That’s right, it’s already that time again - this Friday, Black Friday kicks off the busiest shopping period of the year with 30% of annual sales taking place during this period. Last year, Brits spent £1.4 billion online on Black Friday alone (an increase of 11.7% since 2016).

With so many customers shunning the packed high streets in favour of shopping for the best deal from the comfort of their own home (or from anywhere they choose!), making sure your brand is visible online throughout the festive period is essential to success.

As the big day approaches, how can you ensure that you’re tapping into this huge market and increased web traffic to ensure that it’s a success for your business? Here are our five top tips for boosting sales throughout Black Friday and beyond.

1. Do your housekeeping

Firstly, if you’re intending to drive extra traffic to your website throughout the festive season, making sure it works when they get there is a good start! If your site’s not ready for an increase in traffic and crashes amidst the Black Friday rush, you’re going to miss out on a huge number of potential sales. Shoppers will simply move onto one of your competitor’s who have a fully functioning website.

Make sure navigation is easy and customers will be able to find everything they want when they get to your landing pages. This includes information such as your shipping and returns policy, contact us page and FAQs pages to help them ease any concerns before they decide to take you up on your offers.

Now is the time to involve CRO and UX teams to help identify any bottlenecks on your site or in your checkout process before your campaigns go live. You want to avoid having customers leave the site because they’re unable to complete their purchase.

When offering discounts, your margins will also be a lot tighter and now is the perfect time to leverage cross and upselling so ensure that your website it set up for this too.

When reviewing your site, key elements to consider are:

  • Your product or service proposition with clear messaging
  • Provide clear instructions around what to do next with clear CTAs
  • USPs
  • Build trust and validation through reviews, accreditations and testimonials
  • Supporting collateral such as images, videos or calculators

Checking all of these elements and making sure that your site is fit for purpose will ensure that you capitalise on this busy time, and gives you peace of mind that your website will not have to be one of the issues you have to deal with when all of your campaigns go live.

2. Set up your retargeting strategies

Retargeting is an extremely powerful and cost-effective strategy throughout the rest of the year but will be particularly effective around Black Friday. It’s a great way to connect with customers who are already engaged and to entice them back with your Black Friday deals.

Customers who already have an awareness of your brand are more likely to respond favourably to retargeting ads because they will have already built up an impression of you through their own research.

Other brands may be dropping their prices too but, for those customers who have done their research beforehand, they might be prompted to complete their purchase with you.

These ads can also be left switched on for those customers who might not buy on black Friday but will come back at a later date over the Christmas period.

3. Be visible in the research phase with content and PR

If you’ve left it too late to create your own content for Black Friday, don’t panic! There is still a way to get your name and advice out there. At this time of year, journalists are constantly on the lookout for content and will be looking to drive sales from their websites.

They tend to be particularly interested in gift products in the tech, beauty and fashion sectors so, if you have unique deals and offer available, the press will want to know about it. Conduct a bit of research and have a look for any existing product or gift guides that are relevant to your business and see if you can be added in.

Content and PR is a great way to gain traction at this time of year and catch customers as they’re researching the best products, services, deals and brands. Plus, being mentioned by a trusted website or brand is great kudos for your brand and will definitely help to build trust with your customers.

4. Align your on page SEO strategy

Here are a few ways you can optimise your SEO strategy to make sure you drive as many visitors as possible:

Keyword strategy

If you had an SEO strategy for Black Friday last year, the first thing you should do is look at your Analytics platforms to find out which of your pages drove the most traffic and conversions and use these pages as a basis for this year’s strategy.

Remember that there has been a shift in the way that customers search as they become increasingly savvy so, rather than searching for deals in general, they’re now looking for specific products from brands so this is something to bear in mind when creating your keyword strategy.

Landing pages

Once you’re informed on the best keywords to use, you should update or create landing pages to cover these terms or the products or services you intend to promote. If you ran campaigns last year consider update existing pages for this year as these will perform better as they will already have some authority to build on.

Update content

If you have time to create your own festive-themed content, it’s a great tool for catching customers when they’re researching products ahead of making a purchase in the sales. Avoid overly salesy content and stick to informative and engaging content.

Gift guides are the perfect way to generate interest in your products and services whilst providing useful information. You can outline gift ideas for specific family members such as mum and dad or concentrate on gift types such as technology or beauty.

Each gift idea should be accompanied by content on why it would appeal to your chosen audience and a high-quality image. Ensure that you also include links to the chosen product or landing pages to help visitors find anything they might want to purchase.

Aside from gift guides, any other content you can create will all be beneficial so make sure you ramp up your content creation leading up to Black Friday. Good quality new blog posts provide your website and audience with relevant content, helping keyword rankings, giving your site a boost and increasing the likelihood of customers visiting your website.

5. Utilise social media

It’s likely that you will already have a good social media following so why not let them know about your deals too? Social media will probably play a huge part in your Black Friday campaigns so think about how you’re going to utilise it.

Organic posts are a great way for promoting any seasonal content you may have created and driving traffic to your website. Hashtags such as #blackfriday and #cybermonday are certainly ones to look out for but don’t forget to check the trending hashtags too so that you don’t miss anything important.

Social media is great for providing a huge audience but, if you’re paying for ads, it’s highly recommended that you refine your audience to meet the right customers, at the right time, with the right deal and the right product.

Paid social allows you to create audiences based on location, age, behaviour and interest. This helps you to maximise sales by marketing to the right people rather than trying to send out catch-all messages. Don’t forget that you can also retarget on social media channels too.

If you’re not optimising your marketing strategy for Black Friday, you could be missing out on 30% of this year’s sales for your brand. Whether you promote your deals yourself or you team up with other publications to get your brand seen, if you’re missing Black Friday, you’re certainly missing a trick.