine the when part of your strategy.

2. Always Be Linking

Because these pages are only live for a set amount of time, you’ll want to give them as much authority as you can. One way of doing this is through internally linking to your new page wherever relevant.

Your website’s blog can come in especially handy here. By publishing an article to coincide with the launch of your new page, you can link back to it with the right anchor text to get it associated with being relevant for that keyword.

Do this as much as possible in the weeks leading up to the page going live and the URL’s authority shall start to grow.

3. Use. The. Right. Redirect

Of course, Black Friday only lasts for about 2-3 weeks, and Christmas is only really talked about for a maximum of 60 days in the year. After which, the relevancy of your temporary landing page decreases significantly.

The importance of the right kind of redirect can never be overstated, especially for temporary landing pages. 301 redirects indicate a permanent change in location from one page to the other, while a 302 indicates a temporary change.

In this scenario, we advise putting in a 302 redirect as soon as your Black Friday sale is over that funnels visitors to another relevant page like your storefront or perhaps even your home page.

Using a 301 would be a major error, as you’re essentially telling Google that your Black Friday page will no longer exist, ever.

4. Keep Track Of Your Changes

For beauty retailers, the gifting season is perhaps one of the most hectic times of the year. During which, mistakes can be made. That’s why it’s so important to keep a backup of all the changes you make to pages to introduce internal linking while your temporary landing pages are live.

Whether you revert those changes by restoring a backup (providing your redirects are in order) or simply adjust a dynamic content element of your website, it’s important to note what you changed, why, and what affect it had.

5. Never, Ever Delete!

Just because the sales are done or the festivities have ended, doesn’t mean your landing page should be deleted. Instead, ensure you place a brief message enticing your visitors to come back later in the year.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday

Need Help With Your SEO Strategy?

If there’s anything we can learn from temporary landing pages, it’s that nothing’s ever cut and dry. There are so many variables to account for when creating one, that it might be beneficial to hand over the heavy lifting to an agency that knows their stuff.

At Foundation, we can help you launch a winning strategy around SEO for beauty brands that gets results throughout the year. With a permanent finger on the pulse, we’ll help you jump on the newest trends, as they arise. Get in touch with us today and speak to a professional consultant.

How To's Insights

The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday

With the rise of ecommerce and changing trends, you need a new Black Friday marketing strategy to succeed. Online shopping is bigger than ever, but with competition at an all-time high, how can you stand out against competitors?

It’s now the prime time to prepare for what should be your highest online traffic day of the year and with a stellar strategy in place, it’ll be an event to remember.

Our Black Friday guide is loaded with tips and techniques you can put into place right now. So, keep scrolling to read our expert recommendations.

Black Friday 2021: What Happened?

Someone with painted nails working on a laptop

In the last few years, the retail landscape has been turbulent amidst lockdowns, financial struggles and political problems around the globe.

So let’s have a look at last year’s stats and paint a picture of where we were 12 months ago. Black Friday saw a welcomed return to form in ecommerce:

  • Nearly 70% of all Black Friday sales happened via smartphones
  • Basket values were between 10% and 20% higher than those of 2020
  • Amazon was crowned the biggest winner, taking in 17.7% of all Black Friday sales.

There was also some notable success in demand, with some beauty brands seeing upwards of 31.5% increase in consumer interest. The main winners here were:

  • The Perfume Shop
  • Paula’s Choice
  • Driptyque
  • Avon
  • Lookfantastic

Black Friday 2022: What to Expect

The top and handles of a paper back

Fast forward a year, and the shopping landscape looks different yet again. Household expenditures have increased by more than 35% this past year, with significant raises in energy costs, fuel, food, and even entertainment. It seems that everyone has been affected in at least some way, as indicated by the stats:

According to Global Web Index, 53% of male and female skincare shoppers are most concerned about the prices of products and services, yet around 30% of them expect to spend the same as they did last Black Friday. For a yearly event that’s intrinsically linked to overindulgence; things aren’t looking good.

From how to prepare your website for the big event to drumming up awareness, these are our top Black Friday tips.

How to Prepare for Black Friday This Year

A tablet showing a weekly planner

We know, it’s a cliché, but when it comes to Black Friday the mantra ‘fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’ couldn’t be more true. There are a number of key activities to prioritise in the weeks running up to Black Friday.

