Turning Off Google AdWords for the Holidays – Should You Do It?

The holiday season is fast approaching. While you might have your family holiday plans in order, what about your business ones? While most industries shut down over the holiday season, the internet does not. People will still be searching, browsing and buying over the holidays, even if that number drops a little.

If you run an AdWords campaign you might be considering whether or not to turn off your advertisements for the holiday season. So here are our pros and cons of turning off your AdWords campaign.

ProsTurn off Google AdWords

It might sound crazy but there are some positives to turning off your AdWords, especially around the holiday season. For some businesses, this time of the year means they are quickly swamped in work requests, orders or new clients looking for work to be completed before Christmas.

Another problem you might face is a lack of staff. Few people expect to work over the holiday season and as we creep closer to Christmas you are probably noticing a thinning out of staff as people go on leave. With fewer staff and more orders, enquiries, and new clients, it won’t be long before you, and your remaining staff, get overwhelmed.

It is rarely a good thing to turn down business as it not only represents the loss of that conversion but also future conversion from that client. But as the work and orders pile up, you might feel you have no other option.

Instead, consider turning off AdWords. It can help decrease enquiries and customers during this busy season, allowing you to get a better handle on your workload. You can always turn AdWords back on once you’ve cleared your backlog or even after the Christmas period has passed.

Turning off AdWords can also give you the chance to analyse your SEO campaign. You can study how many click-throughs and conversions you get organically, compared to your paid campaigns. It will give you a chance to adjust your SEO tactics and maybe find areas where you can decrease your AdWords campaign.


However, while there are some positives to turning off your AdWords campaign there are also several negatives. Studies have shown that those who turn off their AdWords campaign receive less paid and organic clicks, with some results showing a loss of up to 89% of potential customers. This means, basically, that 89% of traffic generated by search ads is not always replaced by organic clicks when you pause AdWords.pause Google AdWords

Running an SEO campaign and AdWords creates what marketers call a “market ubiquity”. Essentially, between your AdWords and SEO campaigns you have covered all areas of the market. But if you take one away, it doesn’t mean the other will automatically balance things out.

Pausing AdWords can also cause you to drop in search rank results. You might have battled all year to gain your place on the first page of Google, or even the top three positions. Turning off AdWords could see your AdRank drop and your position taken by competitors. This means another tough battle to get back up to position again.

Finally, just like you may lose conversion turning away new clients, you might also be losing conversions by turning off AdWords. Again, looking at the statistics above, missing out on 89% of clicks means missing out on a large chunk of conversions.

And, finally, there is general absentmindedness. Many people have turned their advertisements off, come back from holidays and completely forgotten to turn them back on again. This could mean weeks or even months of lost clicks, conversions and revenue.


So is there a middle ground? The short answer is, thankfully, yes! There are many things you can do to prepare for the holiday season rather than doing something drastic like pausing your AdWords campaign. You can alter your ads or create a special group of ads specifically for the holiday season.

For those in the service and repair industry, adding the words “emergency only” can help decrease traffic without losing rank or conversions.

Similarly, for those in the retail industry, offering a discount or free shipping after the holiday period means most customers will wait until that time to order. You still get their business and conversions, but without orders backing up or losing your AdRank. Creating a seasonal campaign allows you to maintain your ranking and control the rate your orders and enquiries come through.

If running a seasonal campaign isn’t your thing, you can still strategically pause ads without stopping your campaign entirely. Google AdWords automation allows you to set advertisements to turn on and off at certain points of the day. You may wish to turn your ads off on the weekends, or after a certain time of the day. Maybe you only want to turn advertising off for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year. Your advertising will still run and you can preserve some of your ranking, without the drastic drop you’d experience turning Google AdWords off altogether.

Whatever you choose to do this holiday season, BSO Digital wishes you all a merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year! If you need help with your AdWords campaign, contact us today!