Anyone who knows me knows I have spent the bulk of my digital marketing career in the e-commerce world. This world has grown tremendously with the popularity of online shopping and is looking like it’s about to have its best year ever. By year’s end we’ll experience Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday from some of the top retailers online. If you find yourself in the retailer’s position, there’s a number of things you can and should be doing to make the most of the holiday season.
Don’t Ignore Holiday SEO
As simple as it may sound, building SEO-friendly landing pages in support of holiday sales will attract a substantial amount of traffic. Pages like a “Black Friday Sale” will allow you to rank your category of products + black friday sale or black friday deals. Not only will the appropriate landing page rank for seasonal keywords, but you’ll also pick up a bit of long-tail traffic. And if you offer sales every holiday season, you can continue to use these landing pages for years to come. Just change out the text of the current year (i.e., updating 2021 to 2022).
Understand the Competition
If you’re holding onto your advertising dollars waiting to see what your competitors might do, just know that they are already planning for the holiday season too. Be sure to have plenty of ad spend in your budget to push out your holiday sales through channels like paid search or through any affiliate networks you may belong to. Check competitor websites as well to have an idea of how they will be promoting their products. Look for any new landing pages, coupon codes they might be using and anything else specific to holiday shopping.
Opt Into Google Shopping
Google Shopping is now one of the main drivers of e-commerce traffic from the search engine. These campaigns, although similar to traditional paid search campaigns, instead allow the advertiser to bid on a catalog of products. Advertisers must upload a catalog of products to the Google Merchant center, then sort and filter through products by attributes like product name, price point, size, gender, color or any custom labels that may be specific to your store. Once your product catalog is separated into different product groups, you’ll set a bid for each grouping of products. Then, when a customer searches for a product similar to yours, your product will show up in search results. Note, if you’re not seeing your products show in search results on the main page of Google, try increasing your bids.
Check Out Your Entire Shopping Process
Finally, with SEO and paid advertising covered, it’s important for you to check the entire customer’s experience. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and simply shop your website. Try to find holiday landing pages, sort by products that are on sale, test coupon codes and take yourself through the entire cart process. If you come across any issues, rest assured that your real customers will come across them too.
Don’t Forget to Watch Analytics
With holiday traffic coming in for your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your analytics. Try to identify any strange patterns in your traffic, see where customers might be getting stuck and take action right away. The faster you can address any issues with your sales funnel, the faster you’ll secure more sales from your holiday shoppers.