Should You Deck Out Your Ads For The Holiday?

Holiday Season Ad Optimization

The holiday season is upon us! Thanksgiving is over. Black Friday has come and gone. Christmas songs are playing — for better or for worse — on the radio. So what does that mean for your website? Should you customize your ad units (and the space around them) to be festive and holiday-oriented? Or is it just a waste of time, energy, and resources? Should you run festive ads? Or should the Grinch prevail?

There are two sides to this debate, both of which are worth considering.

Arguments for festive ads

Everyone loves Christmas! It’s the most festive time of the year. So why wouldn’t festive ad units drive more impressions and click-throughs? Proponents of designing your ad units to be more festive and Christmas-like argue that it doesn’t take much time to do something that will delight your customers and drive christmas click-throughs. So why not take a little extra effort to capitalize on the holiday season?

The Grinch’s Arguments

Unfortunately for the proponents of the festive ad unit, the math just doesn’t hold up. Even if your ad units receive more impressions and click-through rates thanks to your snazzy, festive redesign, it will not change your CPMs in such a condensed timeframe. A holiday season that lasts a few weeks is but a bleep on the radar as far as CPMs are concerned.

And to those who say that it won’t take very much time to redesign the ad units to be more festive: says who? Any designer who has redesigned any element of a project, big or small, knows that a redesign is not an easy endeavor. It’s a significant time commitment and not one to be taken lightly.

“Besides, who will even notice the changed ad units, anyway?” the Grinch would argue.

Which side prevails?

So…which side prevails? Should you run festive ad units? Or even change your ad networks to festive ads?

Probably not.

The benefits to redesigning your ad spots are negligible, though the costs are great. You can probably spend your resources in better ways: search engine optimization, search engine marketing, a landing page or two…the fact of the matter is, you probably won’t see a great return on your investment by decking out your ads for the holidays.

If it gives you kicks to tweak the design around your ad units so that they’re festive, then have at it. And of course, if you get any direct sales advertisements that specifically pertain to the holiday season, then that’s even better. But don’t you think for a minute that you’ll get any specific monetary benefits from putting some festive decoration around your ads.

Stick to the tried-and-true monetization techniques. Pick better ad units, increase your site’s traffic, and lower your bounce rates. But don’t resort to gimmicky techniques such as adding some tinsel-toe to your ads; odds are, it will be a waste of time, won’t drive additional revenue to your site, and will have to be torn down after New Year’s Day, anyway.

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