How To Increase Your Online Sales This Holiday Season

If You Haven’t Already Started Your Holiday Season Advertising, Don’t Wait Any Longer!

November is here and the holiday season is just around the corner. This means that we’re quickly approaching Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day. Not surprisingly, the last quarter of the year is when most businesses see an increase in sales. So, if you don’t already have your holiday season plan mapped out, it’s not too late to take action and get the most out of your holiday sales. 


The Following Are Some Great Useful Tips To Help You Prepare Your Business For The Holiday Season: 


Don’t be stingy with your discounts/sale offerings – Offering 10-20% discounts during the holiday season just won’t cut it. Shoppers expect higher savings during the holiday season – and rightfully so. If you don’t step up and offer more savings during this time of year, your competitors will.

Most consumers would rather get a discount on specific items they’re shopping for, rather than paying full price and receiving a free item that they may or may not need or want. If you’re going to give away free merchandise with purchases, make sure it has real value. A free pillow with the purchase of a 3-piece sofa set is nothing to get excited over. A free coffee table set, on the other hand, is a big deal.


Send personal invites –Advertising to reach new potential customers is great. But if you’re reaching out to your previous customers, personal invites are much better. Use your email contact list to send out personal invitations, and perhaps additional discounts or coupon codes to those returning customers. If you already have email newsletters going out, that’s even better, as it’s the perfect opportunity to announce those holiday sales.


Use the right holiday season keywords – Whether you’re talking paid ads, social media posts, or blog articles, use the right keywords for the holiday season. Keywords and phrases like “secret Santa gifts”, “baby’s first Christmas”, “Stocking Stuffers”, “Toys for 13 year old boys”, and “Kris Kringle” are just a few examples.

Don’t forget about Social Media – Using social media outlets is a must. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – the more the better.It’s both free and very effective. 


Of course, Google AdWords is always another viable option for promoting your holiday sales. Although you have to pay for this service, if you’re using the right keywords, the return on investment can be totally worth it.

For more on Google AdWords and how to select the right keywords for your marketing plan, click here.

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Increase Traffic and Boost Sales With Online Contests!

Do contests and product giveaways really do anything for your online business?  Will it just add to your spending costs or will it actually improve your bottom line?

One of the main goals of promotional contests and giveaways is to create that initial relationship with the user.   That first step of engagement is crucial.   Perhaps you have excess inventory that has been sitting on your shelves collecting dust.   Giving them away for free in contests and draws won’t make you any money at that particular moment.  But more importantly, it will give you valuable data which will lead to more business.

Contact information, age, gender, geographical location;  All of this information can be invaluable to your business.  In addition to that, you can now stay permanently connected to that potential customer using social media.  “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter for an additional contest entry” for example.

Here are some of the different contest structures you can use:

Social Media Sweepstakes – entrants can enter the contest through social media posts through FaceBook or Twitter.  (more on Facebook contest tips: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/17-tips-for-successful-facebook-contests)

Purchase Required – entrants are automatically entered into a draw upon purchase of a product.

User-generated content – entrants must submit their best photo, idea, or answer, to be eligible to win

Simple E-mail entry – entrants must submit their email address to be eligible to win.

Once you have a healthy list from your contest entries, use that information to your full advantage.  Promote your website, new products, company blog, and YouTube channels. Online giveaways are a great way to reward loyal customers, create more engagement from existing customers, increase brand awareness online, and gain new customers.  

Online giveaways are a great way to reward loyal customers, create more engagement from existing customers, increase brand awareness online, and gain new customers.   Start giving, and you will start receiving.

For more great tips on how to drive more traffic to your website using social media, click here 

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How to Increase Sales With Better Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertisements are a powerful and affordable tool that every business owner should be using.  

With 1.5 billion Facebook members and 22 billion ad clicks per year, it’s an extremely effective way to gain exposure and reach potential customers. However, with so many users and competitors, standing out from the rest can be challenging.  Competition is high, so you want to create your ads as effectively as possible.
Google Ads work well, but the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) can quickly add up costing you more than you had bargained for in costs.  Facebook ads are “display ads” and are not search ads like Google’s.  The average CTR percentage of Facebook ads is only 0.1% as compared to Google’s 1%, making it a more cost-effective solution.
When creating Facebook ads, be sure to consider the following:
Know Your Target Audience
Facebook’s ad targeting options allows you to capture a specific demographic.  You wouldn’t want to target seniors over 65 for the latest technology gadget as seniors are not as tech savvy as the younger generation.  And you wouldn’t target cities like Hamilton or Niagara Falls for your therapeutic massage services that is based in Toronto because most people will not drive that far for a massage.  Determine who your target audience is, and where do they live demographically.   You will get more targeted clicks, and it will save you money on your CPC by not targeting the wrong audience.
Use High Quality Pictures
We tend to view the photo on an advertisement before we actually read the text.  This is not surprising since nearly 80% of the impact of an advertisement is created in the image.  There’s nothing worse than viewing an image of a product and not being able to clearly see the product.  Whether its from pixilation or a poor camera angle, its will deter customers from reading your ad.  Make sure it’s crisp sharp, and have a detailed focal point.   If you’re selling men’s high-end watches, you wouldn’t want a full body shot of the man wearing the watch – you would barely be able to see the watch from that far.  Instead, a close upper-body shot with the watch being the focal point would work much better.
Don’t Push the Sale Too Much
Constantly flooding your audience with sales pitches will likely just scare them off.   Not only is it annoying, but it gives the impression that your desperate and fewer people will buy your product or service.  
Avoid sending traffic directly to a sales page. Building trust first, will result in better leads and sales.  Have your audience participate in a survey to express their opinions, or ask them to sign up to your newsletter offering free valuable content.  You want to establish that relationship before presenting them with a sales pitch or offering.
More information on Social Media marketing and tips on how to boost your business, visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/can-contests-and-product-giveaways-boost-my-online-business/

