By Janette Speyer, Web Success Team-
Shoppers are looking to the Internet for their holiday purchases. With a tsunami of promos geared to the online space, how could they not “shop online and save?”
The first order of marketing cleanup for any business should be to get their website sanitized, “promo-tised” and optimized for search asap. Why? Because you can’t expect consumers to buy from you if they can’t find you or don’t see eye-popping deals to try and buy your brand! Don’t fall into the abyss of the failed and forgotten websites. Start a mop-up early in the year.
Consumers are set on a buying spree during any major holiday. eMarketer reports that today’s shoppers are constantly in an “Always-On Commerce” mode – meaning that they’re connected and in a consideration phase for purchasing. The article also stated: “By 2017, mobile will account for 26.0% of US retail eCommerce sales (which exclude travel and event tickets), up from 19.0% in 2014.”
In this article, we will discuss a few quick marketing tune-up tactics to spruce up your website and “capitalize” on the holiday season.
Do Your SEO Housekeeping
If you want to increase your selling opportunities than do the SEO housekeeping necessary to gain the visibility:
1. Fix Links and Redirects!
Having broken links and error pages on your website is bad for business. Have your SEO manager fix them and make sure all 404 error pages and URL redirects take you back to a reliable shopping page. Search engines want to provide high quality returns and sites with “Not Found” pages won’t convert. Make sure your site is clean and all the links are working. This will help improve your ranking and your customer experience.
2. Keep URLs Simple
Having long URLs and titles with stop words like “to” and “the” are bad for both search and social media sharing. Search engines and some social media sites have limits to the number of characters crawled for each link. Work with your SEO manager to create customized campaign links that are easily searchable. Your URL patterns should be clean and usable.
3. Find the Right Keyword Balance
Each website page should target no more than three branded keyword phrases. Adding more than this will detract from the page’s value and relevance. Track your website analytics to make sure that your pages are optimized for the appropriate keywords and phrases.
Marketing and PR Upkeep
Your website needs special marketing initiatives during the holiday season. You don’t want to lose sales with an out-of-date website or one that is hard to navigate.
1. Review Your Website’s Call to Action
Seems pretty obvious to all of us marketers to have a call to action on any communiqué front and center. It should be on the landing page and be a real and genuine offer or offers. It should generate a “double-take” for viewers and be exciting and compelling. Add an almost a too good to be true offer that rocks their attention. Close that sale on your home page!
2. Have Press Releases Ready to Announce New Seasonal Products
Announce new products via social and PR channels with a press release so that new, shoppers can be interested in the new offerings. Also have a “press room” tab on your website. Visitors are always impressed with where your products have been featured. A story behind the scenes can help build consumer confidence and help close that sale.
3. Keep Social Media Profiles Up-to-Date
Check your website social media feeds and links. Visitors like to follow the “buzz” around your products and services. Social media allows you to showcase your brand and share examples of use. You can create and share compelling stories around your products. This will help visitors make educated choices. Engagement is essential and being a responsive brand to your consumer audience is key to selling.
4. The Consumer Shopping Experience Must Be Quick and Easy
A complicated shopping experience will force visitors to abandon a shopping cart. It is vital to examine the entire sales funnel, from initial contact through the entire online buying cycle. Some users visit your website with the intention of purchasing, but either look for reasons to abandon or need further “wooing.” Make the sale easy for them, one click and they buy. No fuss! Hunting and pecking for items will leave a prospect cold. Upsells can work, but they need to be considerate to the consumer. Work with your web manager to create an easy site flow so your customers can find what they need in a timely fashion.
Holidays Are a Major Part of Your Marketing Plan and Your Website Should Reflect Your Strategic Initiatives.
Your website can be your biggest holiday sales and marketing tool. It is your advertising, your PR firm, your store and your spokesperson all rolled into one. So spend the time to view it from the buyer’s perspective and fix what is missing or sub-par. When you plan your yearly budget, include a holiday website marketing strategy for all seasonal items. This way you will be ready well in advance for crunch time. Putting your “house” in order will make “invited” guests return for more!