Create a Black Friday Landing Page

Your audience want to hear about the offers you’re planning, and by giving them advanced notice you’re encouraging them to build a bit of buzz by sharing your Black Friday news. A well-optimised Black Friday landing page – ideally with some great backlinks – is exactly what you need to start ranking on Google, too.

To make sure your page performs as it should, make sure you:

  • Make it visible – with a position in the top nav, and maybe a homepage hero banner.
  • Plan outreach – get your offers in front of journos early, to help your page perform.
  • Get ready for increased traffic – can your site handle the pressure?

Finally, don’t delete the page when Black Friday has been and gone! It might seem logical to bin the landing page when it’s no longer relevant, but this means you’ll be starting from scratch next year.

Instead, remove it from your navigation and add an out of season message. Next year, you can repurpose the page with its valuable links and authority in place.

Prepare Your Shopping Feed

By drilling down on the specifics of your shopping feed early and carefully deciding your Black Friday advertising spend, you can avoid disapprovals, prevent unnecessary revenue losses and set achievable goals. So with that in mind, our PPC experts say:

  • Define your ROAS goals well in advance.
  • Understand your impression share.
  • Create a Black Friday sale shopping feed.
  • Test your feed early so its primed for the event.

Once your shopping feed is up and running, make sure to set up daily reports and alerts. As Black Friday sales typically span over a weekend, it’s worth keeping yourself informed. Especially if there are some must-have top-sellers which you suspect will be snapped up and run out of stock very quickly – you wouldn’t want to advertise a product which is no longer available.

Boost Awareness for Your Brand

To maximise your exposure, make sure to drum up awareness of your sale well before the event begins. You can achieve this in a number of ways, including:

Social Media

No Black Friday campaign is complete without killer social media content. Organic social is an effective tool to drive the hype about your brand, so think carefully (and creatively) about how you can show off your upcoming offers in a shareable way. This could include creating content like:

  • Short-form video
  • Live Q&As
  • Product tutorials

Social media is equally valuable from a paid perspective. In advance, make sure to trial paid campaigns on different social channels to find out which work best for your brand.  Once prepped, you can set up targeted ads, leading consumers to a specific landing page with further information and sponsored content.

Display Advertising

Show display ads to users whose web behaviour suggests they are in the market to buy your products and inform them of your upcoming deals and discounts.

What to Do During Black Friday

Two women in pink looking at their phones

Prepping effectively for Black Friday is essential, but even the best groundwork won’t let you relax on the big day. In fact, how you handle the Black Friday weekend will impact your overall results.

Be Sensitive

With financial woes rife throughout the globe, we expect there to be a significant drop off in unnecessary expenditures this year. Remember, not everybody is going to be in a position where they can splurge out and buy whatever they wish, so you may want to take a slightly less aggressive sales pitch this year.

Try encouraging something other than overindulgence perhaps. After all, Black Friday is a good chance to stock up on discounted essentials.

Communication is Key

Get ready for a hectic day with your internal team, agencies and partners all working closely together. Make sure you have fluid and open communication – you’ll need developers to respond quickly to any website issues, and regular updates on the sales performance from marketing teams throughout the day.

Take Advantage of Google’s Data

If you work with a digital agency who have Google Premier Partner status, you may have access to real time trend data that can help inform bidding strategies throughout the day.

Use Remarketing Lists Wisely

Black Friday is prime time to get back in front of potential customers and show them products they have shown interest in, but didn’t buy, at a newly discounted price.

You can create remarketing lists from the brand awareness campaigns we mentioned earlier – the consumers you reached may have been waiting for your sale to arrive, and just need a little reminder before making their purchase.

Smart Targeting

We have some tried and tested strategies when it comes to targeting consumers in your Black Friday campaign. Consider targeting:

  • Loyal customers
  • Cart abandoners
  • Product-specific remarketing
  • Complimentary products
  • RSLAs for broader terms with loyal, high-value customers

What to Do After Black Friday

Three people looking at a laptop

Making time to review and reflect on your Black Friday sale can put you a step ahead for next year.

Review your campaign thoroughly – what worked and what didn’t, what could have been done differently – and use this as a chance to learn from your experiences. When Black Friday 2023 arrives, you’ll be able to refine and build on your existing strategy. You may even be able to implement these learnings in your Boxing Day offerings!

