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As much as I hate to see the unoriginal adverts airing as early as September and the Christmas lights going up in October, I must keep my SEO hat on and focus on making the most of monetizing this festive season. To get a boost in online sales or conversions this Christmas online marketers need to think ahead, bearing in mind that SEO strategies can take some time to make an impact or take effect.
Get your slice of the online Christmas pie by following some simple tips:
Santa Claus Is Coming To Twitter
Social Media is one part of your online marketing Christmas campaign that should not be ignored. Use Facebook to run competitions that get your visitors or users interacting with one another and your brand. Possibly get them to tag themselves with a special print out Christmas beard or run a competition to find the best user submitted Christmas poem. Any reason to build links and communications with your potential customers and your brand during the Xmas period. These will give you a valid reason to keep them updated as well as build an audience without getting accused of spam or overzealous self promotion.
Create a hash tag on Twitter and start a viral discussion with a topic such as ‘#TweetToSanta’. This will give you plenty of users to follow, be followed by and communicate with in a way that shows your brand as personable, fun and friendly.
Search Twitter for users mentioning your products or looking for your services. This is a great way to source real people genuinely talking about or looking for what you have. Once found, communicate directly with these users mentioning their real name (if available) and letting them know where they can find what they are looking for.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Code
Promotional codes are the new coupons and essentially a digital money off voucher that can be passed around the internet via several sources to create “buzz”. If you offer promo codes then be sure to mention them somewhere on your site. This stops visitors going elsewhere to look for them and creates a tighter sales funnel process.
There are now hundreds of sites promoting and listing companies voucher codes, expirations dates and T&C’s. If you are going to make them leave your site to find codes, my advice to you is to get on to HotUKDeals before any other. This site offers a very quick and easy submit process and is one of the longest running and post popular discount communities on the net. Beware of the ban on self-promotion. Set up a login as a user and visit/use the forum before just posting your code.
Promote your discount codes and vouchers through your social media sites by using an angle e.g. it’s a Christmas gift to your loyal followers or Facebook fans. To encourage your social media audience to increase you could offer the code exclusively to Twitter followers and Facebook fans (although be warned that the code will eventually fall into the hands of the non follower).
Hark! The Herald Angels Blog
Create “themed” blog posts based around your chosen top selling products for your sector during the Xmas period with the name of the product in the anchor text and titles. Make sure these are informative, fun and well written posts. Place a couple of subtle internal links pushing visitors to your site which will create an association in Google and a smooth transition from soft to hard sell, then conversion. You can place promotional codes within your blog post that are exclusive to that blog (e.g. ‘Christmasblog123’). This will let you monitor how successful that post was in driving conversions through your site as well as giving an incentive to visit/explore the main site.
Add Jingle Bells & Whistles
Don’t be afraid to theme up your site this Christmas. Even if your business is not necessarily one that has a direct relation to Christmas and all of its traditions, you can still show yourself as a fun and relevant brand by adding some festive touches.
Last Christmas I Gave You My Analytics Stats
Review past trends in Google Analytics, Insights and Webmaster Tools for your, or your client’s, site. This helps you identify online milestones such as the best selling weekend, potential overall traffic figures and past order volumes. This information can then be used to schedule when to push your campaign and when to lay back on the SEO or social media.
Send your past customers a discount voucher (e.g. Past123) in a Christmas card to encourage them to return to your site and letting you monitor the success rate.
A Virus Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas
From a user point of view, be on the lookout for search result poisoning in your generic Christmas related search terms. During the Halloween period users were bombarded with Trojans and other viruses from sites professing to offer pumpkin design stencils and guides to making Halloween decorations. Google and anti-virus software such as AVG will pick up on these sites, but only after several people have clicked on them unaware of the viral dangers lurking on the landing page.
There, now don’t say I didn’t get you anything this Christmas. This blog post counts as an early Christmas gift for all of you, rendering potential Secret Santa presents and office party gifts fulfilled/void.
Please add any further Christmas SEO or Social Media tips below.