Black Friday in Search: Who Wins and When?

Black Friday in Search: Who Wins and When?

Liron Hakim Bobrov

Liron Hakim Bobrov

在线视频 Marketing Insights Manager at SimilarWeb

在线视频While we wait for the final results of Black Friday traffic (stay tuned for our upcoming blog and infographic), we decided to look into the trends surrounding Black Friday keywords during the weeks leading up to the shopping holiday.

Most shoppers know exactly where they want to go when they shop (56% of category traffic is direct, and an additional 22% is branded search). However, during the shopping season, affiliate traffic into shopping sites lifts by up to 4X. At this time of year, shoppers are less likely to be searching for specific sites, and are more focused on searches for deals, sales and specific products. This provides a golden opportunity for other sites (like news & media, coupon sites, blogs and more) to gain traffic from shopping keywords they normally wouldn’t receive traffic from, and increase their outgoing affiliate traffic.

Prepping for Black Friday 2019

在线视频As shoppers prepare for the year’s most important shopping day, keywords related to “Black Friday” become massively popular. During the month of November, 2018 the single keyword “Black Friday” had 3.4M searches in the US alone. In order to get a better understanding of what’s happening in the market this year, we used SimilarWeb’s keyword generator to formulate a list of the top “Black Friday” related keywords, and analyzed their traffic over the past 28 days (as of Nov 25).

Organic Search

Here we see that almost 50% of traffic went to dedicated Black Friday deal sites (such as theblackfriday.com), an additional 11% went to news and media sites, and another 13% to tech news sites. Marketplace, consumer electronics and home and garden shopping sites saw slightly over 20% of the traffic.

But search traffic isn’t stable throughout the month, and what works in the first week of November doesn’t necessarily work in the same way, as we get closer to the shopping holidays. In order to obtain and retain this traffic, it is imperative to be constantly up to date on what’s happening in search – SimilarWeb’s recently released weekly search traffic breakdown provides just that capability.

Organic Search Share Over Time

在线视频A closer look at traffic by site, and over the past month, we find that forbes.com received 6.9% of traffic over the past 28 days. This share increased gradually over the past month – as the site received just 3.5% of traffic in the first week of the month and peaked at 6.7% in the third week of the month.

Black Friday in Search: Who Wins and When?

Black Friday Keywords, Organic Traffic Breakdown

Other publications with relevant Black Friday content included usatoday.com, whose on Apple Watch deals got them 1.3% of all traffic driven by Black Friday keywords during the first week of the month. The site did not do well in maintaining this trajectory, however, as traffic trailed off later in the month, eventually dropping to 0.3% in the week before Black Friday. The Verge, on the other hand, published a piece about , landing them 0.4% of search traffic at the beginning of the month, and as audiences became more invested in the seasonal sales, gained up to 0.6% of the search traffic.

Black Friday in Search: Who Wins and When?

Black Friday Keywords, Organic Traffic to News & Media Sites

Among dedicated Black Friday deal sites, which monetize outgoing traffic to shopping sites, traffic has also shifted throughout the past month. The three main recipients of traffic include blackfriday.com, bestblackfriday.com and theblackfriday.com. Whereas in the beginning of the month, theblackfriday was the victor, receiving 14.5% of the search traffic, blackfriday.com eventually beat out the competition, receiving 20.5% of the organic traffic related to Black Friday sales.

Black Friday in Search: Who Wins and When?

在线视频Black Friday Keywords, Organic Traffic to Black Friday Deal Sites

Paid Search

While publishers and coupon sites battle it out for traffic on the organic front, retailers are focused on paid search to drive traffic to their sites during the shopping season. Here we see the breakdown of paid traffic and find that consumer electronics and marketplace sites dominate. Dedicated deal sites also play on PPC, receiving close to 15% of traffic.

在线视频Using our weekly keyword traffic breakdown on paid traffic, we can spot when retailers start spending on sale keywords: for example, walmart.com was not spending much on Black Friday keywords during the beginning of the month, eventually rising to 20% of the paid search traffic. Meanwhile, lowes.com invested in PPC during the third week of the month, and dropped off later, as keywords likely got more expensive. Macys.com on the other hand, invested more heavily later in the month – optimizing search for when it is likely to have more of an impact.

Black Friday in Search: Who Wins and When?

Black Friday Keywords, Paid Traffic Breakdown

Conclusion

在线视频As retailers, news and media and deal sites vie for consumer attention during the holidays, the landscape for keyword optimization and bidding becomes more and more dynamic. In this piece we identified shifts in retail keyword bidding, and the changing organic keyword landscape for media and coupon sites, in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.

在线视频For campaign and content managers, knowing when to create and promote content can be the difference between a viral piece of content and one that gets lost among hundreds of search results. Using our new weekly traffic granularity for keywords can provide these insights, and more.

在线视频Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post and infographic on Black Friday traffic trends.


Liron Hakim Bobrov

Liron Hakim Bobrov

在线视频 Marketing Insights Manager at SimilarWeb

Liron is a Marketing Insights Manager at SimilarWeb. A passionate data-driven team member, Liron has been using her expertise to provide clients' industry insights for over 5 years, 3 of which she has spent at SimilarWeb. She has an MBA from Tel Aviv University. Her specialties include content management, data analysis and uncovering strategic industry insights.


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