Christmas is nearly upon us once again. It’s not only a great time for families to swap presents and celebrate their favorite festival of the year; it’s also a golden opportunity for website owners to dramatically boost their online sales too. But are you ready for it? Are you well prepared? If you’re not, you could miss out on what promises to be the biggest shopping bonanza of the year!
To help you to make this the best Christmas ever from an online sales point of view, here are a few tips to set those cash tills ringing as loud as Santa’s sleigh bells.
Start the snowball rolling
Get on it now! Not only is there no time like the present, but present buying is the name of the game too. If you want to maximize the huge potential of the Christmas present buying phenomenon, and watch you takings sky-rocket, you’ve got to act now. Another few days and it will all be too late. The rush is starting. Don’t get left at the starting gate.
Spruce up your website
You can’t afford to allow yourself to become complacent. Just because your website performed well last year, doesn’t mean that it will perform as well this year. Things change. The economy, people’s tastes, fads and fashions; all of these things are in a constant state of flux. You need to have your finger in the e-pulse and set your stall out to cater for what is in demand, in terms of both taste and product. Remember that your website is your shop window. In the same way that Bloomingdales and Macys re-dress their shop windows for every big shopping occasion, (Easter, Christmas, Independence Day etc.), your shop window needs to be refreshed too.
Keeping your online store open and coping with the rush
Once you’ve opened the doors of your online store and the public are starting to flock in, you don’t want to have to close them again and leave loads of potential customers out on the virtual street, in all of that virtual snow. It’s all very well and good getting the window dressing right. But if the doors get closed because you haven’t got enough bandwidth or the code hasn’t been developed to cope with the rush, you’ll be crying all the way back to the workhouse.
Check out your website’s performance
The best way to check out your website’s capacity and its ability to perform under pressure, is to the BlazeMeter test. BlazeMeter is a professional website performance checking service. It’s the one that many of the major players use. It’s free for small capacity checks (up to 50 site visitors) but the larger the capacity, the larger the cost. There are plenty of other website performance checking tools, many of which are free of charge. You can check out GTmetrix.com and tools.pingdom.com . There are many others you can find by searching online. If techie-stuff is not your bag, then you might need to be working with a good agency that can do this type of thing for you. Also, what happens if your website develops a technical fault? Whichever way the cookie crumbles, you simply can’t afford for your website performance to be found lacking. It could cost you dearly in lost sales.
If you’re not tech-savvy – find an agency to work with
Analyzing your website is not rocket science, but unless you’ve got some sort of feel and basic knowledge of the tech-side of things you could find it difficult. There are plenty of tools around to help, such as the Google analytical reports. The truth of the matter though is that it’s all very well producing the reports, (and relatively easy too). But it’s the analysis of these reports that’s key. More to the point it’s also knowing what to do if the results aren’t what you need them to be. Once again, if you’re not tech-savvy, employ a good agency to do it for you. It might cost you a little, (actually its surprisingly affordable), but if you are potentially in for a Christmas bonanza, the ROI will be worth it.
Keyword, keywords, keywords
It’s time to review your keywords. They are one of the biggest components of SEO strategy. But now it’s time to think beyond the product. Especially since Google introduced its Hummingbird algorithm. It means that you can take advantage of keyword phrases. Of course with Christmas in mind, the title of the festive season is quite literally a key part of many online shoppers search criteria; so take advantage of it. Don’t forget to tweak your Meta tags, Meta descriptions and even your Alt tags. It’s all part of maximizing best use of your chosen keywords.
Revitalize blogs and articles
Now’s a good time to get busy with your blog, (if you operate one, if you don’t, consider starting one), and your article marketing too. Make sure you put in a good sprinkling of your new keywords (2% to 3% is sufficient), but don’t overdo it or you could be had-up by Google for keyword stuffing. Throw in a few backlinks to your website too for good measure.
Sprucing up your landing page
We’ve already broached the subject of giving your website a Christmas make-over, and obviously you need to pay special attention to your landing page. This is where you get the opportunity to snare the shopper’s attention when they first enter your store. It’s where you get the chance to invite them in to browse around. Design in a few banners and images to give your visitors some great Christmas gift shopping ideas, and flash lots of “SALE” notices around to stir up enthusiasm.
Widen the net – Christmas isn’t the only shopping opportunity in the year
Don’t forget the power of advertising through social media. It can really widen your net.
Christmas is also a great opportunity for building up your list of subscribers. If visitors enjoy their shopping experience, give them the opportunity to bookmark your website and to subscribe to your newsletters, receive special offers, and follow your blog.
When Christmas is over, there are plenty of other online shopping opportunities throughout the year, and you want your shoppers to come back to your online store time and time and time again. Now’s the time to get busy.