Summer may only just be over and the thought of Christmas may seem far off, but now is the perfect time for businesses to start looking at their online sales strategies if they are to make the most of the Christmas shopping rush, says online marketing company QueryClick. The company is encouraging businesses to ensure their websites are fully optimised to take advantage of the thousands of festive customers expected to start hitting the internet in the lead up to Christmas.
QueryClick helps businesses boost their online profiles and enhance website performance through a range of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) tactics.
Founder of the agency, Chris Liversidge, indicates that businesses should start looking at their web profiles at least 4/5 months in advance of the festive period, giving themselves plenty of time for the search marketing strategies to take hold and have an effective impact.
He said: "When it comes to SEO it is all about the long game, not the short, and it is essential that successful SEO foundations are laid well in advance in order to capture those online Christmas shoppers.
"Optimising your site to make the most of festive traffic needs to be carefully thought out, with a great deal of importance placed on an overall Christmas marketing strategy.
"Businesses should start early by thinking about the most important keyword targets and linking opportunities, as well as ensuring that creative and regularly updated content is uploaded to the site.
"Ranking well for keyphrases relating to your festive products is essential during the Christmas period. In order to do this you need a well thought out marketing strategy which helps your site rank high and compete with your rivals.
"With so many competitor sites sparring for the number one position for similar keyphrases, the earlier you start thinking about your SEO strategy the better chance you have of outranking the competition, and as a result boost sales during the Christmas period."
One such company which has realised the value of early SEO planning is Highland Fayre, a gift hampers company, who approached QueryClick to help both the Highland Fayre website and its festive sister site Christmashamper.com rival competition from national firms offering similar products such as Marks & Spencers and Interflora.
As part of the search marketing campaign QueryClick started working on the company's site six months before the festive period started, creating linkbuilding articles and improving site content and on-page keyphrase usage, with the overall aim of driving more traffic to the site from generic search terms as well as those specific to ChristmasHamper.com products.
During its 2011 Christmas sales period, the Christmas hampers company was able to reach and maintain several top 10 and top 3 search engine rankings for many of the targeted keyphrases. This year, a new website design and re-evaluated keyphrase strategy has been completed with the ultimate goal of improving upon the success of previous festive periods.
Chris added: "Christmashamper.co.uk is a perfect example of a forward thinking company which is able to use its marketing strategy to ensure they make the most of the extra festive web traffic.
"This particular campaign saw some pretty successful results and these were heightened by the fact that the smaller family run company was able to take on the larger corporate giants and win in the battle of the page rankings.
"It just goes to show that no matter what your size, service or sector, a well thought out and planned marketing strategy can go a long way to help boost web traffic and, in turn, Christmas sales."
QueryClick launched in 2008 with just three members of staff and now employees 16 people working on a diverse range of clients including multi-national FTSE 100 company, Aggreko.
More information about QueryClick and the services that they offer can be found at http://uk.queryclick.com