Top 5 Ways to Stay On Top Of Your Online Marketing in 2015

January 30, 2015

It seems like we say the same thing every year, but where did 2014 go!? 2015 is officially underway and it’s going to be a great year. This year, more than ever, we need to make it a priority to update your website each month.

It’s easier than ever for consumers to find information online. We’ve seen a huge shift from desktop activity to mobile activity over the year. Consumers are searching not just to find anything, but to find the right thing. Search engines, like Google, have tried to make this as easy for consumers as possible – even going as far as providing extra content that the consumer may have been searching for without even realizing it. You make think having a website isn’t important or you’re too busy to update your site this month, but the truth is if you don’t have a website that search engines care about then it’s pretty much like you’re invisible online. It would be like having boards over your windows with no sign out front as customers drive by – they would just keep driving.

Sure it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the tasks that you have going on, but even spending as little as 15-20 minutes per month on your website can go a long way. Adding fresh content is key for two reasons: 1. It helps your website be found more in search engines and 2. Your customers want to see fresh, new content each time they come back.

We’ve certainly talked about Google preferring frequent website updates before, but it’s important enough to cover again. Search engines, like Google, rank websites that are frequently updated higher than those that are not because they consider it to be a fresh source of information for searchers. Here’s a super simple example, if you subscribed to a monthly magazine and each month you received the exact same magazine in the mail with all of the same content you’d probably cancel it pretty quickly. Similarly, if searchers are finding your website with the same content again and again then they will stop going to it. Understanding that, search engines rank websites with fresh content higher to consistently provide new, quality content to its users.

Consumers are smarter than ever, let’s be real, they have small computers in their pockets. They can find anything they want online and with that their expectations have grown. Searchers expect new content each time they visit your site, and by providing them with this you’re actually giving them a reason to return!

Of course we understand how overwhelming this may sound, but you have the help of a Marketing Specialist to guide you through this whole process. Here are 5 ways that you can stay on top of your online marketing this year:

1. Take some time and plan your website updates out for a whole year in advance
This will make it seem much more manageable when new, exciting things are going on to contact your Marketing Specialist! You already have a bulk of the work off your plate.

2. Track your analytics
Spend some time with your Marketing Specialist to see what worked for you last year for each month of updates that you are working on. If you had a lot of activity around “pet dental products” in February or “decking options” in April, they you may want to focus on adding what’s new in your store relating to those topics this year.

3. Schedule it out
Create a time once a month where you and your Marketing Specialist take as much time as you need to work on all of your website updates at once. This can be as easy and walking around your store and reading off SKUs or getting some good ideas for coupons. Having this time set monthly will be an easy way to rely on knowing that your website will be updated each month.

4. Use seasonal purchases as a guide
Create a seasonal chart based around your business and use this as a guide for website updates for years to come! For example, if in the spring your customers are ready to head outdoors to work on DIY projects then build your content around that. Make it as easy for your customers to find you – and rely on you – as possible.

5. Check out your competition
As a business owner, you are probably already checking out what your competition is up to. If something that they are doing sparks your interest, do it bigger and better than they do!

Putting Your Coupons to a Majority Vote!

November 20, 2012

Do you have difficulty coming up with new coupons each month? Coupons and discount savings are meant to be incentives to your customers, a thank you for shopping with you. Give them the deals that they will want on the items that they buy most. You may ask “How do I know what my customers want each month?” The answer is very simple; let them decide!

The process can be fun and simple! On a white board or poster behind the register/counter, come up with 10 coupons that are directly related to the month or season going on. Create coupons that your customers will be interested in for the time frame approaching. For the entire month allow your customers who are checking out to vote for the coupon they would like to see next month.

At the end of the month, tally up all of the votes and use the top two or three highest voted coupons as your specials for the following month. Come up with some new coupons so that you have 10 more for the following month and repeat the process every month. This will keep your customers involved in the day-to-day happenings at your store and it will ensure that you are giving your customers exactly what they want!

Good Product, Good Deal

October 24, 2012

Enticing your customers in to your store is almost like a math formula, appearance + products + marketing + deals = Customer Success, however there are formulas that exist within these categories that help secure your customer’s attention, such as good product, good deal.

Now what does this mean, good product, good deal; this idea is based on enticing your customer to be on the lookout for deals on the products that they want and need. This does not necessarily mean having a ton of specials and coupons available, but one or two very specific deals that your customers will be relieved and excited to see.

For example, winter is coming, so what products are you as a consumer going to be looking for?  Shovels, snow blowers, coats, gloves, heated dog bowls, so on and so forth, whatever your specialty may be, I’m sure there are one or two items that you will grab on your way home from work. These are the products that you should be thinking about providing deals for. High demand seasonal products are a sure way to keep your customers focused on what you have to offer, driving more interest in your website, your store, and anywhere else you choose to market.

Other ideas would be to look at your website analytics and see where some of your traffic is coming from, focus on traffic from manufacturers, or the search words that consumers used to find you. Another great idea is looking back and seeing what sold at this time last year, any information used to make an informed decision on what is not only a good deal, but a product that your customers crave!

Offering manufacturer’s coupons on your website

March 23, 2012

Trying to come up with coupons for your website every month can sometimes be a challenge. One great way to overcome this is to offer manufacturers coupons. Offering manufacturer’s coupons on your website will not only save your customers money, but you as well since the manufacturer is extending the offer.

Here are a few advantages to having coupons on your website:

  • Increase your Search Engine Optimization by having time sensitive coupons of consumer intent.  Coupons are a great place to improve search engine results.
  • Increase traffic to your website.
  • Increase traffic to your store. Once your customer is in your store, they will most likely purchase more than one product.
  • Increase a return in traffic to your website and store.
  • Increase word of mouth advertisement. We all know people love to talk about a good deal!

End of Winter Coupon Ideas

February 16, 2012

This winter has been milder than normal with less snow then most places anticipated.  If you run a retail store this means your typical winter inventory probably hasn’t moved as well as in years past.  Before you start promoting those spring items how about pushing that winter stock out the door using great incentives and new means of promoting those incentives?

Start by scheduling a sales event (Winter Inventory Blowout) with great deals and coupons for popular items that you need to get rid of. The next step will be to promote it in print, on the radio, in e-blasts, on your website, and even on social media.   Make sure to remind people that we are due for at least one late winter storm (they are already thinking it) and to stock up while the prices are low! Plus folks can always use those items next winter – you’ll help them be prepared and you won’t have to sit on the inventory. If you are in a warmer climate simply use the same techniques but for a seasonal inventory blowout or something along those lines.


Employee Input on Coupons

Mick Danahy
August 2, 2011

Coupon Creator

Every month you have the opportunity to post new coupons on your site – and you should! This is one of the most popular pages on your site and will keep people coming back month after month. Sometimes ideas for coupons are easy, especially if vendors give them to you…but what if you can’t come up with ideas?

Ask your employees or store associates! What isn’t selling lately? What’s cluttering the isles? What’s collecting dust? What is over-stocked? What just came in and needs attention? These are perfect questions to ask all employees and should help create ideas for special offers.

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