The Black Friday period is also an excellent time to build up remarketing lists for use in the festive period. Plus, you can use your newly acquired data for Customer Match campaigns and for creating Similar Audience lists.

Final Thoughts

From planning through to analysis, these tips will guide you through Black Friday to results you can be proud of. We can’t wait to see the inspired, creative campaigns you come up with.

Want an experienced partner to give you access to the latest consumer trends and help make your Black Friday a success? If so, we can help. Contact us today – our beauty marketing experts could be the perfect extension to your team.

How To's

How to compete with established stockists through paid media

A question we’re often asked at Foundation is ‘how can emerging beauty brands compete with the big guns online?’

Naturally, there are some ways in which established stockists will always outperform emerging brands, especially when it comes to the economies of scale. But small brands today can hugely benefit from the plethora of low-risk, paid media services that cater to their agility and effectively tap into their niche target audiences.

In a recent whitepaper ‘The Race to the Top: Emerging Brands vs. Established Stockists’, we honed in on paid media programmes, including Google In-Market audiences, Google Affinity Audiences and Google Shopping, to showcase the value of paid media for a small, challenger beauty brand.

Organic or paid?

Paid media can be scary to a small beauty brand but it shouldn’t be as it’s not only the playground of the power players. Some immediately think of big wallets when they think of the likes of pay per click (PPC), however, budget is just one ingredient.

Competing organically in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is the goal for most small beauty brands but this isn’t an overnight fix; it can take intensive nurturing over a long period to see gains over high domain authority competitors.

So, before the fruits of your labour on SERPs come into fruition, a smaller contender can have a decent shot at visibility and conversion with a relatively low investment PPC campaign, for example.

PPC has flex appeal

Paid media (or pay-per-click) can very quickly and effectively narrow the all-important awareness gap between household and challenger brand names.

Today’s challenger beauty brands often have a narrow target audience, such as solutions specifically for sensitive skin or a story built around one hero ingredient. PPC allows hyper-personalised targeting to ensure the budget is being used effectively, without leaking precious budgets on swathes of the general public who would never be likely to convert.

Getting product into the hands of the right people is critical but also harder to do for smaller businesses. The highly targeted options of PPC particularly suit indie brands positioned in a niche who court high-intent prospective customers.

Most importantly, PPC is an instant engine for lead generation that new beauty brands could only have dreamed of previously. Whilst, of course, some investment is required, it’s nothing compared to the budgets from traditional out-of-home advertising that was once the only option. Competing with established stockists on lead generation would have taken years of big-budget marketing campaigns or the slow trickle of word of mouth recommendations in the days before paid media. PPC campaigns can be conceptualised, created and approved within hours. Flexibility to change tactics and adapt to trends quickly also works well for small brands, who are more agile anyway and more likely to pivot operations at short notice due to obstacles such as low stock.

Visual-led marketing with Google Shopping

Awareness of both brand name and visual brand identity is a huge challenge for emerging players in the vast and saturated beauty market. Unlike other paid media options, Google Shopping uses imagery in combination with text so that by the time the potential customer makes it to your site, they already have a good idea of product, price and aesthetic. Therefore image-led, paid advertising, with placement at the top of the SERPs, is especially powerful in building familiarity.

The brand Skin + Me is a great example of a relatively small fry, new market entrant that makes good use of Google Shopping – the compelling yellow brand palette and clinical visuals make it feel right at home as a legitimate contender among household names.

Source: Google Shopping results for ‘skin care for sensitive skin’

With an industry as personal and emotionally-led as beauty, consumers want to know and trust the brands they buy from. Much like in food, the nature of beauty means there’s a safety and wellbeing consideration in the decision process (many products are absorbed into the skin) and trust is key to that. Therefore the use of Google Shopping, with strong imagery and a legitimate-looking product, adds a level of credibility right at the top of the funnel.

An enticing image could give a competitive edge without the big budget and it can also reduce dead leads – those who abandon their journey once they eventually see the product image and decide they don’t like the look of it.