Ways to Increase Your Websites Page Speed

Google has started taking site speed into account as one of the factors for deciding search result listings. 

The bounce rates (particularly on mobile devices) are higher when the site speed is slow.  According to digital marketing specialist Max Goldberg, a website that loads faster makes money faster.  In addition, it creates a better user experience because nobody wants to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load.  That’s the reality of it.

So, what do you do if you find that your page loading speed is “slow” (generally 3 seconds or more)?  You don’t have to necessarily redesign your entire site.  There are a few ways to increase your page loading speed without an entire website overhaul.

Image optimization – There’s no need to have huge image files on your website.  They can be sharp, clear and of high quality without it being a 2MB image.  Images tend to load much slowly compared to text.  If your image sizes on your website are in the range of 1 MB or more, it can lead to longer website load times.   The more pictures you have, the more this factor plays a part.    You can compress and optimize all of these images. A good standard is to have images in the range of 100 kb in size.

Use system fonts – System fonts may not have the dazzle and funkiness of the custom fonts you can find these days, but it will improve your page loading speed.  Using standard system fonts like Arial or Times New Roman will speed things up, and looks great on pretty much every device in every operating system.

Get rid of the auto-playing videos – If you insist of having video on your website, disable the auto-play.  It’s incredibly annoying to the end user and slows down significantly. Have the video link to your YouTube channel, or have the user manually click on PLAY to watch it.

Minimize Redirects – Redirects triggers an additional HTTP request, which adds delay to page loading.  You should try to avoid redirects totally and should be included only if it’s technically required and if an alternate solution is not available. Your web pages, you should never reference URLs that can redirect to others.

Faster Servers –   The speed at which the website content is delivered by it’s server has a major impact on the load time. This is why hosting companies will vary considerably in price.   It’s the “you get what you pay for” scenario – the cheaper ones are a lot slower than the more costly ones.  If you have a decent budget, opting for a dedicated virtual private server would be ideal.  

Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)  – Google now makes use of an open source standard for mobile devices referred to as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Instead of loading all the content from your site, Google creates its own index of your website. It strips it down to HTML so that mobile devices load sites faster. Google attaches preference to AMP pages when it comes to mobile searches. For websites that were created with WordPress, you can use the AMP plugin for deploying AMP pages.

To learn more about page speed and how it directly affects your SEO rankings, visit http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/this-is-why-page-speed-will-significantly-affect-both-your-seo-rankings-and-conversion-rates/

Increase Website Traffic With Better Marketing Images

A picture says a thousand words. But, a good picture says the right words, and thousands more.

 

We, as humans, are visual beings, which explains why we’re so attracted to photographs. Photography (or images in general) is an integral part of marketing your business or brand.Good quality images will help achieve your marketing objectives and play an enormous role in whether or not you have captured your audience’s attention. This is even more crucial when it comes to product photos.

 

Would you buy something online if you couldn’t clearly see it?

 

Photos that are blurry or pixelated will give the impression of an unprofessional business or a low quality product.  But, high quality, professional images on a company’s website give the impression of a reputable, professional business.  If you don’t have a good camera to take the photos yourself, you can find thousands of high resolution images related to your business on “stock photo” websites such as Shutterstock.

Another important aspect to consider is whether the images you’re using are relevant to your brand and business.  Even if you have a good, high quality image, would a photo of a cute dog with shopping bags be good for a business selling a brand of chocolate?  Of course not.  But, would that same image work for a pet shop? Absolutely.

Adding irrelevant photos just for the sake of filling space will not do you any good. You have to decide exactly what types of photos you want, and what they will add to your website and your marketing materials. Always make sure that the images you choose will add real value to your company’s message.


For more information on how you can increase web traffic, visit http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/how-to-generate-traffic-without-google/