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Tips for Using Google to Get Holiday Clicks & Conversions

How to increase sales in tough times

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We’re quickly approaching the end of October. For businesses, that can only mean one thing. The holiday season is nigh! For online businesses, this means that it’s time to kick-start the tactics you should have been using all year. The clock has already begun to tick for getting people to your site and for you to cash in on online shopping for the holidays.

There are a variety of ways that you can use Google to boost your holiday sales beyond simply optimizing your site for the search engine (which is a given). In fact, Google has been so kind as to offer some holiday tips regarding several of their services: Product Search, AdWords, Checkout, and Analytics.

Google Product Search Tips

Google Product Search - Data Feed or Single ItemWhen it comes to Google Product Search, Google points out that if you’ve never submitted to it, you can start submitting your products by using existing feeds that you’ve prepared for other shopping engines to save time and effort.

Google also says, "Use key attributes like MPN, UPC, ISBN, condition, or brand to accurately describe the products in your feed. These values are crucial for increasing your products’ visibility to relevant queries." There are services you can use to create you feeds if your company doesn’t have "the internal resources to build and submit feeds." You can also of course post a single item.

 Google AdWords Tips

As you’re probably aware, Adwords is a wildly popular advertising platform, but are you going about putting your ads together in a way that lets them reach their effectiveness potential? Google says to Write clear, specific, and compelling ads to convince people to click on them. "For instance, if you are running a special holiday promotion, you could mention it in your ad text to drive additional interest."

You can geo-target your AdWords ads right down to specific neighborhoods (or as wide as an entire country or the whole world). This lets you adjust the relevancy of your ads to the audience they reach. Google also suggests, "Use the Keyword Tool to help you build your holiday keyword list so your ads can appear when holiday shoppers search on Google for gift ideas related to your products and services."

Create AdWords Display Ads

I’ll go a step further and suggest incorporating some display ads into your holiday AdWords campaigns. This is a new feature that Google is offering, and display advertising is a trend that is making its way back around now that targeting and personalization technologies are better equipped for success than they were years ago. Not only will display ads potentially attract more eyeballs, they are (in my opinion) better for branding and leaving a lasting imprint in the minds of those who view them.

Google Checkout Tips
Google Checkout Badge

If you use AdWords, display Google Checkout badges in your ads. According to Google, ads that do this have a 10% higher clickthrough rate than those that don’t, and why not? This is a classic advertising strategy. It makes the ads look "clicky". It’s basically a call-to-action. It tells the customers, "click me to buy this."

Google also offers a couple of cost-saving tips when it comes to Google Checkout, which are sure to be appreciated as the economy puts a strain on businesses. You can reduce transaction processing costs if you use AdWords with Google Checkout, because when you do this, you are eligible for free processing on some or all of your Google Checkout sales. They also offer reduced shipping costs via discounted FedEx rates.

Google Analytics Tips

Analyzing data is an important part of moving forward with campaigns and making adjustments to your site, and in that spirit, Google also has a couple tips for using their Analytics service. These include getting the most out of you AdWords campaign by evaluating geographical performance data, and learning where shoppers are exiting your site so you can make improvements to it to keep them there until they buy.

Google Analytics Dashboard

For a more detailed look at Bounce rates, I suggest reading Jason Miller’s article and watching our accompanying WebProNews video interview from SES San Jose with Google Group Manager Brett Crosby and Web Analytics: An Hour a Day author Avinash Kaushik. Search Engine Roundtable also points to some additional holiday tips from Google in video form.

Google or No Google, the Holidays Are Coming

One could argue that these tips are just a ploy to get people to use Google’s services. That would probably be correct, but the fact is that many are already using these services, and may not be utilizing them to their full potential. Is Google the "be-all, end-all" of getting conversions from your site? Of course not. You’ve got other options to make money online during the holiday season.

Other possibilities include: Yahoo, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon, other shopping search/comparison sites, social networks, etc. But people commonly use Google, and that is a cold hard fact.

Here are a few additional bonus tips for converting sales:

- Guiding Your Customers to the Checkout

- Making Efforts To Earn Customer Trust

- Marketing To Your Local Audience

- Making Usability a Focus

Given the data released recently from different parties, it’s hard to tell just what kind of a holiday season businesses are in for. The economy would obviously indicate reduced spending plans for many consumers. However, while Hitwise says that holiday traffic is on the way down, the E-Tailing Group says that 49% of consumers they surveyed still intend to do their gift buying online. Make of that what you will.

I would still expect to make some sales online, but the number is likely to be up to how much effort you put into making them. The point is, economic conditions may create a less-than-stellar outlook for your holiday sales, but there are still tools at your disposal that can help you overcome those conditions and have a successful holiday season.

Tips for Using Google to Get Holiday Clicks & Conversions


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  • http://skincaretreatments.myarbonne.com Cat

    Wha t agreat little article on Google Product Search Tips; I have to get busy with my skin care products’ list and submit to Shopping.com – Thanks
     

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    Thanks for the tips…  I’ll use that Google Checkout button, didn’t know it was free for Adwords advertisers.

