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Google Seasonality Adjustments: What You Need to Know

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Alina is a digital marketing specialist @Viden, focused on encouraging growth and delivering results for brands across paid channels through leading optimization and management strategies.
Google Seasonality Adjustments: What You Need to Know

What Are Google Ads Seasonality Adjustments?

Seasonality adjustment is an advanced tool that can help you optimize your Google Ads campaigns by informing the Smart Bidding algorithm of projected increases and decreases in conversion rate (CVR) or revenue for upcoming future events.
This tool is ideal to use for short periods of time (e.g. from 1 to 7 days) and doesn’t work as effectively for longer time stretches (e.g. more than 14 days). Seasonality adjustments are currently available for Search, Shopping, and Display campaigns and are only compatible with Target ROAS and Target CPA bidding strategies, as well as Smart Shopping campaigns.
Here’s how you can find the Seasonality Adjustments tool in Google Ads:

  • In the top-right corner, click the “Tools” icon
  • From the drop-down menu, select “Bid Strategies” under “Shared Library”

  • Under “Bid Strategies”, click “Advanced Controls”
  • Select the “Seasonality Adjustments” option at the top

When you anticipate an uplift or a decrease in conversion rate or revenue, the Seasonality Adjustments tool can help you let the Smart Bidding know about the expected changes and impact the performance immediately or during the selected days.

This automation tool can save you time and effort, making all the manual changes you would have to make before and after the promotion, an automated process. The system will then revert the campaign bidding strategy and pace back to the previous level once the selected date range is over.

How Does It Work?

Now, let’s move to practical cases and real-life examples. As mentioned above, the Seasonality Adjustment tool is suitable for short-term periods of time only, and there’s no better fit for its use than Black Friday and Boxing Day promotions.
During these sales, we often anticipate an increase in conversion rate and revenue on the website or the app – and can start preparing in advance, which is when seasonality adjustments come into play.
Before setting up any adjustments, you should identify the historical CVR of similar or previous promotions to set realistic targets for this year. For example, you could use data from the last year’s Black Friday sale to predict its impact on your campaigns’ performance and the conversion rate uplift for this year.
For the last Black Friday, our team actively tested and implemented the Seasonality Adjustment tool. For one of our clients, we set the expected increase in CVR as +40% during the promotion (November 25 – 27, 2021). We managed to scale the campaigns up and boosted the sales (+61%), exceeding the client’s goals.

How Does A Decrease In Conversion Rate Work?

When it comes to the opposite scenario, in which you’re expecting a decline in conversion rate, the Seasonality Adjustment tool gives you an option to inform the Smart Bidding algorithm about the upcoming negative changes and slow down the pace.

You should use this option only if you expect a sudden drop in CVR for a few days. You don’t need to make any downward adjustments to your CVR after sales or promotions, as the Smart Bidding algorithm would automatically adjust and optimize for regular conversion rates.
However, it’s important to note, that when you adjust your campaigns with a negative seasonality adjustment and warn the algorithm about an expected decline in conversions, during the selected period you may also notice a drop in impressions, clicks, impression share, and click-through rates across the account. Simply put, the adjustment can have a significant negative impact on your positions and impression share on Google Search even for branded keywords.
That being the case, we highly recommend applying negative seasonality adjustments only to specific campaigns, excluding the ones that generate the most relevant traffic and conversions for your brand (e.g. a campaign for branded keywords).
Below, you can see an example of how the impressions share dropped for a Google Ads campaign after applying negative seasonality adjustments:

Conclusion

The Seasonality Adjustments tool is a great opportunity to optimize the performance of your campaigns towards planned promotions or instantly boost the sales when new attractive offers show up on your website as sometimes the Smart Bidding doesn’t react as quickly to manual changes.
It’s important to keep in mind that as of now, seasonality adjustments only work for campaigns that are utilizing Smart Bidding.
If you consider setting up seasonality adjustments, don’t forget to:

  • Review your promotional calendar and upcoming sales to prepare in advance
  • Analyze the previous year’s sales and promotions data to get a better understanding of the performance and predict future changes and trends – especially when it comes to conversion rate
  • Monitor the performance and extend seasonality adjustments if needed
  • Be mindful of negative adjustments and exclude campaigns you don’t want to impact from them (e.g. the Branded campaign)

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