It’s almost that magical time of the year again, sale season! Covering the end of year sale events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day, a two-month-long sale extravaganza is an excellent opportunity for any business to increase revenue and create new customers. Early preparation early is essential to achieving your sale season goals. We have put together five top strategy tips to help you prepare for the most wonderful time of year.
1. Consider User Experience (UX) Optimisations For Your Website
Number one and probably the most critical for any online company is to ensure your website is user friendly. Your website is where you turn traffic into conversions. Its essential customers can easily find the product or information they are looking for to convert. Achieve this by identifying any pain points customers may experience on your website and fix them. Below we have outlined a few common pain points we have discovered over the years:
Provide usable navigation and search features
To start with, look at your website’s navigation. Is it easy for customers to search and navigate to what they need? Consider adding search features in your navigation bar if you haven’t already.
Offer real-time support
If customers can’t find what they need, get lost, or have questions that can’t be answered, they can quickly become frustrating and may leave altogether, costing you a sale. Therefore, it’s worth offering real-time support live on your website to solve customer problems and encourage sales.
Provide product filters
Another common frustration is having to trawl through an entire list of products to find a single item. The easiest solution is to provide a filtering function to secure a purchase more quickly.
Optimise for mobile devices
As you will already know, mobile online shopping is becoming increasingly more interactive and robust with social media features, one-tap purchases and direct email communication between devices. Your website must be mobile-friendly to avoid missing out on this ever-expanding platform. More often than not, features that work for desktop platforms don’t always perform well on mobile devices. We suggest jumping on your mobile website to identify any part of your website that can be optimised before the sale season starts.
Provide a smooth checkout experience
One final step before making a conversion is your checkout. You need to ensure that customers can easily understand and navigate your checkout page. Avoid overcomplicating the process by asking for too much information or taking them through several steps before they can even make a purchase. If possible, provide an autofill form or keep form fields to a minimum. Provide alternative payment methods such as PayPal and AfterPay to avoid customers scrambling to locate their seldom-used bank cards. Optimise your checkout process to prevent abandoned carts.
2. Create a Clear Keyword Strategy
Another non-negotiable for sale season preparation is a clear keyword strategy. For the uninitiated, a keyword strategy is essential for improving your website’s visibility on search engines, resulting in more traffic and hopefully more conversions. It is necessary to revisit your plan and outline new or existing keywords you need to target to achieve your sale goals during the sale period.
For example, if your Black Friday offer is 50% off all cookware, you would want to ensure you are focusing on keywords such as “cookware”, “kitchen”, “cooking”, or something similar. Consider what pages you can optimise with these keywords; we would recommend:
Optimise your product pages
Your product pages are your beard and butter. It is not only essential that your customers find all the information they need to convert, but search engines must also clearly understand the information on the page for ranking purposes. Utilising keywords on your product pages will help your product pages rank higher on search engines and increase your website’s visibility.
To learn how to write SEO friendly product page content from a Yoghurt Digital Specialist.
Utilise blogs post
Blog pages are a great tool to provide further information on your products or services to your consumers. Blogs also allow you to incorporate keyword strategies like seasonal blog topics to increase visibility during the sale period. Consider going after engaging phrases such as “Our Top Black Friday Sale Picks” or “Christmas Gifts Guides” to promote your sale products.
3. Website Page Speed
Page speed can be defined as the time it takes for your website content to load and is an essential consideration for UX and a ranking factor for Google and other search engines. Page speed can impact how your website ranks organically, how users engage with your website, and how customers purchase. With sale seasons bringing increased traffic, you will want to ensure your website provides a quick load time to avoid losing sales.
Several tools can help you determine your current website load time; a quick, easy a free tool we would recommend is Google PageSpeed Insights. Copy your website URL into the toolbar; Google will provide you with an overall score for mobile and desktop. It will also highlight if your web page has a below-average speed time and how to fix any issues to prepare for the sale season ahead. Make sure you look at this well in advance; you want to allow plenty of time to resolve any problems.
4. Utilise PPC To Reach New and Retain Existing Customers
If you aren’t already utilising Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, the busy sale period is a great time to get started. Competition in the PPC space is high. Businesses battle it out in bidding wars to make sure their products stand out; that’s why a PPC campaign could help you reach new and existing customers. How you achieve your goal must be clear if and when you implement a paid strategy. A few ways in which you can get ahead with PPC are:
Pre Sale Activity
Every consumer loves a deal, and they love it even more, when it comes early. Pre Sale activity is a great strategy to offer and an excellent opportunity to utilise lead generation ads to build up your database with a warm audience. As we move away from cookie marketing, businesses and marketers must build their IP databases to retarget. Use this sale period to start to create your database by offering “exclusive” offers in return for signing up to your database.
Consider your creative
Test results show that the most effective ads are simple and to the point ad creative when it comes to sales. Make it easy for customers to understand the purpose of your ads by including clear CTAs and promo codes where required.
You want to clarify to your customers that this deal has an end date or is only available for a limited time to encourage them to purchase now rather than later.
Lean on your USP
It can be hard to stand out from the competition around; that’s why it’s great to focus and promote your business’s unique selling points. Spend some time to discover why your customers would want to buy from you rather than your competition. Do you offer free or express shipping, guaranteed delivery before Christmas? Ensure your push this messaging throughout the period to achieve a better CTR.
5. Create Promotional/Seasonal Category Pages
Last but not least, create promotional/seasonal category pages on your website, allowing customers to navigate the products you want to promote, rather than having them search your entire website. Implementing this can improve the overall customer experience on your website whilst promoting the products you want to achieve your goals.
An SEO quick tip: Following the sale period, don’t delete your promotion pages only to create a new one next year. Keep this page live to help build age and link value to this URL. To avoid confusion, remove it from your navigation and add a simple message such as “Our Black Friday Sale hasn’t kicked off yet, but you can see our latest promotion here (insert a link to your sale page”. By keeping the URL live allows you to increase the chances of this page organically ranking each year.
So there you have it, five top strategy tips on how you can prepare for success during the upcoming sale season. If you or your business need any further assistance with digital marketing, we would love to hear from you; don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here.