The holiday shopping season is right around the corner, which means there’s just a teensy bit of time left to make some last minute adjustments to your online marketing strategy and drive a few more sales!
I’ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to selling online. I started blogging about handmade products back in 2006 and ran an online shop for a couple of years, starting in 2010. These days, I work full time in SEO at one of the best digital marketing agencies in New Orleans, in addition to running my own blog.
Want some extra cash in the bank this January? Follow these 5 last minute tips to boost your holiday sales online:
1. Create or update at least one gift guide.
Curating gift guides for specific niches and target audiences has been a huge part of how I’ve grown my own blog’s affiliate income over the past few years. Whether you’re a blogger or an online shop owner, gift guides can play a key role in growing your income during the holiday season.
I wish I’d realized this about 5 years ago, back when I ran my own e-commerce shop. If I could go back in time, I would write a few in-depth gift guides, focusing on specific types of gifts or gift recipients, like fun gifts for co-workers.
These gift guides wouldn’t just feature a few pictures and a link or two. I would take the time to write detailed explanations about why each product would make a great gift idea for that specific type of person, so that there would be plenty of on-page descriptive content for Google to analyze.
2. Update your product pages with plenty of descriptive keyword variations.
Speaking of Google analyzing your on-page content… I would definitely take some time to update my product pages and add more natural variations and synonyms to describe my products.
Google recently confirmed that RankBrain, their artificial intelligence tool that helps the search engine understand complicated questions, is now the third most important search engine ranking signal.
Want to help Google understand more about your products? You’ve got to be descriptive and write detailed product listings that talk about your products in all the different ways that your potential customers might naturally search for them.
Need help thinking of ideas for what to include? Turn to Google and use their Autofill and “Searches Related To” features to get inspired:
3. Reach out to local newspapers and weekly newsmagazines for gift guide features.
It’s too late to get featured in the holiday issues of most national print magazines, but if you act quickly, you might still have a chance at a mention in a local newspaper or other local press.
I’ve had a lot of success over the years by developing relationships with local journalists and reaching out with press releases as well as personal e-mails whenever I was involved in a local event or had something newsworthy going on.
One of those journalists, who I now consider a friend, wrote a great article about why you need a press release. Journalists are always working on tight deadlines and need help finding great stories and content. Be helpful, be interesting, and put yourself out there this holiday season.
4. Give Promoted Pins a try.
I should own stock in Pinterest. I’m that obsessed. And advertising on Pinterest? It’s one of the best deals there is when it comes promoting your e-commerce offerings this holiday season.
There are two different types of Promoted Pins you can try:
- pins to boost your engagement
- pins to get traffic to your website
When I publish or update one of the gift guides on my blog, I’ll often promote a pin to boost my engagement. I know that long-term, if I can get the re-pins started, the clicks will usually follow.
At my day job at FSC Interactive, we’ve been working with a local jewelry company to create a Promoted Pins strategy with the “get traffic to your website” pins. We also manage Google AdWords for this same company, and while both paid advertising campaigns are sending tons of traffic and sales to their website, the Promoted Pins campaign offers a LOT of bang for their buck.
5. Create an e-mail campaign designed to drive sales.
In an age where every small biz owner seems obsessed with social media, I see far too many indie businesses neglecting the power of e-mail. Social media channels may come and go (remember Myspace?) but your e-mail list is worth its weight in gold.
When a local t-shirt company came to FSC for help with their online marketing, they were focused on having us develop SEO and social media strategies for them. In analyzing their efforts, I immediately noticed that they were neglecting their e-mail list and I knew it also needed to be a part of their plan.
The list had been woefully neglected for more than 6 months, but we created smart e-mail campaigns and began to nurture their list, generating more than $12,000 in revenue during one weekend flash sale alone.
It’s not too late!
While most SEO efforts can take up to 3-6 months to have a big impact on your search engine rankings, there is still plenty you can do to boost your revenue this holiday season. Plenty of small, positive changes really do add up over the long-term, and what better time to see an immediate return on investment than the busiest time of year for online shopping?
Need some one-on-one recommendations, custom-tailored to your biz? I offer consulting packages perfectly suited for creative entrepreneurs who want to take their online marketing to the next level.