Top 10 Tips That Actually Work For Local Marketing, SEO and E-Commerce During The 2020 Holidays

The holiday season is among us, and with 2020 having been a year with ups and downs (mostly downs), every business needs a good holiday season.

It seems as though all local businesses are doing everything they can to have a strong finish to this tough year. 

As a digital marketing agency, we get to interact with all types of different local businesses, so we understand how critical it is to have a solid marketing strategy.

One of the things we love about that is getting to analyze their data and make recommendations.

We want to provide as much information to our local business community as possible. 

So here we go:

These are the top 10 most important tips that actually work for local marketing, SEO and e-commerce during the 2020 holidays.

E-commerce websites

Now more than ever businesses need an e-commerce website. 

To state the obvious, during the COVID-19 shutdown if you didn’t have some form of e-commerce, your business felt the effects.

Some consumers are still not comfortable walking into stores and shopping.

Providing a quality online shopping experience not only boosts your bottom line, but helps build brand credibility with customers.

Having an e-commerce website helped one of our clients have huge success during the holiday season:

One of our clients launched e-commerce website last year right before the holiday season and then saw the biggest jump in sales in 25 years of company history.

This came primarily from their new online store.

Building an e-commerce website takes time, so get started now.

Making sure to have a website that can sell in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas will make this a very merry holiday season.

E-commerce SEO

Once you have a strong e-commerce website, you need strong e-commerce SEO.

We had an interesting experience with one client last year. 

They sell a very specific product to a relatively specific market, but their competition isn’t as technologically savvy.

Because of that, we were able to get this client on the first page of search engines for keywords like {product} + holiday.

So they rank on the first page for {product} + cyber monday and {product} + christmas sale.

Identify and implement the right keywords as far in advance as possible (3 months is ideal)

One of the critical aspects of getting our clients websites to rank well is doing quality keyword research. 

We spend hours researching for our clients and strategizing in-house to determine user intent and ideal keywords.

Trying to rank for your product + holiday is a solid strategy if you’re in a less competitive market.

If your market has high competition, you’ll need to be more creative.

One strategy that we employ to help some of our highly competitive market clients is to focus on long tailed keywords.

A long tailed keyword is a keyword or phrase that contains your keyword and some other detail. For example, “Cheap blue Yeti mountain bike near me” or “kid friendly mountain bike in Utah”. 

Ranking for “kid friendly mountain bike in Utah” also helps you to rank for “kid friendly,” “kid friendly mountain bike,” and “mountain bike”. 

Our research shows that “mountain bike” has way more searches than “kid friendly mountain bike” since that is less specific.

While there are more searches for the more generic term, the kind of traffic making a specific search like, “kid friendly mountain bike,” is traffic that is much more likely to convert and turn into a customer.

We’ve also found that it’s much easier to rank for 10 low competition keywords that get 10 visitors each than it is to rank for a high competition keyword that gets 100 visitors. 

Employing the long tailed keyword strategy often comes with great success. 

Start promoting right now

Just like with keywords, earlier is better when promoting anything.

We all laugh when we see Halloween or Christmas decorations in July or September, but the companies that are promoting so early know what they’re doing.

These guys know that the holiday season is their most profitable, so they’re trying to prolong it as long as possible. 

In addition, they’ve learned that putting their decorations out early allows consumers to research prices and compare.

Even if you’re not going to host your Black Friday sale right this second, start preparing everything that goes into a successful sale. 

Having all your promotional materials, website, SEO and other marketing all put together long before the holidays makes it easier to focus on your clients and making sales and easier to worry about if you’re reaching the right people. 

Quality Landing Pages

This is another tip where we have a strong testimony.

It’s also something you can start working on right now.

What you don’t want is to be working on your Black Friday landing pages the day before Thanksgiving. 

Having a quality landing page catered towards the holiday that displays your sales clearly is critical. 

The website also needs to be mobile friendly and load quickly.

