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6 Steps to Prepare Your Small Business Website for Cyber Monday

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white gift box icon on dark backgroundEvery year, it looms – Black Friday, Cyber Monday – the 2014 holiday shoppers flock into stores and spend all their money. Last year Black Friday and Cyber Monday increased sales by 15% and 18%. If you’d like to get on board and drive holiday shoppers to your small business website, then follow these six tips to get noticed.

1. It’s not all cyber and black.
In 2010, American Express launched Small Business Saturday to help promote small business shopping. Now in it’s fourth year, small businesses can count on an even stronger following. You’ll want to capitalize on all three 2014 holiday shopping days.

2. Partner with other small business websites
Sometimes two is better than one. Combinations like dinner and a movie are timeless. If your business is located near other ones, you can ask around to see if you can coordinate a joint discount or event. Similarly, small business websites that are related to yours but not in direct competition might be a good combination. For example, Yola partners with others companies that are useful for our small business customers, such as SiteWit and Constant Contact. Partners and combined discounts are a great way to attract 2014 holiday shoppers

3. Small business social media
Plan your social media content calendar with a minimum of two posts a week leading up to the day. The more posts, the better if it’s within your capacity. Images, links, blog posts, and tips or updates are great for social media. If you’re promoting on Twitter, be sure to use relevant hashtags, such as #SmallBizSaturday, #ShopSmall, #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSat. Vary your posts per each social channel and for each promotion (#blackfriday, #cybermonday).

4. Optimize for local search and reviews
Start getting your Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo Local and Facebook page ready and loaded with reviews. These listings can vastly improve your local search for your small business website. Add any relevant information, discounts and images to your profiles to get ready. Start asking customers for positive reviews right now.

5. Strategize your keywords
Write blog posts, or even add a page to your website, dedicated to local keywords such as “small business Saturday San Francisco.” This will help you optimize your small business website for local search. If you’ve partnered with other small businesses, have them write about your business too and ask for a link back to your 2014 Small Business Saturday page.

6. Talk to local newspapers and high schools
Ask different local media outlets if they plan to write any articles on companies in the area offering 2014 Small Business Saturday discounts or about local small business websites that are selling online. See how you can get involved or even mentioned in the paper. You can even offer a special discount to their readers for the coverage. Don’t forget to include your website keywords in any comments you make for the article as well as a link to your small business website.

What else are you doing to attract 2014 holiday shoppers to your website?

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