Jewelry Advertisers: No Love for Valentine’s Day in Paid Search?

According to the National Retail Federation, one in five Americans plans to buy jewelry for their sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, totaling some $4.8 billion. You might not know that, however, judging by Paid Search activity in the Jewelry Retail category.

For instance, AdGooroo ranked the top 500 jewelry-related keywords based on Desktop Text Ad spend on U.S. Google AdWords from January 1 to February 5, 2015 and found no specific mention of Valentine’s Day in any term. To be sure, the Top 20 keyword ranking below suggests that it’s business as usual in the category, with top keywords including general terms such as ‘engagement rings’, ‘wedding rings’ and ‘diamond’ as well as branded terms such as ‘pandora charms’, ‘alex and ani’ and ‘kay jewelers’.

Valentine's Day Top 20 Jewelry Keywords 2015 - AdGooroo

One simple reason for the lack of Valentine’s keywords in the Jewelry category is that they may not be all that important.  For instance, while jewelry advertisers spent from $133,000 to $3 million sponsoring the terms found in the Top 20 ranking, they collectively spent only $72 during the period on the general Valentine keyword phrase ‘valentine gifts for her’ and  just $17 on the phrase ‘valentines gifts for him’.

Diamonds Are Forever (at the Top of the Keyword Rankings)

Although Valentine’s Day is reportedly one of the most popular days to get engaged (behind Christmas and New Year’s Eve), keywords related to engagement rings perennially top the Paid Search keyword rankings for Jewelry Retailers, regardless of the season. For instance, according to AdGooroo data, ‘engagement rings’ was the top keyword by spend in the Jewelry category for 5 calendar years in a row, from 2010 through 2014.

The period from January 1 to February 5 was  no different. Six terms related to engagement rings and diamonds generated the majority of spend during the period, accounting for $4.1 million compared to $2.8 million generated by the other 14 terms in the Top 20 ranking.  (One reason for the difference in spend is the fact that engagement rings/diamonds are high-ticket items with a relatively high average cost per click, $6.60, in contrast to the other Top 20 terms, which averaged a $1.84 CPC.)

Ad Creative

Looking at ad creative, we found that only half of the Top 20 Jewelry Advertisers ranked by Paid Search spend mentioned Valentine’s Day in their text ad copy. Those advertisers included Blue Nile, Zales, Helzberg, Tiffany & Co. and Jared:

Valentine 2015 Ad Creative - AdGooroo

Although it seems logical that advertisers would mention Valentine’s Day in their ad copy at this time of year (especially those with television and radio campaigns) it may not be crucial to success. The following word cloud illustrates ad copy found in the best performing ads, i.e., those with the highest clickthrough rate from January 1 to February 5. The size of the word depicted is proportionate to the ad’s clickthrough rate. That is, the bigger the word or phrase in the graphic, the more often the ad containing that word was clicked on by consumers.

Valentine Jewelry Word Cloud - AdGooroo

Nowhere to be found in the word cloud is the word ‘Valentine’, suggesting it may not be a strong influence in whether a consumer clicks a Paid Search jewelry ad at this time of year. Rather, a quick scan shows the most clicked on ads included the terms  ‘Blue Nile’ and ‘Free FedEx’, followed by ‘ring’, ‘diamond’, ’30-Day Returns’ and ‘Forbes Favorite Online Jeweler’, among other terms.

Top Jewelry Advertisers by Paid Search Spend

Setting aside the issue of Valentine’s Day, the following chart ranks the Top 20 Jewelry Advertisers based on their total Paid Search spend on the Top 500 jewelry-related keywords from January 1 to February 5, for both Text Ads and Product Listing Ads (PLAs) across both Desktop/Tablet and Mobile Search.

Valentine's Day Top 20 Jewelry Advertisers 2015 - AdGooroo

As suggested by the word cloud in the previous section, Blue Nile is by far the largest advertiser, leading all competitors with $3.9 million spent on the Top 500 jewelry keywords during the period. James Allen ($2.4 million), Ritani ($1.7 million), Zales ($1.1 million) and Brilliant Earth ($956,000) rounded out the Top 5.

Interestingly, the Top 20 advertiser ranking gives an indication of the diversity of companies competing for the same jewelry shoppers on the search engines. For instance, mid-level specialty retailers such as those in the Top 5 are competing on the same jewelry keywords with luxury brands (Cartier, Tiffany), mass retailers (Amazon.com, Overstock.com), department stores (Macy’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney), specialty watch sellers (WorldofWatches.com) and even local artists on Etsy.

Jewelry Advertisers Spend More on Product Listing Ads

A picture may be worth a thousand words but it’s apparently worth many more clicks on the search engines for Jewelry sellers. Eighteen of the Top 20 advertisers sponsored both Product Listing Ads and Text Ads during the period studied, spending an average of 53% more budget on Desktop PLAs than on Desktop Text Ads and a whopping 333% more on Mobile PLAs than on Mobile Text Ads.

A few key exceptions include Sterling Jewelers’ retail brands Zales, Kay Jewelers and Jared, which each spent more on Text Ads than PLAs for Desktop Search. However, Zales actually led all advertisers in Mobile PLA spend during the period, devoting $349,000 to Mobile PLAs compared to only $267,000 spent on Desktop PLAs.

Other exceptions include luxury brands Cartier, which did not sponsor PLAs during the period, and Tiffany, which invested very little in the ad format. In general luxury brands shy away from Product Listing Ads due to their focus on displaying the advertised product’s price. Lastly, Amazon reportedly does not sponsor Product Listing Ads as a policy.