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The holiday season is just around the corner and according to the National retail foundation, the 2016 holiday season is going to be awesome. It is estimated that holiday sales will increase a solid 3.6% to $655.8 billion.

To get the biggest piece of the pie, you need to optimize your pages in advance so that you can reap maximum benefits. Below are 8 simple tips that can dramatically escalate your sales and profit.

Redirect your last year product pages

Make your previous years holiday promotion pages work for you this season as well by 301 redirecting them to relevant products.

Optimize for mobile devices

Well at this point, it has become unnecessary to state but still there are many business owners who haven’t optimized their site for mobile, despite knowing the dramatic rise in usage of mobile devices for search and shopping. It is estimated that almost 40% of the sales will be made through mobile devices. Utilize Google’s mobile friendly test to review your pages.

Update your information

Update your policy pages and make sure that you are providing your clients and customers with all the information they need. Don’t forget to update the contact us, return policy and about us section.

Use holiday specific keywords to optimize your website

Building your pages around unique holiday specific keywords will give you a major boost. Also, make sure that both your home page and internal pages are optimized with holiday and gift specific keywords. Following are are optimization guidelines you can follow:

  • Page Titles – Use holiday keywords in page titles.
  • META Description – Get 1-2 minimum reps of target keywords in this displayed snippet for the search engines.
  • Header Tags – Use one H1 tag and 2-4 H2-H3 tags to highlight specific keywords/products on each of your pages.
  • Body Content – Make sure you have detailed product descriptions and information. Seed your pages with italicized, bolded and underlined versions of your target keywords to denote added emphasis to the search engines. Make sure also to seed your body content with special 2 for 1 offers, free shipping, or discount pricing where appropriate.
  • Use Schema Markup – Have you added aggregate ratings, reviews or appropriate product schema markup to your pages? Google prefers JSON-LD. Use it.
  • URL Structure – Use hyphens, not underlines, when writing up your holiday page URL structures. Include holiday specific keywords where possible and keep them tightly confined to the actual content on the page where possible.
  • Internal Linking – Make sure to link to your holiday specific pages internally with specific target anchor text. Use Holiday Gifts Page or Christmas Gifts for Him as opposed to something more generic like Gift Page.
  • External Linking – Start a concentrated link campaign now from external niche-related authority relevant sites/pages targeting your holiday gift pages. Make sure you use the same or similar target anchor text to those you plan to use internally.
  • Update your XML Sitemap – Remember to update your XML Sitemap with any new holiday specific or seasonal pages.
  • Get Social! – Make sure you have a clear strategy to use your social media channels to push- out and promote your various holiday promotions. Instagram and Pinterest continue to drive buckets of traffic. Retailers and online merchants who created featured holiday bulletin boards drove steady traffic in 2015, they will again in 2016. Review our resources on them here and here and plan accordingly!
  • Test your Web site – Be sure everything works! Proof your Web site for broken links, slow-loading graphics or grammatical errors.

Highly optimize your landing pages

Make sure that your shopping pages have clear calls to action, so when a prospected customer reach on the landing page, he can know what to do next and where to go.
Make full use of use of the following sites :
Google Content Experiments Interface, Hot Jar and User Testing to test different pages on your Web site.

Reduce shopping cart abandonment rates

Cart abandonment rates has been rising at an alarming rate. As per the recent study, it has gone up to 78% in 2016. I now have software that can send emails to people who have abandoned their cart! Set up a chat with me to find out more about this GREAT software.

Offer gift cards and certificates

Gift cards are great when it comes to boosting your sales. It’s not just for the fortune 500 companies, but for business of all sizes. You can utilize it to the maximum by doing some simple research. But before implementing this idea, make sure to customize your gift cards.

Utilize Comparison-Shopping

Comparison-Shopping sites are great to market your products. If you are not utilizing it, you should. Following are some choices you have:

  • Google Shopping Formerly free, Google Shopping became paid-only inclusion in 2012. Retailers participate via a product listings CPC model. If you are a retailer and you are not in Google Shopping, get in there now. It can’t be ignored, at any price!
  • PriceGrabber.com – PriceGrabber is among the best in total monthly consumer searches and are highly-trafficked. Retailers participate via a CPC model.
  • Bing Product Search – Bing provides two products for retailers looking to drive clicks: Rich Caption Ads and Product Ads. Rich caption ads are Bing’s version of structured markup, they are free. Product ads are their paid product. To participate in both follow the steps in Merchant Center.
  • Shopping.com – Very popular choice. Its partner site DealTime.com offers identical results so you can get two sites for the price of one when listing your products. Further, participating in Shopping.com also covers EBAY, ShopLocal.com, Pronto, and others. Retailers participate via a CPC Model.
  • NexTag.com – Has some great customer features that bring back lots of repeat traffic. Consumers can track specific product price changes over time and be alerted when it drops to specific levels. A great engine to be listed on. Retailers participate via a category CPC model.
  • ShopZilla – This site along with its partner site BizRate.com (identical results) is also very highly trafficked. However, overall product inventory tends to stagnate and they serve A LOT of results that end up being out of stock. Retailers participate via a CPC model. There is a $100 minimum starting deposit.

Things are looking good this holiday and in order to cash in on this opportunity, your site must be ready to handle the enthusiastic visitors, ready to spend dollars. Follow the above tips and ensure maximum profit.

That’s it for now! Happy Holiday Season 🙂