The 5 Best Practices to Make the Most Out of The Holiday Season

November 22, 2013

Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or an eCommerce retailer, we’re sure you all know that, well, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to break out the holiday decorations, get the pies in the oven, get your seasonal spirit on.

This is your peak season.  It’s the peak shopping season, which means–if you play your cards right–it should make it your peak sales season too. This is the time to drive new business and turn current customers into lifetime clients. This is the time to get traffic to your site, get visitors taking action, get items in their shopping carts.

Here are the 5 best practices you need to know to drive more business this holiday season:

1. Indulge in the Gift of Giving (Coupons, Promotions, Discounts)

Your customers are already looking to buy.

All they need is a little incentive–so give it to them. Holiday deals, seasonal promotions, coupons, limited time offers and more will help your business stay competitive and are they keys to motivating customers into action when all they need is just a little push.

2. Spruce up your SEO and Invest in PPC

Increasing your holiday sales starts with driving traffic to your site. Technical SEO in particular is a great thing to keep in mind this time of year and could have a big impact on everything from your rankings to your conversions. Make sure your site isn’t full of 404 errors, bad redirects and canonical issues which could completely confuse, or worse, turn-off a potential customer. Adding meta descriptions to your pages, working to improve your site speed, making navigation more intuitive, and always keeping the customer experience in mind are crucial too–trust us, Google and your future customers will love you for it.

PPC Advertising is also a phenomenal way to drive traffic, and incredibly targeted traffic too. Make sure to highlight any seasonal deals with special holiday ads. Try revamping your typical, standard ads by taking advantage of holiday season as inspiration for new deals, seasonal offers, special product promotions in your ad copy. Try retargeting and remarking, so you can stay visible and bring customers back to close the deal.

3. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

We can’t say this enough, mobile is where your business needs to be. Not only are customers looking up businesses on the run, services nearest to them, and products right when they’re looking to buy–they’re even looking up products online on their phones while they’re inside brick and mortar stores possibly even holding that product in their hands.

Make sure your site is mobile optimized, user-friendly and ready to go this holiday season.

4. Get Social and Stay in Touch

Your customer’s are all in good spirits, or at least we can all hope so. Now’s the time for contests and giveaways, now’s the time to get involved, to get engaged, to build your brand while building customer relationships.

Social Media: When someone makes a purchase, asks for pricing, or interacts with your business in any other way, encourage that customer to engage with you on the top social sites. Take this opportunity to really get to know your customers so that you can build relationships and not just get more fans on Facebook, followers on twitter, more people in your circles and more pins on your Pinterest boards. Interact with your followers, respond to their comments or engage your fans with quality content, frequent posts, special offers only they can collect, and more.

Email Marketing: Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to encourage repeat business and create customers for life. They’re also a great way to boost sales, highlight new products, and more. Create well-designed, well-written emails and send them to leads and customers who purchase from you, especially during the holidays. Whether or not these customers are giving your products away as gifts or keeping themselves, now’s the time to remind them of what your business has to offer–adding a bonus holiday discount or incentive is always a nice touch too.

Content Marketing: With the holidays right around the corner, there’s a ton of creative material to work with this time of year. Try highlighting holiday deals, new products, suggest ideas for gifts to past and potential customers, and so on. Create fun seasonal videos or themed blog posts. Create holiday-centric infographics, podcasts, eBooks, whitepapers and more.

5. Keep Things Simple

Make it easy by starting early.

Make a plan now to capitalize on the conversation that has been started by your peak seasonal traffic. If you haven’t started generating campaign specific content for the holidays yet, it’s not too late, but you’re cutting it a little close to the wire. According to Google Consumer Surveys, 30% of consumers will have already begun their holiday shopping before Halloween!

It’s the holiday’s you don’t want to add any more stress to your plate than necessary. It’s time to work, but let’s be realistic, you won’t be in the office 24/7–it’s a busy time.  Create a plan of action ahead of time. Think of ways to repurpose already existing content. And don’t forget to set auto-responders when you’ll be away for the day so customers know what’s going on and never feel neglected.

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