Christmas is coming

And now is the time for you to take a hard look at your current search engine marketing campaigns. With billions of dollars up for grabs, your online marketing needs to be well-planned, well-executed, and well-optimized.

  • Plan Your Promotions Now. Will you offer free shipping and returns, special discounts, or free gifts? Now is the time to decide what special promotions you will advertise to increase interest in your products and give your sales a boost during the holiday shopping season.
  • Evaluate Your Keyword Rankings. Is your website listed in Google’s Top 10 search results for your targeted keywords—the same keywords online shoppers will type into Google to find the products you sell? A Cornell University eye-tracking study recently showed that searchers spend the bulk of their time looking at the initial 10 results on the first page, with a sharp drop occurring after the tenth result. If you’re not within the top 10, customers are likely to go to your competitors.
  • Add Holiday Keywords to Your Campaign. As you look over your keyword lists, start to add holiday-related words such as “Christmas” and “Gifts.” For example, if you sell ski equipment, a phrase on your keyword list might be “gifts for skiers.” If you’re a candle retailer, a phrase on your keyword list might be “scented Christmas candles.”
  • Link Your Ads to Specific Landing Pages. And include a holiday theme. By linking your ads to specific landing pages, you are directing the customer to exactly what they wanted. Think of it in terms of a brick-and-mortar store. If someone walked up to a sales associate and said “I’m looking for a small, red hat,” you would want that sales associate to walk them over to the exact hat they wanted, and not “somewhere in the store.”
  • Predict Peak Volumes. Can your website handle the upcoming increase in volume? It’s vital to predict your peak season volumes and ensure your website is up to the task. Take a look at your volume for the week of Halloween, and prepare for four times that during peak weeks.
  • Integrate Your Efforts. When each activity promotes the next, your message and your brand are made stronger. So make sure to integrate your paid and natural campaigns along with any other marketing initiatives you will embark on for the holiday season–and don’t forget to include social media marketing in that mix. It’s a great way to create buzz around your company and products; generate more unique traffic and ultimately; and drive sales.

Panda approve by LISA WEHR

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