Ready-made punters

The beauty industry has an edge when it comes to paid targeting options because of its dedicated consumer base for whom beauty is a lifestyle, pastime and hobby, meaning there are tonnes of search data to accurately target the right people, with the right product. Google’s range of targeting tools use this data to capture potential customers at all stages of the funnel.

Affinity Audiences is a top-of-the-funnel option to target those in the awareness stage – it analyzes search data to associate a number of interest categories to each user over the long-term. If these match or complement your brand’s offering, then it can be a great place to pick up new customers who are already interested in what you’ve got to offer. This provides ready-made, relevant audiences to tap into at the click of a button.

affinity audience categories
Snapshot of affinity audience categories

Further down the funnel, in the consideration or purchase stages, Google In-Market Audiences leverage online behaviour data to assign target categories. Unlike Affinity Audiences, In-Market Audiences capture short-term interest that disappears as soon as the user makes a purchase. Google distinguishes between searches with commercial and informational intent to create timely In-Market Audiences. This way brands can choose to advertise during the crucial commercial-intent window, such as Black Friday or Christmas.

Key takeaways

In summary, at Foundation we’re huge advocates of exploring paid media to complement any emerging beauty brand’s primary SEO efforts. Dabble with small PPC budgets initially and stick to them, the risk is low but the reward could be brand-making. As well as this, Google’s services, Affinity Audiences and In-Market Audiences, offer highly targeted, larger-scale paid media options at both ends of the funnel. These tools provide something for every type of marketing campaign and are particularly powerful for those in the beauty sector owing to the large amounts of search data in the space. Google Shopping is an equally effective tool for smaller players, as its image-led proposition legitimises new brands and builds trust with those who are looking to acquire new customers that are entirely unfamiliar with the brand. 

If you’d like to see more of our recommendations for how emerging brands can compete with established stockists online, download a copy of our latest white paper here.

How To's The Latest Look

The Latest Look: 5 Things Beauty Brands NEED For PPC Success

Whether you’ve got big bucks to spend or a modest budget, investing in PPC advertising can be one of the best marketing investments beauty brands make. Not only does Pay Per Click (PPC) allow brands to position themselves front and centre in search results, but it’s also a powerful marketing tool for delivering return on investment- whatever your spending budgets.

Like all great tools, PPC is successful when used correctly and if it’s not carefully planned before going live, brands risk losing money. Before you can reap the rewards of a well-executed PPC campaign, there are a few key points for success to consider before hitting ‘live’.

We explore the top 5 things beauty brands need to consider to enjoy success from their PPC campaigns.

#1 Focused Audiences To Target

Before creating witty headlines and engaging ad copy, your PPC campaign needs an audience to target. When paying for clicks, your overall goal should be to reach the most relevant customers to encourage them to convert, and this only works if your ads are targeting the right audiences. 

Understanding who you’re addressing is key to how successful your campaign will be. You may be able to pay your way to the top, but if your ads aren’t focused or addressing someone in particular, they’re going to be quickly overlooked. Having focused audiences enables brands to target people by their demographic, interests, or even previous shopping habits, meaning your adverts will be seen by audiences who are much more relevant to your brand.

There are several ways of focusing on an audience group for your paid ads including targeting by relevant keywords, the right demographic, device, location, as well as retargeting to previous website visitors or remarketing to existing customers. Applying these methods to your campaign will ensure your PPC spend is being used productively and your campaign isn’t in danger of spending all the budget on displaying ads to audiences who aren’t interested.

#2 Relevant keywords to bid on

Your headlines might be creative, catchy or offer a great deal but if they’re not targeting the same language consumers are searching in – they’re not going to work. Knowing what your customers are searching for is another key part of any successful PPC campaign.

Keyword research using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner offers a great insight into what consumers are actively searching whilst giving an average ‘cost per click’ to each keyword for brands to consider when creating the daily budget. Platforms such as Google Ads allow brands to understand what their audiences are interested in, as well as an idea of the most popular keywords that brands may not have thought of otherwise.

Keyword research is key for finding the right search terms and understanding intent, but the most valuable part is in the grouping. We’d always recommend organising the keywords in relevant advert groups, such as by topics of interest, for example ‘retinol’ or ‘anti-ageing’, or by consumer benefits such as keywords with ‘discount codes’ and ‘free’. 

Digital marketing company, Wordstream, has previously attributed a brands’ overall success with PPC to how granular and organised their keyword research was. 

