October 17, 2009
Luring Online Holiday Shoppers To Your Web Site
How do you lure online holiday shoppers to your Web site?
Through search engine marketing, that’s how. During the holiday buying season, most buyers are doing their shopping with their fingers, and not in the Yellow Pages. Shopping online has become widespread. According to Forrester Research, Internet retail sales totaled $114 billion in 2003. By 2008, online sales are expected to top $230 billion and account for 10 percent of all U.S. retail sales.
Millions of consumers now research online before heading to stores. To maximize holiday sales, businesses need to market to online buyers just as much as to mall shoppers. Most shoppers go straight to Google and plug in a keyword that sends them to a results page. When done correctly, search engine marketing ensures your site turns up.
A recent article on the Microsoft Small Business Center site named ways to make sure your site is consistently at the top of the page:
Use specific keywords. For example, if you sell “scrapbooking supplies,” then “crafts” isn’t specific enough. Too many visitors looking for other crafts will click on and click right off.
Search engine marketing campaigns must be ongoing to be effective. Whether relying on free search listings or paid pay-per-click keywords, keyword popularity and rankings shift constantly, especially during the holidays.
Track where your customers are coming from. “After 100 clicks, you can make a pretty good judgment about whether the words are working, whether people are buying,” says Eric Lituchy of DelightfulDeliveries.com, an online gift-basket business in Syosset, NY.
Promote regional specialties. If your products or brick-and-mortar shop rely on geography or a local customer base, put your city in your keywords.
Check links. Before the holidays kick in, make sure every link works and every product and transaction page loads properly. You don’t want to spend time and money on search engine marketing only to lose customers because of site malfunctions.
Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.