Small Business Saturday Prep
Is your company ready for Small Business Saturday? If not, you still have time! Small Business Saturday falls on Saturday, November 25 this year, so make sure to mark your calendars. Small Business Saturday is an initiative by American Express that encourages people to “shop small” the day following Black Friday.
To take advantage of this day, you should take the necessary steps to drive traffic to your site. This process can be easier said than done, which is why we recruited 10 small business experts to give their advice on how to successfully drive website traffic during Small Business Saturday.
Website SEO Optimization
Optimizing your website for SEO is a great way to drive traffic to your site and ensure that when people Google your industry, you are one of the first to pop up. Easy ways to optimize traffic include having a personalized URL link, creating internal links on your website, targeting specific keywords, and, if possible, getting backlinks to your website from other pages. These are small ways that will grow your online brand presence and elevate your status as a business.
- Vicky Franko, Insura
Allocate Funds for Advertising Beforehand
Small businesses can start a fund designated specifically for advertising. Building money over time will ensure that your business can create adequate advertising that will reach your desired target audience. Starting sooner rather than later allows for money to stack up without financially setting your business back. Having those ads strategically placed is sure to add more traffic to your business.
- Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
Social Media Plan to Build Awareness
Create a social media plan to build awareness of Small Business Saturday. Assume that many of your customers or online audience know little about the day. Post frequently but purposefully about what it is and what your business is doing, if anything. If you plan to offer any promotions on the day, social media is the place to promote it.
- Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell
Google SEO Optimization
To drive more traffic to your site, you need to invest in SEO! There is no shortcut to magically showing up only on Small Business Saturday. You will need to build up a rapport with Google first! To do so, you need to perform keyword research & create content that targets what your users are already searching for on Google.
- Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority
Get on the Shop Small Map
Are you an American Express Card accepting Merchant? If you are, then you most likely qualify to add your Small Business to American Express’s Shop Small Map so that customers can easily find you on the important day! Even though Small Business Saturday is moving virtual, many people still want to support small businesses in their area and will use this map to find your contact information and website. Make finding this information easy for customers by not only adding your information to the Shop Small Map but other local directories! The advantage of this is that you have the chance to gain long-term local customers after Small Business Saturday is over. Use your location to your advantage and treat Small Business Saturday as a way to expand your reach in the community.
- Thylan Le, Markitors
Promote A Well-Optimized Landing Page
The best and easiest way to draw more traffic to a website is to create and promote a landing page that is specifically for Small Business Saturday. This landing page should feature all the business has to offer to visitors on Small Business Saturday. It should be colorful and full of short pithy descriptions. And of course, infographics too. All these will sustain the interest of visitors, and will probably encourage them to patronize your brand. Before the day, it is important to do a lot of content marketing and social media marketing. These will increase the amount of traffic that will come to any small business's website.
- Chioma Iwunze, Time Doctor
To create the ultimate shopping experience, team up with other small businesses in your area, celebrating Small Business Saturday. You may make a shopping chart showing all of the participating companies and listing the sales that are going on at each store.
You could create a passport where every small business they visit on Small Business Saturday gets customers stamped on. Customers who frequent a variety of shops in December get a discount that's valid at all of the participating retailers.
- Eliza Nimmick, Tutor the People
Reach Out to Local Journalists
If you do a Google search for "Small Business Saturday" and your city, the results are almost always local newspaper and TV websites that cover businesses in your area. All you have to do is email the reporters who covered Small Business Saturday last year and let them know that you're open for business!
To make it super easy for them to add you to their list, provide them with information about your store in the same format that they used for last year's list. And if you don't see a Small Business Saturday list for your town, write one up including your business and a few other stores you like. With a little luck, the SEO traffic will come straight to you.
- Elliot Brown, OnPay
Launch an Email Newsletter
If you don't have an email newsletter, now is the time to launch one. There's still time to start creating excitement around your business before the holiday shopping season. If you don't have a weekly newsletter, services like MailChimp are an easy way to get started. You can generate engagement and interest by emailing your contacts (start with your family and friends if you don't have a customer list of contacts to email) with just a few updates about what you're working on and any potential offers.
- Lauren Patrick, Curricula
Give Your Content Time to Rank
Small businesses looking to drive traffic to their website on Small Business Saturday should start publishing content now to attract an audience. If you generate the majority of your traffic through search engines, it's important to give your content time to rank. This is why publishing this content as soon as possible is important to make sure your customers can find this closer to the actual day.
Similarly, some social media platforms also need some time for content to gain traction. A clear example of this is Pinterest, meaning that any business looking to generate traffic through this platform for Small Business Saturday needs to start pushing new pins out about this as soon as they can.
- Anna Barker, Logical Dollar