    • Chris Crum

      It certainly makes for a nice call to action.

  • http://www.malloftheplanet.com/coupons/ Coupons

    Some great tips we’ll sure be implementing this holiday shopping season. Thanks Chris!

    • Chris Crum

      Thanks, glad to help!

  • http://www.thelostagency.com Dave

    ok so google has provided tools withing Google Adwords for estimating traffic, examine these little graphs that show where a keyword hits a high point such as “xmas”

    Another great tool that google provides for free is Google Trends

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=gifts

    The advantage of this tool is that you can see geospecific data about your state or location and where the spikes are for particular keywords, and is the trend higher than this time last year.

    always make sure you capture everything using Google Analytics!

  • http://www.YourLegacyBuilder.com/?t=webpronews Mari Ann Lisenbe

    Great Post :) Thanks for the tips and Enjoy it!

  • http://saveearnmoney.com saveearnmoney

    I’ll try this tips. I hope get successfull in Christmas holyday.

  • http://www.petermonroe.com/p-monroe/ Peter Monroe

    Yes, okay, I will try to impliment some of these ideas into my campaign.  Thanks, Chris.

  • http://www.elitechusa.com David Liu

    In today’s Google technoloby , to place an effective AD become more and more difficult, due to the complicated search engine techonology. Merchants have to spend more and more money and effort to have their website meets Google seach engine’s standard. That is not the merchants’ main task. As a merchant, we should focus on improving our service and  products, we should not be borthered by the so called "search engine optomization", just to meet Google’s standard!! It is really an extra burden that should not put on us!  There should be a better way to let merchants’  internet life become easier! Internet shold better service the merchants, not the merchants have to fight for the better internet position.

  • http://www.jtdesigns.com Jason Trump

     Great Article, thanks for sharing.  The holidays come up on us so fast anymore than planning for this busy shopping season is something we should be ramping up for all year.

  • http://www.alohaohawaii.com Charles Flippo

    For those of you who have ever visited the beautiful state of Hawaii, it left an impression and memories you can cherish for the rest of your life.  Some miss it so much they move back, and enjoy its beauty and wonders.  And some will never forget the Kona coffees, or the chocolates, even desiring to find a hula outfit.

     

    There is a company in Hawaii that has fulfilled so many needs since 1992.  From the beginning of Internet marketing, Paradise Partners of the Pacific, LLC has been sending Aloha Around the World.  They have direct access to Hawaii made products and ship it direct to your door.

     

    But this company took it a step further.  They found that an Ebay store was not profitable, as they wanted.  With the problems encountered and never ending fees, they developed their own website.

     

    AlohaOhawaii, a subsidiary of Paradise Partners of the Pacific, has an online website that is open to anyone wanting to place their items for sale.  Similar to an Aloha Swap meet or flea market, AlohaOHawaii charges a one time fee based on the items, usually 10% of the sell price (which you ADD to your selling price) and it stays until you sell it.

     

    The idea is catching on quickly in Hawaii.  They want to see this type of online marketing to become popular and allows them to send to anyone in the world, any item someone may be looking for.  Whether it is Hawaii made, or collectors item, or even something you remember as a child, and someone has it online for sale.

     

    It is true that other people’s junk is someone else’s treasure.  So many items that are collectibles have come through the site and found in the first two months of being online, over 15 thousand people looked from all over the world, and this is before they started promoting it.

     

    We see AlohaOhawaii as a number one source for Hawaii made and unique items leader.  The owners of this company have strong business contacts in Hawaii and around the world, and will certainly become a leader in sharing Aloha Around the World.

     

    If you are curious like we were, then visit http://thekollectorskorner.com

     

    This company will plan to add at a later date, university students sharing & selling or buying from each other.  Their database of Hawaii product suppliers is growing daily and new exciting or unique products will become available.  They welcome suggestions or ideas on products you would like to have access to, and at some point, they would like to add sponsors and ads, but right now, they want you to look at what they have to offer for those outside of Hawaii. 

     

    Email them what you are looking for and they will contact you with reasonable prices and the best of Aloha quality service they offer.  Since 1992, that’s a long time to be sharing ALOHA… and they will share it with you also.  OOOH and did we mention, AlohaOHawaii also will ship a free gift with purchases made through their sponsors, so if you been dying for that surfer key chain or a Hawaiian Love Shell, or some other unique gift you will enjoy, then you need to check them out.

     

    As they say in Hawaii…..Aloha Ahoiho’u  (Until We Meet Again)

     

  • http://sammcfarlane.com Sam

    adwords is confusing as hell, this was a good article, although this subject still baffles me :(

  • http://web-designer-s.com/a/web-design/ web site design tips

    I will also try to adapt and implement some of these tips. Nice article.

  • http://www.malezivali.com Aris from malezivali.com

    What about articles with foreign language (for example slovenian).

    Would it also make sense or only english can be used?

     

    Thanks.

  • http://car2be.com/ Used Chrysler

    Other possibilities include: Yahoo, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon, other shopping search/comparison sites, social networks, etc. But people commonly use Google, and that is a cold hard fact.

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