Source: Google search for best acne cleanser

Skin and Me’s advert is a great example of using topics of interest and key terms such as ‘best’ and ‘skincare for acne’- both phrases are expensive to bid on but their ads are super targeted for the searched term ‘best cleanser for acne’.

Be prepared to spend more where it’s needed- particularly for more competitive terms such as ‘best cleanser’ as the bid values will be much higher compared to other less competitive terms that you’ll want to bid on too.

Organising PPC adverts into relevant groups related to their intent will help streamline the campaign, ensuring your PPC adverts are relevant, targeted and ultimately effective.

#3 Product Pages With Detailed Descriptions And Inspiring Imagery

If you’re spending budget on PPC adverts that direct consumers to your website, it’s vital to optimise the landing page you’re including. Product pages play a key role in all campaigns but in order for them to help convert customers, they need to be optimised.

Including the keywords you’ve researched in the headers and copy on the landing page will help customers convert as you’re featuring topics consistent with their search.

Use your on-page product descriptions as an extension of the PPC advert, including all unique selling points and relevant keywords. Your on-page descriptions should be short and precise, accompanied by high-quality images of your products and even features such as customer reviews or star-ratings. Having visible reviews on your products can have a significant impact on converting new customers so including them on your product pages from PPC adverts is strongly advised.

A great example is the Paula’s Choice landing page from the PPC ad for retinol as it has featured a series of USP’s, clearly labeled consumer benefits, and included an image of the product- a heady mix of all key PPC ingredients for a successful campaign.

Image source; Paulas Choice

#4 Outline A Budget

PPC is a super effective paid marketing tool for brands on a budget as it ensures cost isn’t used up on people who aren’t interested in it and allows for accurate tracking of daily spend.

Setting a budget is a key part of any marketing campaign to track return on investment (ROI), but with a PPC campaign it’s essential to stop adverts burning through the budgets. The keyword grouping you’ve done will help understand the cost of each keyword and allows you to set an overall budget for each campaign or ad group.

With full transparency on the costs of keywords, Google Ads will give you a bid price, allowing you to calculate an estimated daily budget and cap spending once this is used up. Selecting negative keywords will mean your brand is streamlining the efficiency of your ads, reducing the likeliness of an ad appearing to audiences who aren’t engaged or interested.

As a beauty marketing agency, our own approach for clients is to be as granular as possible with their PPC campaigns, ensuring their budgets go much further for a higher conversion rate. Accurate tracking and planning before the PPC campaign goes live will ensure your brand will get the maximum out of the budget you assign.

#5 A Goal To Measure

Arguably the most important element of your PPC campaign and the one you’ve defined first, is, of course, the end goal. The measure of success for your campaign whether that’s selling more products or increased sign-ups. Defining your brands’ goals from the campaign before pushing live will ensure you have an effective key performance indicator or KPI that everyone in the team can understand.

PPC goals are typically defined by conversions, the overall goal your brand is working towards. In the beauty industry, this is often increasing visibility when launching a new product or increasing sales- simple goals to track and measure. 

The goal for your campaign will have an attributed cost per acquisition (CPA) or Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) which is a simple yet effective KPI to be working towards. The CPA is the cost of securing every conversion your PPC campaign has secured. ROAS is the revenue your business earns for each pound you spend on advertising.

Understanding the total value your PPC campaign has made overall is a great metric for establishing whether your goals are working or not. If you’re spending more than your making, it’s time to tweak it.

Considering Paid Search Success?

As with all marketing campaigns, one of the key points to their success is planning. Planning your campaigns by making sure you’ve included all the pointers above is essential to reaping the rewards.

Reviewing your campaigns every few days will also help you identify any elements that may not be working or that can be changed. PPC campaigns allow for flexibility and by making the most out of your budget, you’re much more likely to enjoy success from your campaigns.

If you’re considering exploring the options of paid search success for your beauty brand, why not get in touch with our experienced team today.

How To's

An Introduction To Google Audience Targeting

We explore how beauty brands will benefit from advanced audience targeting to identify customers on the Google Display Network and Google Feeds through Display and Discovery Ad campaigns.