Take a look at some holiday landing pages from the big guys and see if you can spot the trend.

All three of these have their best offers clearly laid out and targeted towards specific people.

They also offer you an option to avoid the line and buy online. 

All three of these landing pages loads quickly, are mobile friendly and allow you to make a purchase from home.

Especially during times of COVID-19, no one wants to be waiting in long lines trying to get the door buster.

Having a great landing page established EARLY lets your customers know you have a good deal they should take advantage of and they can safely participate.

Improve your load times

Amazon has famously learned that for every 100ms they could improve their loading speed, they could earn 1%. 

We also know that more than half of website visitors leave if a website doesn’t load in 3 seconds.

Making sure your website is fast, on desktop and mobile, is one of the most important tips on this list. 

Another worse case scenario is the week of Black Friday you decide to change your hosting because its too slow. 

Look into your page speed now, change hosts now.

We have lots of tips to help speed up your website too, things like make sure image and video files are as small as they can be; use a Content Delivery Network (CDN); get better hosting; remove unnecessary code (bloat) and plugins from your website; enable caching; lazy load files and more.

If you have more questions about speeding up your site, we can help. 

Social media 

Here at Linkasaur.us we’ve been playing around with social media to see in what ways it can be the most effective.

The results have astounded us.

We decided to dedicate some manpower to Instagram since it is a great way to reach out to small business owners directly.

Most small businesses have an Instagram, but don’t have a full-fledged marketing team. That means their account is likely managed by some kind of decision maker or owner.

Those are the people we want to talk to.

Using Instagram, we reached out to local businesses in our area to promote our free website program and offer SEO services.

In less than one week we had 6 people apply to the program and in 2 weeks our follower count grew by 5x.

Now, hundreds of local businesses see our posts and view our messages.

Several members of the Linkasaur.us team have had really great conversations with local business owners, interested in our services or not.

Social media can be one of the best ways to connect with your consumers, whether your B2B or B2C. 

It also helps establish credibility.

According to a study done by digital marketing magazine, 74% of people consult social media before making a purchase.

If your business doesn’t have social media, start today.

If your business does, but it’s neglected, start by posting once or twice a week and build a strategy.

We have some friends that do some great social media management over at mediaelevated.com if you want to really beef up your strategy or don’t know where to start. 

Update your NAPS

Your NAP is your Name, Address and Phone number.

Wherever your business information is listed, these 3 details should be consistent.

Google uses directories like Yelp, Google My Business and others to help validate and verify your business.

If your information on these directories is inconsistent, Google will see your business as less legitimate.

We offer a directory clean up service to make sure your NAPs are good, but it’s certainly something you can do yourself. 

The other more obvious reason your NAP’s matter is that that is the information your consumers are going to see when they look you up in a search engine. 

If a potential customer looks up your business but the hours on one website are different than the hours on another, they won’t know if you’re open, closed, or just lazy. 

Make sure your information is consistent and up to date everywhere. 

Study Industry Trends

There is plenty of information and research done every year on holiday sales in all types of markets.

One of the best things you can do for your business familiarize yourself with trends, habits, and patterns and learn how to take advantage of them for you and your customers’ benefit.

Emarketer has some interesting data for general trends.

We use blogs like MOZ and Search Engine Journal to help inform our decisions and better help our clients. 

QR Codes

As a little bonus suggestion, Moz gave an interesting idea about using QR codes to direct people to online shopping.

This is also a great idea because its contactless browsing and shopping. 

If you have a brick and mortar shop, put QR codes on the price tags to allow people to learn more about a product.

People still want to get out and window shop so why not add QR codes to your brick and mortar windows so people can shop even when you’re not there.  

This holiday season will be one to remember, one that will definitely be online-focused.

If you aren’t prepared with a strong digital presence, now is the time to make it happen. 

We’re not going back to the way things were before, so now more than ever it’s important to develop a strong digital presence.

Your competitors certainly will be. 

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