How we leveraged Google’s Digital Maturity Benchmarks for Cyber Weekend Performance

Dave McAndrew - Paid Media Director,

Over the past 12 months, we have been working on aligning our clients to Google’s Digital Maturity Benchmarks.

We think growing clients’ digital maturity is important as not only does it develop Paid Media accounts into a wider digital footprint than ever before, but it also allows us to do this using more intelligent data signals, negating subjective decision-making which can restrict account performance.

Key times of the year such as Cyber Weekend - or a client’s peak seasonality period - has allowed us to demonstrate why improving digital maturity has been a key driver in 2021.

Why Digital Maturity matters

Gone are the days where an advertiser would simply increase their bids and uncap budget on their top-performing keywords to become more visible during a key buying period. Now is the time to cast your digital footprint as wide as you can, capturing as many in-market customers and bringing them to your website in a cost-effective way.

We focused on the below elements this Cyber Weekend:

  • Ad relevance
  • Reach
  • Audience
  • Bid Automation
  • Ad relevance

Giving potential customers the most up-to-date information before clicking through on an advert is important. Stock, price changes, % discounts and sale ending dates are all key pieces of information a customer can use to influence their purchase journey.

Using Ad customisers, we were able to update ad copy in real-time so that - on entering each auction - the information in the adverts was the most relevant it can be, displaying the most up to date information possible.


Over Cyber Weekend, we wanted our client’s products to be placed in front of as many qualified users as possible - and to be able to have visibility across large SKU ranges, from very specific keyword searches, model IDs, as well as showing adverts based on problem-solving search queries.

Broad keywords were used to reach search queries for keywords not already in the account.

Shopping feed optimisation allowed the inclusion of seasonal. trending queries to gain additional search volume outside of product keywords.

Product level DSAs helped us to gain visibility for all SKUs in an account - including anything that is being added in as stock and removing visibility on items going out of stock at SKU level.

Setting up accounts ready to reach an ever-expanding search query universe is vital for account development and future growth. Make sure to look at the wider opportunity - rather than relying on what has typically worked in the past.


First of all, using predefined audiences in Google Ads is a no brainer, it’s simply a matter of adding them to either campaigns or adgroups.

To supercharge performance, we looked at leveraging 1st party audience data to target users who are 100% in-market - but may not be ready to/would not have been able to make a purchase.

We worked with clients to segment their email databases into key categories:

  • High Intent customer
  • High-Value customers
  • Lapsed customers
  • Items out of stock

Using these audience types, we created campaigns to specifically target these users - sending them to dedicated landing pages which either up-sold or cross-sold products they maybe have not previously been exposed to.

We also created look-a-like audiences from these customer lists to reach potential new customers who have never been to our client’s websites before - but displayed very similar online behaviours to our client’s existing customers.

Bid Automation

Scaling traffic at a time when demand peaks is simple - set a competitive bid and a high budget cap and you will see click volume increase dramatically. This is one way of managing an account, but not what we would recommend.

By laying out accounts using the methods we have described above, the typical expectation would be that a lot of irrelevant traffic would be delivered - generating lots of wastage. This would be the case if using manual CPCs as you are valuing every visitor to your website equally - regardless of keyword or intent.

Using data we already have, automation from bidding strategies allows us to reach a much larger universe of keywords and potential new customers. Placing a different value on each individual click means we can limit wastage and work on influencing a user to convert into a new customer.

Pulling all these aspects together and layering in automation of bidding, leverages the conversion data in favour of our clients. During Cyber weekend - where the intent is typically higher - we can reach new customers from search queries never considered in the past. 

What was the impact?

Overall, we saw a 21% increase in YoY revenue for our clients across Cyber Weekend. We trialled activity that has never been live in accounts before - as such broad keyword campaigns have become a cornerstone of our activity. 

Cyber Weekend is not normally the biggest weekend of the buying season for our clients - but it does fire the starting pistol for Christmas buying. Setting ourselves up for growth over Cyber Weekend leaves us in a strong position for the rest of the year going into December!

Want to know more about how we can help your business make to most of Cyber Weekend? Get in touch.

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