Many consumers in the market for beauty products spend a large portion of their time searching for products online; researching and reading up on the latest products and trends on beauty and lifestyle websites, how-to guides on blogs, tutorial videos on social channels like YouTbe and Instagram.

Fortunately for skincare and beauty brands looking to get the attention of these potential customers, many of the websites they visit are a part of the Google Display Network (GDN) meaning as an advertiser, you can take advantage of a range of targeting options that are perfect for honing in on this type of consumer.

What is the GDN & Google Feeds?

As the world’s largest online display advertising network, Google Display Network, or GDN, is one of the most powerful tools for any brand looking to reach huge numbers of consumers. The reach is huge – it has millions of websites in its inventory (from small niche blogs to colossal sites like YouTube) and it serves adverts to over 90% of all internet users, showing hundreds of billions of adverts every single month.

An example featured on

Your brand can show video, text and image adverts on sites that have chosen to sign up with Google and be a part of the network.

Discovery Ads provides the opportunity to reach up to 2.9 billion people monthly across Google Feeds. This includes YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds, the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs and Discover.

Over the past few years, there have been some very interesting new targeting tools and audience options that can make a huge difference to online retailers and brands looking for real bang for their buck. Here are some of the main ones that we’ve seen work well for clients in the beauty space:

Affinity Audiences

In the beauty sector, we benefit hugely from people being incredibly passionate about the subject, dedicating a lot of their spare time exploring the latest products and seeing what influencers are saying. Advertisers can leverage these passions and the interests of their target customers via Affinity Audiences. 

Google builds Affinity Audiences by analysing a person’s overall lifestyle and their long-standing interests to get a better sense of who they are; exploring their browsing history and the pages they’ve previously visited. It considers which ones they spend more time on and which they regularly frequent.

Using this information, Google then associates a number of interest categories to that user, and if these match your brand’s offering or complement it in any way, then it can be a great place to pick up new customers who are already very interested in what you’ve got to offer. From broad to specific, there are whole ranges of Affinity Audiences already in place and ready for you to use. 

A great example of an Affinity Audience from the world of beauty is the “Beauty & Wellness” category, as well two subcategories, one for “Beauty Mavens” and another for “Frequently Visited Salons”. For each of these you can show adverts across the Display Network (including ads within Gmail and on YouTube) as well as target these individuals with your Google Search Ads, should you want to.

In-Market Audiences 

In-Market audiences allow brands to show videos, banners and text adverts to users when they are showing buying intent for the products you offer. Similar to Affinity Audiences, in-market audience groups are based on Google analysing the behaviour of people online and then assigning them to a category. The difference is the intent behind that activity, as unlike Affinity Audiences which are all about long-term interest in a subject matter, in-market audiences represent short-term interest that disappears as soon as they make a purchase. 

Google looks at the kinds of searches people are making and whether they have a commercial intent, the websites they are visiting and if they are clicking on ads. All of this shows that the user is in a buying mindset and they get categorised into the most relevant In-Market Audience. You can then choose to advertise to them during this period where they are far more likely to make a purchase.

The In-Market Audiences that cover beauty are vast. They include:

  • Bath & Body Products
  • Anti-Aging Skin Care Products
  • Face Lotions & Moisturisers
  • Facial Cleansers & Makeup Removers
  • Hair Care Products
  • Eye Makeup
  • Face Makeup
  • Lip Makeup
  • Nail Care Products
  • Perfumes & Fragrances
  • Spas & Beauty Services
  • Manicures & Pedicures
  • Tanning & Sun Care Products

Looking at it from a user funnelling point of view, Affinity Audience visitors are at the top-of-funnel or “awareness” stage where they are researching topics in a fairly passive manner, whereas In-Market visitors are much farther down that journey and more likely to be in the “consideration” or even “purchase” stages. Beauty and skincare brands have the benefit of using In-Market audiences during seasonal shopping events such as Black Friday and Christmas, as it allows them to direct target shoppers around these vital periods.

Custom Audiences

One of the more interesting developments with GDN targeting over recent years has been the addition of Custom Audiences. You have a whole different way of targeting prospective customers thanks to the ability to use the keywords they have recently used in Google search, mobile apps and the websites they have recently visited. This gives display advertising a whole new approach as brands can mix the high intent of search advertising with the low cost of display.

