by Aaron Baar, Staff Writer, December 13, 2016
There are fewer than two weeks left in the 2016 holiday shopping season, and while many — if not most — marketers are deep into their search marketing plans, there’s still time to make adjustments and get those last-minute customers.
By quirk of the calendar, there are two Saturdays (traditionally the heaviest shopping days) remaining until Christmas. That means there’s time to reach consumers who are still heading out or online to complete their gift lists. Here are some tips to make search work.
Make Keywords Work For You: During this crunch time, there are two kinds of shoppers: those who have yet to find the perfect gift, and those who are looking to round out their lists with any item that will do. Strategic use of keywords will reach them both. Be as specific as possible (e.g., “great gifts for teens”) to make sure you’re getting the right customer.
Use Promotions To Your Advantage: Time is neither on your nor your consumers’ sides. Find ways to attract attention by making sure your promotions are highlighted. Tie promotional tactics such as free or expedited shipping (and especially in-store pickup), discounts and/or loyalty program bonuses to your keyword purchases so consumers don’t have to spend time searching for the best options.
Make It Easy To Find (and Transact With) You: Now is not the time for browsing. Consumers want to get their gifts and move on to the next item. Whether online or, perhaps more importantly, in the world, make sure consumers know you’re there and ready to work with them. Update your business listings, highlight promotions prominently, and remember that mobile is where it’s at. Mobile searches looking for items “near me” increase as Christmas approaches, and three-quarters of shoppers who search on their smartphones visit a related business within one day of that search. Make sure your hours, inventory and other information are up-to-date.
Know Your Audience: This is the time to make your customer lists work for you. Use remarketing lists and link data to reach out to customers you know have been looking at your site. Use that abandoned shopping cart data to your advantage. Lean heavily on local search terms to reach nearby customers. And, again, make sure your hours, inventory and contact information is up to date.
Be Social: We’ve already covered how important it is to have a social component to your search marketing. Everyone is checking their social feeds for ideas, invitations and information during their moments of downtime during the holidays. Make sure all of your search tactics are working across many channels, particularly the visual social channels like Instagram and Pinterest.
This is it. The ninth inning, the fourth quarter, the last run. If we were a coach in a sports movie, this is the time we’d make the emotional speech to gear up for the improbable, last-second win. But none of us have time for that, so just get out there and leave it all on the field.