The holidays are filled with joy, family, and ever stressful wish list. For a business, you probably have a plan for 2022, are setting lofty marketing goals and figuring out your overall spending budget for office needs.
But let’s talk a minute about what you plan to give your customers this holiday season. Sure, it’s your passion to deliver quality products and services to them year round at competitive prices. But, is that enough? Marketing is an investment gift you can give yourself, but it’s also a gift that you give to your customers as well — both new and existing. Here's a look at a few things you can give your customers.
Easier to Use Website
This is no longer a want. It’s a need for your customers. Letting them find what they’ve come to you for quickly and easily makes or breaks their experience with you. If they have to dig for what they’re looking for, then you risk losing them to someone else who has done it better. You can assess this in a few ways:
- Use Google Analytics to get actual numbers on who is using your website, what they are visiting, for how long, and how they are getting there. Google Analytics is relatively simple to set up, but you may want to talk to an expert to help you decipher your data and determine how to best make decisions based on it.
- Install a heat mapping tool like Hotjar or Lucky Orange. Heat mapping tools give you real user recordings of your website so you can see for yourself where they are going, what they are clicking on, and how far they make it down the page. You can read more about them here. Be sure to ask for this data, always.
- Use a survey or poll to get real opinions. Install a chatbot or survey software, or give users the option to give you their feedback on your website via a form. While you may want to take more subjective opinions with a grain of salt, comments that explain confusion or hard to find items will give you a point of discussion to make improvements on in the future.
Frequent Updates and Relevance
Having up-to-date content tells your audience that you are still alive ’n’ kickin…and ready to service them. How many websites do you come across that may have content that seems like it was so five years ago, or support comments that have gone unanswered? What if they feature products or images that are out of style, or they place an order for an in-stock product to later find out it was unavailable? Would you feel comfortable giving them your business if you weren’t sure if they were paying enough attention or staying on top of today’s needs and trends? Probably not.
Active Social Media Presence
People may look for you on social media before even going to your website. Know which channels are appropriate for your industry and update them frequently. Unpaid posts are good practice as they let your audience know you’re still paying attention and thinking about your business. Paid ads are also a great way to highlight products, services, or sales to new and/or existing customers who may be outside your immediate network. How many products do you discover that you never knew existed or that you needed from a social media ad?
Premium / Rich Content
People prefer visual content, and their attention spans are about 8 seconds long these days. Consider converting some of your written content into short video content. This can be video with people and speakers, or a collection of animated images and text. Consider gated, premium content that ultimately captures a lead to put into a nurturing cycle for users who aren’t ready to commit yet. You could provide a special video, PDF guide, e-book, or free consultation in exchange for someone’s email address that you can use for future marketing.
Short, Concise Content
“Nobody reads anymore”— it’s 100% true. If you have a book’s worth of copy on your website, nobody will read it. Guaranteed. Keep your content in short, digestible chunks and get to the point quickly. Users want to know what is in it for them, so tell them! Having lots of content can be good, but use what you can to make your point clear and strong up front and consider using anything extra in your other marketing materials or content offerings. You can use that extra content for social media posts, videos, brochures, email series, etc. But it doesn’t all need to be on your website.
The other thing about your written content: separate it into small paragraphs and use bold headlines to call out new and important information. People only scan the page, and having key info highlighted and prioritized is going to make your users happier than if it is small, buried and lost with the rest.
How easily can you be found on Google? Studies show most folks don’t make it past the first page of search results. Google takes a lot of these things into consideration when it comes to SEO. A well-maintained, frequently updated site will rank higher than those that aren’t. Social media pages get recognition and awareness out there and are also crawled by Google as well. Google also looks at your content and how valuable it is in relation to what people are searching for. SEO isn’t an exact art; it’s more like a slow burn. Taking all of this and more into consideration will help get you in front of your customers effectively.
Your customers may not know it, and they may not even ask for it honestly. Part of being a great gift giver is being intuitive and finding great things to delightfully surprise the recipient with. But long term, looking at what you are doing in your marketing against what your users are doing and adjusting your efforts based on that will go a long way for both of you. Your users are speaking through their actions, though they may not be telling you outright.
This season, give them the gift of a fresh perspective and user experience through your marketing channels. Help them to better understand what you do and how you fit their wants and needs. This may mean you spend a little and invest in your business, especially if it requires you to look for outside help. A professional agency could be a great fit for you if you don’t know where to start or are overwhelmed.
Our Gift To You
In the spirit of the holidays, we'd like to share a free tool where you can have your website evaluated. Just scroll to the bottom of this page, type in your URL and you'll get instant feedback on how to improve your website.