Some key features of Custom Audiences for brands to remember…

Can you target direct competitors? Yes, technically if someone is searching for rival beauty brands and visiting their sites, this can be the low hanging fruit and allows brands to offer quick new sales and easy market share.

Can you target complementary products? Yes, if your products are related or relevant it’s a good idea to feature complimentary products. An example would be if you sell moisturisers with SPF and someone is searching for sun lotion then this consumer could be a potential target for your brand. If you offer hair maintenance products and people are searching for hair straighteners or visiting the GHD site then these are probably worth advertising to.

Can you target broad keywords? Search terms like “makeup”, “cosmetics” or “xmas gifts” are too generic and highly unlikely to be a profitable way to spend your Search Ads budget. But if you are doing display advertising and using Custom Audience to appear for people who have recently made those searches, the significantly lower cost of traffic changes the rules and means that these people may now well be worth showing up in front of.

The key thing with Custom Audience is to consider the various ways your target personas interact with search engines as well as other relevant websites, then start testing out ads. 

Similar Audiences

If you are running Google Remarketing campaigns then an option that’s available to you is to extend your activity to Similar Audience types.

Often, remarketing audience lists perform really well but they aren’t that extensive. By their nature you are limited to only targeting past website visitors and then usually only the ones who have got to the shopping cart or purchase stage. Similar audiences are powerful as it allows you to expand these lists.

This is a feature that allows you to seek out people who Google believes are comparable to those on your remarketing lists and advertise to them.

If you’ve used Facebook Lookalike targeting in the past, or some of the Programmatic prospecting tools then this won’t be alien to you, it’s based along the same lines. Google looks at the people on your remarketing lists and seeks out others that are comparable.

This can be very powerful – Google data says that this tactic more than quadruples the reach of your remarketing lists and when you use this feature you should see a 41% uplift in conversions. These figures are close to what we’ve seen happen within client PPC accounts.

Customer Match

Customer Match audiences lets brands use both online and offline data to reach and re-engage with consumers across all advertising platforms from Google. This includes Search, YouTube, The Shopping Tab and Google Display. Customer Match uses information consumers have already shared with you to target those customers as well as other consumers like them.

Customer Match audiences also allow brands to optimise campaigns by adjusting their bids on what they know about consumer activity online. For example, brands can reach new audiences on YouTube by targeting audiences similar to their most valuable customers. On the GDN, brands can reach similar consumers using personalised adverts on the display network.

Would you like a guiding hand to make the most of the Google Display Network? Our Paid Media team can help with as much or as little guidance as is required. Drop us a line to let us know how we can help!
How To's

Brace Yourself For The Emerging Trend: ‘Clean Beauty’

Over the last 12 months, consumer interest in products being ‘chemical-free’ has seen a significant rise with a particular focus on “Clean Beauty”. And throughout 2020 this trend continued to take the skincare industry by storm, with many brands adopting it for their own marketing messages.

But why have so many brands decided to focus on a concept that isn’t even defined or regulated currently within an industry that relies on regulation, why are industry experts snubbing the trend and what does clean beauty even mean? 

We explore the growing fascination with using ‘clean’ buzzwords that so many brands have chosen to pursue and why consumers have changed their attitudes when it comes to looking after their skin.

What does “Clean Beauty” mean?

Defined by beauty giant Sephora, clean beauty is any product that has been made with “all-natural” and “organic” ingredients. However, as a fairly new concept, it has taken on a different meaning for different brands. The original ‘clean’ beauty brand, Unilever’s Simple, marketed its products has having a very basic ingredient list with ‘no nasty chemicals’, whilst other brands highlight features such as fragrance-free, natural or organic. Brands such as The Body Shop champion ‘clean beauty’ as being cruelty-free and largely offer vegan products, indicating there is a huge interpretation about what clean beauty really means.

Whilst it’s very clear within the industry that clean beauty can’t really be defined, one recurring feature amongst all brands that mention ‘clean beauty products’ is the view that “clean” skincare products are:

  • Delicate on the skin using minimal chemicals 
  • Largely made up of natural or ‘green’ ingredients 
  • Packaged in recyclable or compostable materials.
  • Produced by a brand with a moral ethos, for instance giving back to the community.

