7 Ways to Convert More of Your Holiday Website Traffic into Sales

11/30/2016 09:13 am ET Updated Dec 01, 2017

We are in the middle of the holiday season, which is a prime time to generate increased online revenue. Last year, holiday season U.S. retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers for the entire November-December holiday season topped $56.4 billion.

That figure is impressive, but even more impressive is the fact that it's only desktop sales, and doesn't account for sales generated through smartphones and tablets. I recently spoke with several business owners about different strategies to convert more holiday traffic into revenue. Here are seven tips you can use to increase the percentage of holiday traffic that converts into sales.

1. Make your free shipping offer impossible to miss.

"If you offer free shipping like we do, make sure that your visitors see it as soon as they hit your website. A lot of websites will offer it, but don't make it visible until the customer is almost done with the checkout process. Consumers are always looking for the best deal, so make sure your special offerings and discounts are presented in a way that they won't be overlooked. If you really want to make an offer stand out, consider setting it as a slide-out or pop-up notification."

Clint Stelfox, CEO of Golden Eagle Coin

2. Collect emails and implement a holiday-specific auto-responder sequence.

"Increased website traffic during the holiday season gives you an opportunity to add more subscribers to your email list, and then send them an automated email sequence with special offers designed to bring them back to your website to complete a purchase. Don't be afraid to email them frequently, as it will increase the chance of them coming in contact with your brand when they are ready to make that holiday purchase. Adding discount codes or other incentives like free shipping will help your conversion rates."

Aaron Minc, CEO of Defamation Removal Law

3. Use testimonials to establish credibility.

"A large percentage of holiday traffic is searching multiple websites prior to making a purchase decision. You need to do everything possible in order to quickly establish trust and credibility. Including testimonials, either directly on your landing page, or on a dedicated page, will help give your visitors the confidence needed to buy from you rather than leaving and possibly converting on a competing website. If you are going to create a dedicated page for your testimonials, make sure that your visitors know it exists by creating a link to it, preferably above the fold."

Evan Haines, CEO of Alo House Recovery Center

4. Use remarketing to reel previous visitors back in.

"A large percentage of holiday traffic has buyer-intent. They are ready, willing and able to make a purchase. If they leave your website without converting, you can reel them back in through remarketing. Your ads essentially follow them around as they browse other websites on the internet. By "following" them around, you stay fresh on their mind, and you are more likely to be their first choice when it comes time to pull the purchase trigger. Traffic from remarketing ads will convert at a much higher rate than any other source."

James Hannon, CEO of Hannon Legal Group

5. Offer a coupon code via an immediate pop-up.

"If you want to convert more of your visitors into sales, you need to give them a reason to stay on your website and make a purchase. Consumers love coupon codes, so placing one directly in front of them as soon as they land on your website is a great way to ensure they buy from you. I would suggest testing multiple variations, as every audience will respond to coupon offers differently. Experiment with different pop-up trigger times, as well as little elements, like countdown timers."

Victor Tam, CEO of Rove Concepts

6. Publish holiday themed content on your blog.

"Blogs are always a great way to educate and inform your visitors, so take this opportunity to publish some holiday themed blog content. Not many companies do this, and you can really stand out by implementing this simple trick. Holiday themed content that is engaging can create instant fans of your brand, which leads to sales. Even something as simple as creating holiday themed blog post images can draw readers in."

Trevor Nace, CEO of PC Login Online

7. Highlight your company's press and media exposure.

"If your company has been featured in the media or received media exposure, make sure you highlight it on your website. Don't be afraid to let your visitors know who is talking about your company. When done in a non-boasting way it helps to build up your social proof. We make select media coverage visible on our homepage and have an entire press page. Doing this shows your visitors that you are the real deal and makes them feel confident about doing business with you."

Ron Rudzin, CEO of Saatva Mattress

Jonathan Long is the Founder of Market Domination Media®, an online marketing consulting agency. Jonathan also created EBOC (Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Community), a private business forum and founded consumer products Sexy Smile Kit, a teeth whitening kit and Sexy Slim Tea, a detox tea.