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Blogging to Attract Holiday Shoppers
By: terri
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    More people do their holiday shopping online every year. On average, online retail stores saw their sales for Cyber Monday 2010 (the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend) increase nearly 20 percent over the same day in 2009. If you'd like some of that action at your e-commerce website, keep reading.

    As Jennifer Horowitz explains in an article for Search Engine Journal, the holidays aren't any different from any other time of year in at least one respect: your potential customers have problems they need to solve. You need to show them that you can solve those problems. Never mind what YOU want them to do; it's all about THEM. Remember that, or your visitors will click elsewhere.

    What probably is a little different is the kinds of problems holiday shoppers are trying to solve. If they're shopping online, they're trying to avoid crowds; they really want convenience. At the same time, they may be concerned about not being able to look at the items they want to buy online from all angles, or actually touch them. With this tough economy, they're definitely looking for bargains. They don't want to pay a lot for shipping, yet they may need to have their gifts shipped to multiple locations, given today's scattered families. They don't have a lot of time to get shopping done, as this is already a busy time of year. And yet they want to get something unusual, something that shows they really put some thought and effort into choosing their gift. They may also be looking for something hard to find – especially if they have kids; it seems like there's always at least one “in demand” toy that everyone desperately wants, but the stores run out of early. 

    These are just a few of the problems that may be going through your visitors' heads. So how do you address them? If you already blog, it's simpler than you think. Take these problems and start writing blog posts about them. In each blog post, include links to the relevant items. For example, you could address the shipping issue by setting up a shipping guide, so that your customers know exactly how much it will cost them to ship to various places through you; you can even address the bargain hunters by offering free shipping for totals over a certain amount. Write a blog post about the guide, so your customers know it's there.

    You can really shine with customers looking for a unique gift by creating a gift guide with suggestions. You can even format it as a downloadable PDF; Horowitz notes that you should “remember to brand the PDF with your logo and contact info and fill it with links to what they need to buy.” Include everyone in your suggestions: parents, grandparents, children, boss, secretary, neighbor, best friends, significant other, etc.

    Before you write your blog posts, however, do your research. Look up the search terms that people use when shopping for holiday gifts. Gear your posts to those keywords. “When people search online, your goal is to get your Blog posts to come up. The posts will boast the solution you offer and will easily link them to where they can shop on your site (don’t make them search – make it easy to find products that are related to what you blog about),” Horowitz explained.

    Make your blog into a holiday resource – but be sure to show your personality. Have fun with your blog. Your visitors will also have fun, and they'll remember having fun. That will make them want to return, especially when they're ready to buy. Good luck, and happy holidays!

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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