October means Christmas is Near

october-christmas-shoppingWell it’s now October and if you’re a retailer that means that you’d better start preparing for the Christmas rush. There are only two months and one week to maximise your sales and if you’re an online retailer then not only do you have competition from local businesses, you also have competition from online retailers and websites such as eBay and Amazon. We’ve compiled a list of the top five ways you can prepare for the Christmas season so that you get as many customers through the metaphorical door as you possibly can.

Firstly, it’s really important that your SEO is good. For those unfamiliar, SEO is shorthand for search engine optimisation. That’s how well your website appears on Google. There’s a saying that if you’re not on the first page you might as well not exist and that the second page would be the ideal place to hide a body. The reason is, nobody looks at the second page and beyond. Only the first page matters.

The best way you can ensure you have a high ranking is that you use searchable terms. Nobody is going to search “image 43826388372” but they are likely to search for terms such as “best Christmas gift ideas” so when you’re updating your site, use that term and similar for your alt image text and your keywords.

Its also really important that you have good online content. The reality is that a website with only 20 words is unlikely to be found by Google. You’re best to have at least 300 words per page and include searchable terms but don’t use the terms too much because that can be counterproductive and hurt your ranking.

Next up, you need to make sure you have your Google keywords right. If you don’t you could find yourself wasting money and not getting a lot of return on your investment. That impacts any business’ bottom line but especially small businesses who often run very tight margins. Target your keywords really carefully. By doing so you’re more likely to reach your target market and you reaching your target market you’ll increase your customer base. You don’t want your customers going elsewhere. There’s a lot of money to be made at Christmas time but you need to ensure you market yourself correctly.

It’s essential that when you do your social media marketing in the lead up to the Christmas rush, you target your ads very carefully. Google Analytics can help you out with this. You see, you may think your market is Group A but it could actually be entirely different. Target your advertising on Facebook and other social media sites very carefully. Of course, one other thing to bear in mind is that you should post your ads at the time your audience will be online. It’s no good posting ads when your audience isn’t online. That will just lead to significant wastage and cost you in the long run. That’s the last thing you want. Monitor your competitor and mimic them if you can but ensure you have a point of difference as well.

One point of difference is reliability. How many times have you read in the news that people ordered a product for Christmas yet they didn’t receive it in time or worse yet, they didn’t receive it at all? Make sure that you only advertise products you have in stock or make it clear on your website when people can expect delivery. If you have only 50 iPhone 7s in stock then ensure that your website reflects the true quantity. There’s nothing worse than when a customer buys a product online but can’t get it for a few weeks. It can be really off-putting for them.

These are just a few ways that you can use the Christmas rush to your advantage and increase the number of customers you get through the door. There are of course many others but these tips of SEO, social media marketing and stock levels will get you started on your way to a lucrative Christmas period.

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