If you haven’t started your Christmas & holidays marketing, you need to start now.
Here’s a list of easy things you can do to get your website and online store Christmas & holidays ready:
Different types of online stores need to come up with different kind of marketing strategies.
If you are selling gift items, you should be going full throttle in marketing, because gift shopping will account for more than 50% of all Christmas spending. Same goes for decoration, food, drink, and travel related businesses.
But these are not the only businesses that can take advantage.
Even if your products or services are not directly related to Christmas, you should still devise a Christmas special marketing plan. If you can’t think of a connection, simply offer a special deal or discount on whatever you are selling. Try to be a part of the festivities. Even if it doesn’t bring any sale, it will definitely help with trust building.
Bonus Tip: If you are starting to plan now, try to focus on last minute shoppers. If you can think of a way to accommodate distressed buyers, you might win lots of loyal customers with a lifetime value.
2. Make sure your website and all other branding and advertising media are in good order
There’s no point doing any of the items below this unless your basic branding and online presence is in good working order.
- check that all software and plugins are up to date (back up first)
- make sure there are no broken links.
- is your website engaging? does it provide a good User Experience?
- get content ready and update where necessary
- if selling online, do a test purchase or even just test the contact and call to action items to make sure that they’re working properly
- make sure your website is Search Engine Optimised (SEO)
3.Prioritize Mobile Friendliness & Be Secure
Smartphone users are driving online sales, and digital retailers saw a 80 percent increase in mobile purchases in 2018 over 2017.
Not all of those purchases are made from the comfort of home either—according to Google’s 2018 trend report, mobile in-store searches are up more than 80 percent, and 65 percent of mobile electronic purchases are made by customers looking at those products in-store.
If you want to keep up this holiday season, make sure you offer your customers a great mobile experience and a seamless (preferably one-click) checkout process. Avoid SEO pitfalls that slow site speed to a crawl, such as automatic carousels and annoying pop ups.
Another important aspect for any website, and especially eCommerce websites, is to be secure. Google prioritises secure websites these days in order to make the web safer, not only that it will give your customers more confidence to shop on your website. In the past I have known potential customers to abandon their order because they realised that the website was not secure.
4. Create Gift Guides and Videos
Another interesting tidbit from Google’s 2018 trend report is that 70 percent of consumers start shopping without knowing what they’re going to buy. Curated gift guides are a great way to reach these undecided shoppers—and if your guide’s on YouTube, even better! Google says that 68 percent of smartphone shoppers turn to YouTube when they’re wondering what to buy.
If you don’t want to do a video, make sure your products are displayed in a way that is easy see and use for the viewer.
5. Push Holiday Content
Make sure your customers hear about your holiday sales through your ad copy, email campaigns, blog posts, social media and dedicated landing pages. Whenever possible, include the year in your headlines to assure customers that your sales are current. You should also overhaul your website, so visitors immediately notice your upcoming sales. You can even add a countdown timer to your homepage if you want to generate a sense of urgency. It can take up to a few months, in some cases, for new content to organically gain momentum on search engines – so DO IT NOW.
6. Research Holiday-Specific Keywords
If you want your Christmas or holiday offerings found, keyword research is a must. Useful tips include:
- Use Google Suggest to find popular holiday keywords: start your query with “Christmas” and add your topic.
- Use the Related Searches feature to find more keyword phrases: the bottom of your Google search might lead you to queries you hadn’t considered.
- Include “best” in your query phrase: your customers always want to find the best deals and gift options, so see if you can compete with any “best” keywords.
- Target complete phrases: If you were searching for Christmas presents or boxing day deals, what would you type in?
- If these tips aren’t enough, you can also use Google Trends reports to see what other holiday keywords are popular.
7. Create Dedicated Landing Pages
A ‘landing page’ is the page in your website that the viewer first sees/ arrives at.
Depending on how extensive your offerings are, you can either combine your pre-Christmas and Boxing Day sales into one page or create two separate pages for your two sales. You can keep this page active all year round and update it as you need to.
8. Use Images to Sell Products OR services
Images always helps sell a product. But do make sure you Optimize your images and add alt tags – this is simple best-practice advice for e-commerce stores, but focusing on holiday-specific keywords around Christmas will help customers discover your sales. Put your keyword research to work by adding them to the end of the image text.
9. Put Positive Reviews Front and Centre
Trust seals and guarantees are great, but nothing boosts consumer confidence quite like a positive review. When a customer searches for a specific product, you want them to see your best reviews first-and-foremost. This is especially true on mobile platforms when customers are searching for a vote of confidence in-store before they decide to commit to a sale.
10. Emphasise Your Unique Value Proposition
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is the special something that sets you apart from your competitors. Vague promises of “best in class services” won’t cut it—you need to offer something tangible such as price matching, free deliveries on large items, or money back guarantees. If you can offer a UVP unique to your brand or products, even better.
11. Incentivise Your Promotions
If you want to drive some last-minute traffic to your website, spring for paid ads that include incentives for sharing. Giving away coupon codes and promotional gifts whenever someone shares your website with a friend is a great way to incentivize a visit to your e-commerce store.
12. Build Links to Your Holiday Sales
You might not have time for a full-blown link building campaign before Christmas, but you can earn some last-minute exposure by maximizing your outreach. You can reach out to prospects one-by-one or use something like my tool, LinkAssistant, to automatically find and reach out to important industry figures. This also includes social media. Create enticing images and ads linking back to the specific website pages.
Use online advertising like Google Adwords to give your sales a boost. Adwords can be used for as long as you want and at your own set budget, you can cancel at any time.
So for that extra sales and awareness boost at a time when competition is even greater, Adwords may be worth it.
You must, however, make sure your Ad campaigns are written well and researched. Making sure your keywords are the best for your business and target audience. Without this attention to detail you will waste your time and money.