People increasingly want help to discover and evaluate potential gifts for their loved ones. They’re also using Black Friday as an early buying opportunity. Searches for “gift guide” have skyrocketed over the years around this time, with a notable 250% year-over-year rise in “amazon holiday gift guide” searches. Get on customers’ watchlists early by ensuring your top products are promoted in gift guides – whether you are building that content or partnering with publishers. Even if your products are not the highlighted brands of high-profile gift guides, pay attention to the top item categories that are listed. You should be optimizing your product feeds for the massive waves of non-branded and price-compare terms these guides are going to drive.
Vicki Carayannakis – Director of Paid Media
Search Engine People
I work for a non-profit organization that has never run any type of ‘Black Fiveday’ special for their merchandise. So when I came along, I knew that needed to change. We decided to offer 20% off of our entire online shop, and just like that, we sold over $4,500 in merchandise in 24 hours. My advice? Be over-prepared and get all hands on deck. I never thought we would sell even close to that much and it was extremely hectic trying to put all of the orders together (in a merchandise department of one!). I’ll be taking my own advice this year.
Lauren Dow – Marketing Coordinator
Up with People
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, there are so many things marketers need to prepare for. However, one thing often overlooked is making sure your website is ready to handle the influx of traffic over the holiday weekend and into the following week. There are few things as stressful or as sad as watching your website crash during the five most profitable days of the year. To guard against this, you need to make sure your hosting provider can handle the influx of traffic. Working with your hosting company and a developer run a load test to check your site’s breaking points. If your site goes down it may be time to switch to a more robust hosting provider and look into adding CDN (content delivery network) to your hosting package. It would be a shame to have all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday efforts drive traffic to a broken site.
Paul Larsen – Sr. Digital Strategist
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Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.