This holiday season, MonetizeMore is bringing 12 gifts of awesomeness to our dear publishers and blog readers. Follow the series as we publish 12 amazing blog posts, infographics, plus additional monetization freebies just for you. If you want to receive the ebook edition, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll email your 2015 holiday gift.
Whatever niche you’re in, the holidays will always find room in your overall marketing plan. Whether you’re a B2B, B2C, social, gaming, or tech site – the traffic trend and user behavior shift during the holiday season. What’s a publisher to do? Maximizing website traffic is key to increasing site revenue. If you’re planning to start your holiday marketing campaign, or have already created one, these 7 holiday traffic tips can surely help publishers make the most of the season.
1) Fix potential site usability and issues
The holiday rush creates a fury of online activity. Make sure that before Q4 hits, you’ve covered all bases to ensure your site is capable of handling the influx of user activity.
- Check your server capacity and possible downtime causes.
- Optimize load times.
- Update to the latest (and most stable) version of your CMS.
- Make the relevant changes to your site’s architecture if you create a separate holiday section.
- Above all, time your site changes during dead hours (when users are least likely to visit your pages).
2) Optimize for Mobile
User activity is at its peak during the holiday season. Whether it’s shopping or connecting with loved ones, you can expect your users to be “always-on” and “on the go”. Revisit your strategy and make the necessary changes to get your site performing well on mobile. Check loading time, image displays, CTA buttons, and overall responsiveness.
3) Keyword Research + Analytics Data
Here’s the backbone of your holiday marketing campaign. Make data-driven initiatives by looking at your most important search terms. You can use tools like:
- Google Trends to see which topics are trending;
- Adwords Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords that have the most demand/most profitable; and of course your very own
- Search data in Google Analytics. Via Google Analytics, you can also review the past year’s holiday trends: which landing pages were most visited; which offering sold the most; where most of your visitors came from, etc.
- Publisher Reports in Google Analytics show you your most engaging and most profitable pages. Take note of the topics they cover and see how they can match your holiday content.
Tip: Once you have selected your keyword targets, implement on-page SEO to your most important holiday-themed pages.
4) Create your Holiday Content Marketing Plan
Now you’re ready to craft your holiday content marketing plan. Armed with the right data and an optimized website, it’s time to get creative:
- Holiday Graphics – think of one central theme for your holiday marketing. It can be a 12 Days of Christmas content series, or a new coupon code for a sale – anything that you think addresses your audience’s needs during this season. Once you’ve got a theme, incorporate it into your holiday graphics for branding.
- Holiday Freebies – Freebies are always attractive at any time of the year. It’s expected during the holidays. Make your hook stand out by really delving into your users’ needs and searching for a gap in the market. If you’re handing out ebooks and free content, make sure your content adds the most value in your niche. If you’re giving out sale coupons, time your campaign well to give flexibility to shoppers to decide and convert.
- Holiday Landing Pages & CTAs – Prepare your pages. By this time, you should have completed your AB tests to know which CTA and landing page structures lead to conversions. Remember to make use of your keywords and user-behavior data to guide you in building your holiday page section. Prepare the content for your other properties as well, like blog posts, social media messages, emails, and ad copy.
Tip: Calls to action with a sense of urgency (i.e ‘Limited time offer’) highly boost consumer response.
- Holiday Remarketing – All the hype and buzz that come with the holidays can be overwhelming to compete with. No need to fret though, you may already have all the necessary tools at your disposal. Research holiday remarketing. This strategy involves looking at your evergreen content pieces and repurposing them into a brand new shiny freebie (an ebook, for example). You can also compile all year’s infographics and other archived listicles then offer them for download. If you’re a B2C site, check out your overabundant stock and sell it for discounted prices. Create a Christmas wishlist section with both new and old products you carry in stock. For distribution, use paid search, social media, and your email newsletters to encourage both new and loyal users to visit your site again as you remarket existing assets.
Related Read: 11 Holiday Tips for Publishers
5) Publish in advance
To make the most out of search and social media traffic, plan your content in advance and publish at least 45 days prior to actual holiday dates. Leverage the season and earn the most from every visit or page view by being the early bird and carefully timing the release of your offers.
Tip: Create ‘Coming Soon’ banners or texts to encourage visitors to come back for more all throughout the duration of your campaign.
6) Align your marketing channels
Be ready with your distribution and engagement channels by drawing out the marketing plan channel by channel. Each platform may have a different set of target users, so it’s best to come up with an engagement strategy for each – from content/ad copies to timing, to the necessary tools.
7) Holiday Outreach
Holiday outreach is a good way to acquire new site visitors, as well as to connect with influencers in the industry. Outreach can run in a variety of ways using different channels like email, forums, social media. Content that connects or credits influencers and industry bloggers is a great hook to start conversations. Also, letting them test or try out your holiday offer allows them (hopefully) to become brand ambassadors who can drive conversions beyond the holiday season.
Publishers are now crafting their holiday marketing campaigns, or have implemented one already. If you need guidance in hacking this season’s potential gains to your ad revenue, contact MonetizeMore today.