Promote this content:
1. Absolutely correct contact information
It’s a preventable loss when a customer misses the chance to shop with you because they encountered incorrect basic business details on or off the web. Make sure that the name of your business, its single or multiple addresses, its phone number, and its holiday hours are updated and accurate:
On your local business listings across the local search ecosystem
On all pages of your local business website, including any mention of basic business details in title tags, meta descriptions, footers, contact pages, location landing pages, thank you pages, shopping cart pages, and key content assets.
On your most popular social profiles. It’s so easy when something about your business changes, like hours of operation, to forget to update that info on your Instagram profile, or Nextdoor account. Now is the time to run through your list of social platforms and be sure your messaging is accurate. Be sure to post holiday hours wherever social posting allows.
On your storefront and in-store. Update signage to reflect holiday hours, website addresses, and other basic data so that passers-by and visitors are properly informed.
In your training materials. Particularly if you are bringing on temporary, seasonal help, don’t forget to take a few minutes to train new staff to be able to answer questions about your holiday hours.
2. Your complete fulfillment menu
Again, on your listings, website, social profiles, store signage, and training materials, abundantly communicate all of the following that you have to offer customers:
Buy online, pick up in-store
Buy online, pick up curbside
Buy online, pick up at a fulfillment center
If you do offer remote shipping, be sure to communicate when customers should purchase to better ensure holiday delivery.
One recent survey found that 71% of retailers fear inflation will result in customers cutting back holiday spending and that 67% of retailers are expecting shoppers to be in search of discounts. Those are big numbers. Analysts across the board are also noting a shift in consumer behavior in that people are shopping earlier for the holidays, with some surveys finding that as much as 44% of people now start shopping before Halloween.
If you can come up with an appealing deal for local customers this quarter, be sure you are publicizing it on your listings, site, social profiles, and offline to coincide with these events:
4. Experiences as well as things
Cornell University’s Thomas Gilovich was an early researcher into whether possessions or experiences create more lasting human happiness. He found that people bond over shared experiences, and concluded:
“You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless, they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
Of course, most local businesses will be selling goods this holiday shopping season, but if you can also promote a memorable experience of some kind this year, it could help you build strong relationships within your community that will make your business a cherished part of local life. It can also dovetail with the growing desire for more sustainable gift-giving options.
Maybe your shop can host a caroling program or walk, a tree lighting or community stroll to see decorated homes, a toy or food drive, an inclusive event that celebrates the holidays of multiple cultures and faiths, a raffle or fundraiser, a Santa Claus booth, a Salvation Army bell ringer, an outdoor holiday movie night, a walk for a cause, a community clean-up of a natural feature or any of a host of other intangible but memorable choices.
When it comes to selling goods, maybe your window display is so full of hope and inspiration that it becomes a hallmark of the season, or maybe your signage this year shows how you are greening your business by offering gifts with the least packaging, or that are locally-produced, or that include a 10% donation to an important local charity such as a shelter for neighbors who have become homeless. Or perhaps, if your inventory is entirely made up of physical goods, you can partner with a fellow business owner to cross-sell their experience-based services, like the gift of a meal, health and beauty appointment, or an annual pass to access state parks.
All such events and offers can be publicized on your site, listings, and social profiles, and if your idea is big enough, you should seek press about it from your local newspaper and local bloggers, as well, to really get the word out.
5. E-E-A-T for the holidays
If Q4 seems to have snuck up on you and you never found the time this past year to develop an online presence that role models Google’s concept of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T), please read the Google E-E-A-T guide in the Moz Learning Center to help you build something great over the course of 2024. In the meantime, here are 4 quick kinds of content you can promote right now to add a little local E-E-A-T for the holidays.
Experience — Take the five best local reviews your business has received that prove genuine customers have had a great first-hand experience with your brand and promote those reviews on your website homepage, on your Google Updates (formerly known as Google posts, and on your social profiles.
Expertise — Film a short video in which the member of your staff with the most experience in your field explains what they do and why local people trust your brand during the holidays, on the basis of its history of serving the community and the expertise of its employees. Upload this video to your social profiles, site, and the Google Business Profile image/video section.
Authoritativeness — Write a blog post on community holiday happenings or deals that relate in some way to what your business does and ask your fellow business owners to share the link to it. For example, a local restaurant might blog about places to find great treats around town. A local yoga teacher might blog about a community walk for wellness.
- Trustworthiness — Be sure the shipping, refunds, and returns policy on your site is absolutely accurate and easy to find. Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines instruct their evaluators to seek signals like these that a business can be trusted to treat its customers fairly. For the holiday season, consider highlighting your policy link on your homepage. It matters a lot to customers at this time of year.