OK, so it’s only the end of September, but if you’re running an e-commerce business and you want to make the most of the festive season, now is the time to start preparing to leverage your online presence for the inevitable shopping rush. Here we take a look at how a copywriting agency can help you ensure that this year is a bumper Christmas. It’s worth noting that a good copywriting agency can apply many of these tips and ideas to other holiday seasons and special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
The rise and rise of online Christmas shopping
Today, more people than ever are doing their Christmas shopping online, lured in by the convenience, range of choice and the savings that are often involved. Experian’s research for 2012’s festive season showed that there were 2.8 billion visits to online retail websites last December, an increase of 30% on the previous year.
So what can you do to capitalise on this seasonal surge in online shopping? A copywriting agency can help you in two key ways. Firstly it can help you optimise your website for the search engines, and secondly it can enable you to better reach visitors, and most importantly convert them into customers.
Targeting the search engines
Search engine optimisation (SEO) takes time to take effect, and that is the reason why you should be thinking about a Christmas copywriting agency and seasonal SEO even before the clocks go back.
One of the first things you should do is choose some relevant festive related keywords to target with your website. You may find that you have more success by targeting specific niches, rather than generic highly competitive keywords, such as ‘Christmas presents’. If you were running a gadget site for example, you might try ‘unusual gifts for dad’ or ‘cool Christmas gadgets’.
Once you’ve selected your keywords, you can enlist the help of a copywriting agency to create some festive-themed landing pages for you. These can act as gateways to your site for Christmas shoppers, and enable you to target your traffic more specifically.
You should also do some rudimentary checks of your site’s optimisation to ensure that your site is more generally optimised for the Christmas rush, such as:
Is the site easy to navigate?
Is your content of a high standard and error free (a copywriting agency can help you here)
Have you built a social media presence?
Have you used keywords in key areas? (Title and meta tags, meta descriptions, heading and subheadings etc.)
Have you duplicated any content from external sites or elsewhere on your own site? (doing so may lead to some of your webpages being omitted from the search engine listings)
It’s also worth remembering that a lot of people search online these days via smartphone or tablet devices, so you should ensure that you optimise your site for these mobile devices.
Of course, using SEO to bring shoppers to your website is just the first half of the struggle. Once you’ve brought them in, you need to hook them in and keep them on your site long enough to make a sale.
While the quality of your products, the breadth of your range and the level of your prices are all important factors, engaging copy also has a vital role to play in keeping people interested.
A copywriting agency can create festive-themed content for your site which inspires your visitors and encourages them to look around. As well as web content, they can create blog posts such as ‘Five ideas for that special someone this Christmas’, or ‘How to make your money go further this festive season’.
Don’t forget the sales
Experian’s research also showed that Boxing Day 2012 was the busiest online shopping day ever recorded, with 113 million visits to retail websites in the UK. This highlights the importance of preparing your website for the sales, as well as the pre-Christmas period. So don’t scrap your copywriting agency the second Father Christmas leaves – consider using sales-related keywords and landing pages to further capitalise on the post-festive period.
Most importantly, don’t forget that good SEO and content should be for the whole year, not just for Christmas.