The holidays are upon us, and with that comes the busiest shopping season of the year. Consumers are already spending at high rates, and they’ll continue to do so for the coming weeks. As a marketer, there’s a lot you can learn from the holiday shopping season…lessons that will help you be more successful this holiday season and in the holiday seasons of years to come.
Here are 5 of the biggest internet marketing lessons you should take away from the holidays.
Don’t wait to optimize for seasonal terms – If you haven’t already optimized your website for seasonal, holiday-specific keywords, it’s a little too late to start getting organic traffic from them this year. But that doesn’t mean that it’s too early to start preparing your website for the holiday seasons to come. The best keyword research tools will give you insight into search trends, showing you which phrases tend to get searched for most often during the holiday season. Make sure you optimize the relevant pages on your website for these seasonal keywords so you can start ranking for them.
Use holiday-driven offers in PPC ads – Pay per click marketing is a very effective tactic during the holidays. You can gain an instant search engine presence for the relevant keywords your customers are searching. But having just any old PPC ads isn’t enough during the holidays. Relevance counts. With that in mind, make your PPC ads and landing pages holiday-driven. Use holiday-specific words to make your ads timelier so they’ll stand apart from the rest.
A strong email list is worth its weight in gold – Email marketing is effective all year round, but it’s especially powerful during the holiday shopping season. If you have a good email list with highly targeted subscribers, temporarily ramp up the frequency of your messages during the holidays with great offers and engaging content. Throughout the year, you should always be focusing on getting more subscribers. The bigger and more targeted your list, the more money you stand to make.
Shipping rates matter – A lot of consumers will be buying presents online. They’re always in search of the best deals, and that goes beyond just the price tag. Shipping rates are especially important during the holidays. Your customers are trying to stretch their shopping budgets to the max, and shipping costs are very important to them. Make sure you offer your customers plenty of shipping options, and you might even want to consider offering free shipping during the holidays. It could be the difference between making the sale or not.
Holiday shoppers often have unique concerns – During the holidays, consumers tend to have different concerns than they might usually have. I already talked about the important role shipping rates play in buying decisions, and staying on the subject of shipping, your shoppers will need to know how long they have to place orders to ensure delivery by Christmas. Make sure these shipping deadlines are posted clearly on your website. Return policies are also of interest during the holidays as customers will want to know if the gifts can be returned or exchanged should they not be what the gift recipient truly needs.
What are some other holiday internet marketing lessons? Share yours by leaving a comment below!