Google way to get your web business ready for the holidays

1. Update your wishlist:
Use the Search-based Keyword Tool to find keywords that you never thought of incorporating into your campaign for the holidays. (Here is a how-to guide for how best to use the tool: Monetize The Long Tail of Search).

2. Know what's hot this season:
Research on Insights for Search to see what the “Rising Searches” are and understand how people are searching for your brand (and your competitors!).

3. Read the wish lists:
Who could be looking for you? Type your website URL into Google Ad Planner to see who is looking for your site, broken down by demographic categories like age and gender.

4. Follow the reindeer:
Where else are they going? Use Ad Planner to find other websites that share the same demographics as yours. Putting display ads on that site might be a great way for you to target that audience!

5. Build new toys:
Create new AdWords campaigns for your holiday lines and products. Incorporate new keywords and keep in mind the trends you found on Insights for Search.

6. Train the elves:
Test your AdWords campaigns by introducing new holiday promotions. Then, test your promotions — a promotion for "30% off" might resonate better with your customers than "Buy One Get One Free."

7. Check your list twice:
Use Google Analytics to better understand where your traffic is coming from during the holiday season. Find out who's coming to your website, when they're coming and where they're coming from.

8. Map out the route:
How long are people staying on your website? Use Google Analytics to understand your purchasing cycle. Which pages have the highest bounce rate? And which pages are people leaving the quickest?

9. Test run on the sleigh:
Run experiments using Website Optimizer on the landing pages you have linked from your ads. Make sure the images are in the right place and that they're not a distraction for your customer. Play around with the size of the image and the image type.

10. Does the chimney work?:
Test different versions of your purchase page to find out what works best. Change the "purchase" button on your webpage. Pick different colors — bright versus dark colors — and vary the button sizes. Try out different text on your button. See which of these variations lead to the most clicks to conversions.

This post is written by R.John Christy for


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