Delving into the search data, it’s clear to see that customers value many of the aspects that are core to “clean beauty” such as being natural, organic or sustainable. Consumers clearly prefer brands who are transparent with their audience, who are pioneering positive changes within the skincare industry but can also admit where improvements can be made.

Who’s looking for clean beauty products?

As a marketing concept, “Clean Beauty” appears to be more prominent overall in the UK compared to the US, although it’s an increasingly growing market. According to a recent study by Harper’s Bazaar, 50% of women in America said they were already using product’s they considered to be ‘clean’ and this is supported by a 50% increase in the US for “clean beauty” searches during August 2020, compared to August 2019.

Over the last 5 years, the trends data indicates that whilst “clean beauty” is not a new concept, interest levels are not constant and tend to ebb and flow- possibly down to media coverage or brand marketing. A clear example of this is in Australia, where there are defined sharp increases and then decreases across the five years. The UK has seen more steady growth with dips and spikes whilst The USA has seen the highest and most stable growth out of the three countries.




Despite what the industry experts tell us, the trends clearly show that whilst the ‘clean beauty is a fad’ debate continues to rage on, the interest for clean beauty continues to grow amongst consumers everywhere. So, why are skincare experts at odds with skincare brands when it comes to using the words clean beauty?

Why industry experts are snubbing ‘clean beauty’ as a concept

Firstly, describing a product as being ‘clean’ immediately portrays everything else before it as being ‘dirty’ or ‘bad’ which in the skincare industry is something no brands want to be associated with. Clean beauty products claim to be chemical-free or more ‘pure’ than other products too but the industry has always worked hard to market the science behind developing hard-working skincare products that work- using acids, parabens and other ingredients that are now in danger of developing a bad rep. 

It’s not that clean beauty is necessarily a bad thing, it’s that the claims brands are now making create a negative reputation for other products that aren’t focusing on being paraben-free, for example. Skincare experts such as head buyer at the beauty chain Space NK, Sarah Meadows, recognises clean beauty as being environmentally conscious; “Whether it is about sustainability, whether it is vegan, conscious living, free-from … playing into any of those would make you a clean brand. It can be fairly confusing for the customer.” Likewise, skincare guru, Caroline Hirons calls out certain ‘clean’ brands up for confusing consumers by mentioning ingredients that wouldn’t normally appear in skincare or makeup products anyway “Saying that they are not included in your line is redundant”. 

One thing all clean beauty brands appear to shout about it the removal of two key ingredients from their products due to the apparent irritation they can cause skin. Almost all “clean beauty” advocates state they don’t use parabens; the preservatives that help make product shelflife longer or sodium lauryl sulphate, or SLS; the ingredient that makes products like shampoo foam. 

How should brands use “Clean Beauty”?

With over two billion hashtags currently being used on Instagram, brands and consumers alike are still actively referring to #cleanbeauty so it’s clearly not going to disappear soon. Brands who are keen to get a slice of the traffic for this hot topic should focus on using the term on a dedicated category page. It’s beneficial to be transparent and ensure the consumer is aware that it isn’t regulated and the term ‘clean’ is coming from your brand’s perspective. Being clear and informative about what ‘clean beauty’ means to your own brand will help clear up the general misinformation or confusion created within the industry.

Reinforcing why you consider your brand and its products to be ‘clean’ can be another great way to showcase the qualities of your products and what makes them stand out from the competition. Focus on what’s in the product as well as what isn’t, and make this clear to the consumer. Transparency is the key here- if your products are vegan but not cruelty-free yet, let your consumers know whether you have the initiative to obtain cruelty-free status and the steps you are taking. 

A recent study into the labeling of skincare highlighted that 79% of women said they are at least sometimes confused about ingredients listed on the package label, with 45% admitting they’re are often, very often confused about the ingredients they should be looking for. It’s therefore key to explore the use of displaying different ingredients throughout the website and ensure users understand what is in every product. Considering CRO tactics and A/B testing could really help your brand here.

Ultimately, if your brand is keen to join the ‘clean’ tribe, it’s important to focus on being transparent across social media and your website about your own ethos and products is key to success with consumers. Don’t join the confusing noise about being ‘clean’ if really your products are environmentally conscious, cruelty-free or have a low carbon footprint- not because they’re paraben-free.

*Originally published Jan 11th 2021, updated Mar 5th 2021.

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