Target Leading on Black Friday Keywords in Paid Search

Last week we looked at the top advertisers heading into Black Friday weekend based on paid search activity on 2500 top retail keywords. This week we’re taking a different approach and reexamining paid search activity on our Black Friday keyword group, consisting of 161 keyword terms containing the words ‘black friday’.

Black Friday timing

As previously detailed, we saw spending on Black Friday keywords surge the week of September 27 this year, a full month earlier than in 2014, which underscores the increasing importance of this key shopping day for advertisers. Since September 27, up until this Sunday, November 22, 1,226 advertisers have spent $7.3 million sponsoring the keyword group.

Top Advertisers by Spend

Top Black Friday advertisers

Target tops the list of Black Friday advertisers, beating out even Amazon, with $1 million spent on 158 of the 161 Black Friday keywords examined during the period.  Amazon ($790,000), deal site ($720,000), JCPenney ($406,000) and Walmart ($395,000) round out the Top 5.

Top Advertisers by Clicks

Top Black Friday advertisers

Target is not only leading in ad spend but also performance, with a commanding 22.75% click share on the Black Friday keyword group during the period examined. The next closest competitor, Amazon, had a 10.57% click share, followed by (8.58%), Best Buy (8.04%) and Walmart (6.79%). Although JCPenney ranked 4th in spend on the keyword group, it ranked 9th in clicks with a 3.61% click share. Best Buy essentially reversed places with JCPenney, ranking 7th in spend but 4th in clicks, indicating it has a more efficient program.

Top Keywords

Top Black Friday keywords

What a difference a word makes. The top term this year is ‘black friday deals’ with nearly $3.7 million spent on it from September 27 through November 22. For comparison, that figure is over five times more than advertisers spent on the very similar term, ‘black friday sales’, which generated $680,000 in spend during the period. Although ‘black friday sales’ had a slightly higher clickthrough rate (5% vs. 4.8%), the difference was in impressions, with ‘black friday deals’ garnering nearly 50 million Paid Search impressions compared to just 8.6 million for ‘black friday sales’.

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