Black Friday weekend is a make-or-break time for businesses who choose to run a sale. If you capitalize on the season of consumerism, make sure you’re ready for it. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with unhappy customers and unsavory reviews in the end.
Don’t let that stop you from holding a sale, though! Not having a Black Friday sale is like failing to show up on game day as a small business. We’ll help you make sure your website and your brick-and-mortar business are findable and ready for the stampede you’re about to receive.
Start With the Virtual Experience
Even if you’re not running deals online, your website is a major asset for Black Friday. People go to Google to look for the best Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals. If you’re having a Black Friday sale and you’re a local business, you need to update and optimize a few key pieces of your online presence for search engines.
While you’re at it, make sure you use keywords people might use to search for this deal on that particular weekend. For example, use the phrases “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” with the names of your most popular products. You should also use Google Keyword Planner to help you choose which words you write across the internet.
Once you have your keyword choices, start updating your pages.
Create a Landing Page on Your Website
The first thing you need is a central hub where you can send all the SEO signals from other places online. Anywhere you post the link to this page is a backlink. This page should tell customers everything they need to know about your Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals.
Most importantly, your landing page should include social proof. Everyone is having sales this weekend! Why should someone choose your business over another? Show them right on the page. Mix together your reviews from platforms like Google, Trustpilot, Yelp, and Facebook. You might even consider adding in some testimonial-type tweets, or anything else customers have said about you that makes your business shine.
Here’s an example for a bookstore:
Once you have your landing page set up, update the rest of your website with the same keyword cluster and links back to the page.
TIP: It’s important not to create duplicate content. Keep it simple and direct people to your main landing page for details.
Google My Business
Next, update your Google My Business profile. Your Google My Business page is a massive asset for you this time of the year. Think of it like the directory for all things SEO. If you’re not updating this page with Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, then potential customers looking for those deals are lost to a competitor. Google will point them in another direction.
Use this checklist to update your Google My Business profile:
- Post an Offer: Your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are offers. Post the specifics with the dates. Include a link back to your landing page for the sale.
- Post an Update: This should be unrelated to selling and more related to helping your customers. Give news or advice that has value to your customers, but somehow loop in your Black Friday deals. For example, post advice on how to use something you have on sale. Make sure you add a button so you can use the link to your Black Friday/Cyber Monday landing page.
- Add an Event: Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just offers, they’re time-sensitive events! Post the event on Google My Business and include all the necessary dates around when the sale begins and ends. As usual, include a link back to your landing page.
- Update Page Info: Go back to your business “Info” section and update it with a sentence about how you have Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Make sure you go back and change this after Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over.
- Ask a Customer to Post a Question: It’s not a bad idea to also ask a customer for a favor. Tell them to “Ask a Question” on Google about your sales. Then you or someone else can answer and include a link back to the landing page for your sale.
- Update Your Photos: During and after Black Friday weekend, update your photos as often as you can. Take pictures of the sales, the people (where legal and acceptable), and anything else you can. Include imagery of your product or service in action to display it’s value. Make sure you label them using your keyword clusters and mention products. Overall think of SEO when you caption any photos on Google My Business.
Social Media Profiles
Last but not least, update your social media profiles. Make sure there are links back to your landing page present alongside your keyword cluster. Facebook also has tools for events and offers that you should use with the same method as Google My Business.
Tip: Prior to the weekend, test all your user experiences end-to-end and do a tech check to make sure nothing will break on the days you need them most!
How to Use Social Proof for Black Friday
Don’t forget that you’re one of MANY businesses marketing their Black Friday sales. Why should someone pick you over another? Use your best reviews to your advantage. Contact micro influencers. Go the extra mile and use all the social proof you can. Here are some additional tips on how to use social proof for Black Friday:
- Recruit a Brand Ambassador, or an army of them.
- Share your best reviews on social media before and throughout the weekend using the Black Friday and Cyber Monday hashtags.
- Connect your customers with WiFi and use it to display and get more social proof.
Empower Your Team and Prepare Your Brick-and-Mortar Store
Finally, make sure your brick-and-mortar store is ready. It seems backward to end with your actual physical store, but online is how people find you. It shapes their expectations. Once they’re in your store, you have already captured the foot traffic. Now you need to impress them.
The best way to succeed on Black Friday during a major rush is to walk through your store in advance with “stampede” in mind. Think “worst-case-scenario.” Get in the mindset that you’re going to get too much traffic. Then complete this checklist as you walk through your store:
- Line of Sight: Does everything look good? Can you see any cleaning products, boxes, or other “unsavory” visuals?
- Updates: Does anything need to be updated? Are your walls dingy? Any lights out? What about your point-of-sale system? Is it time for an upgrade before you get a rush of customers?
- Employee Training: You might consider a secret shopper to test your employee training. It’s important that employees are empowered on Black Friday so that they can solve problems quickly for your customers. Make sure they know how to handle anything that might come their way.
Are You Ready for Black Friday?
Black Friday is easy with a few key components. Plus, it can lead to an influx of amazing reviews. Coming up, we’re going to continue our Black Friday series with more advice for Small Businesses preparing for the holiday weekend. Sign up for our newsletter for last minute Black Friday tips and to learn how to generate more 5-star reviews during and after your Black Friday sales.