March 13, 2012, 4:53 PM

Holidays boost February sales driven by paid search

Presidents’ Day and Leap Day lead to a 32% increase in sales, PM Digital says.

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Consumers who clicked through a paid search ad generated 32% more sales for e-retailers during February compared with a year ago, according to the new Rewind Index from search engine marketing provider PM Digital. The index measures paid search performance monthly and is based on data from more than 50 large retailers that are clients of PM Digital. When subtracting what happened on Leap Day (Feb. 29), paid search ads generated 26% more revenue compared with February 2011.

The number of paid search ads clicked on by consumers during the month increased 16%, which led to e-retailers spending 13% more on search ads compared with the same month last year. PM Digital says the increased click activity drove the higher spending because the actual cost per click declined 2%. The conversion rate from paid search ads was up 12% during February and average order value increased 5%.

The index does not include actual dollar amounts.

During February, consumers clicked paid search ads the most on Presidents’ Day (Feb. 20), a federal holiday; that day also brought in the most revenue for the e-retailers in the index, followed by Leap Day. A number of e-retailers, including shoe e-retailer—a subsidiary of Inc.—and consumer packaged goods e-retailer used the extra day to make special deals or offers available to consumers. is the No. 1 e-retailer in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. is No. 467.  

Craig Handelsman, chief information officer at e-retailer, will explain how he improved his paid search campaigns to attendees at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago in June during a session titled “Shifting a paid search campaign into overdrive with new Google tools.

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