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5 “Must Do’s” for Holiday Internet Marketing

Just in time for the Black Friday/Digital Monday backlash, a new guide by Marcus Miller offers SEO tips for Christmas. Many of Marcus’ tips are actually about search marketing or user experience, both of which help make the most of the traffic SEO sends you. All are must-do’s for the holiday shopping season.

I wanted to call out some of the most important tips Marcus gives. Some of them make my list because they’re not as well known, while others just have so much impact that it’s crazy to overlook them. Without further ado, here are five high value steps to take for your holiday internet marketing—four of them from Marcus, one of them from EverSpark:

  1. In Store Pickup. Also known as “click & collect,” we covered this after last holiday season and it’s only going to be bigger this year. In store pickup is when customers can make their purchase online through your website, but then swing by the store in person to collect their order. (They pay when they check out online, so you don’t pull inventory from the shelves for phantom sales.)This trend has become huge over the past couple years. In store pickup is popular because it saves customers time, hassle and money. Time and hassle is saved by the convenience of shopping online, and by not having to wait for a package to arrive; money is saved on shipping. For anyone near one of your store locations, it’s probably the best way to shop.Marcus points out another reason to move fast on click & collect: the big chains are doing it. Small to medium businesses already have a hard time competing with big box stores, so don’t let them beat you on the convenience front as well.
  2. Revise your copy. Marcus crowds this away under his “SEO Nuts and Bolts” section, but it could be one of the most high-value tips on his list. At EverSpark we routinely see sales copy that has been hastily written and is full of typos—I recently read one blog post that got the company’s own name wrong.Many of us still have sales pages that were written in the early days of SEO, when cramming keywords was all that mattered. That just isn’t the case anymore. You have to approach each paragraph on your website with a simple question: “Will a person reading this feel compelled to take the next step?”Revising copy can be a big job. For the holiday season, concentrate where it matters most: product descriptions, product category pages, and local landing pages. If budget allows, hire a pro.
  3. Use Marketing Personas. Marketing personas are fictional characters you make up, who each represent one “type” of customer you attract. You might have Sandy, the overworked suburban soccer mom; Ted, the soon-to-be father, and Samantha, the progressive shopper who only wants earth-friendly products. By building online ad campaigns around a specific persona, you improve your targeting and make communications that truly draw them in.Useful personas can’t just be made up, however. They have to reflect the actual needs, wants and attitudes of your real customers. You can determine these by looking at user intent, social media analytics, and even common customer service calls.
  4. The Mobile Website. This is something you hopefully banged out at the start of the year, but if not, you have four more weeks to make good on your resolution. And you should: Google is now handing out penalties if you’re not mobile friendly or if you spam users with app ads.Here are EverSpark’s guides to which kind of mobile approach to use and making it better than your competitor.
  5. Win the Price War. One thing Marcus didn’t mention will affect every visit to your site: price. In the world of internet marketing, with all of its optimization, targeting, and technical tricks, we often forget that the most important factor to a typical consumer is the price tag.A colleague recently pointed out that they saw less and less Black Friday deals (or Digital Monday) on e-commerce sites this year. There’s a reason for that: online prices are often already lower than in-store prices, and consumers are comfortable enough with online shopping that no extra incentive is needed. If that accurately describes your business, your pricing is probably fine.But there are lots of reasons an online store won’t offer the best price. You may be attached to a bricks-and-mortar store, or under contract with a larger retailer. You may not be offering the same kinds of seasonal specials that your competitors are. Or, you may simply not be taking the time to comparison shop.But your customers will.This holiday season, identify your top 10 hottest items. Now search around for each item on Google and see if you can find a better price. If you can, it’s time to offer a holiday discount.

This is just the tip of the icicle when it comes to holiday marketing tactics. Want to make sure your site is the one stuffing stockings this year? Contact EverSpark Interactive and let us help. We’ve even gift wrapped a free in-depth consultation if you contact us today.