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6 effective strategies to overcome summer sales slowdown!

With the sun getting hotter out there, your target customers start thinking holidays and plan for their vacations. Yet unless summer services are what you're here to offer, this shift to a summer mood may hit your biz with a rapid sales slump.

For lots of businesses, summer time turns a "dead" season to "survive". But there's one thing you need to remember: a well-planned business strategy can keep your sales from summer shrinking, and even help you get hold of a bigger market share, while your main competitors are in the slow-down mode.

To get your business ready for the summer, you have to start your wise business planning now. And that's why today we've put up some tips to streamline your SEO, PPC and Social activities for the coming summer months and show how SEO PowerSuite and BuzzBundle can help you here.

Why summer sales fall?

Summertime drives your customers outdoors, making them spend less time in front of the monitor and think of holidays more than of shopping. This makes your business face two common tendencies:

Fewer visitors come to your website
(fewer people search for you in Google and fewer of them click your ads across the web)

Fewer orders are made by the visitors who come
(as less of them actually have a buying intent at that time)

This means you have to take action in two main directions:

And here is how you can get ready for these customer behavior changes and plan an effective marketing strategy for the coming hot summer months.

Important note: The steps below show how SEO PowerSuite and BuzzBundle tools can help you build your business strategy for summer. But in case you're using the software in its trial mode now, some of the features may be limited. If needed, you can get fully-functional licenses here:

Get SEO PowerSuite license / Get BuzzBundle license
Key points for your summer business plan
Part 1 — Find keywords that generate summer traffic

So, your site's traffic has a natural tendency to lower over the summer period. Thus, the obvious way to prevent your sales from slumping down in the summer is working twice as hard as you did before to attract new website visitors. And first of all, you have to find the right keywords — that is keywords with high volumes of summer traffic — to focus your SEO and PPC efforts on.

1. Pick "summer" keywords from your usual keywords list

Even if your target SEO keywords generally perform worse on summer, some of them do better and some — worse. The first task for your summer business planning is to check which of your keywords suffer summer slowdown the least.

1.1 Check all of your keywords in Google Trends, to see how their search volumes usually change in the summer, and pick the ones that suffer summer slow-down the least.

1.2 Take a look at your 2012 traffic stats and pick keywords that performed the best last summer.

Make sure their performance changes were really seasonal, and not simply caused by the changes in rankings — you can compare the changes in keyword traffic and rankings on Rank Tracker's graphs:

2. Find new summer–specific keyword opportunities

2.1 Google Trends can be helpful here again. See which keywords are going to be popular this summer — popular sports event, scandalous celebrities and so on. Quite likely, you can use the keywords in your summer promotions even if they are not directly related to your business niche.

2.2 Another summertime keyword opportunity is local variations of your usual keywords. Remember, when its summer in California, its winter in Sydney, so even if your keywords are generally not that popular on summer, they can be popular in specific geo regions and countries. Check Google Trends to see if some local variants of your keywords produce good traffic on summertime.

2.3 Put your newly found keywords into Rank Tracker's keyword research module, to make the keyword list even wider with many more theme-related keyword ideas. Make use of a number of keyword research methods
(Rank Tracker has 19) here, to spot every possible traffic-generating word.

Part 2 — Push your site higher in Google for the "summer keywords" you've found

1. Find the pages already ranking for the keywords

Check your current rankings for the summer-profitable keywords you've chosen, and find the exact pages that rank for them now — these pages need less of your SEO efforts to get into Google's top 10.

2. Run on-page SEO audit with WebSite Auditor

2.1 Find the needed URLs in your WebSite Auditor's project, and check them for any issues in HTML coding, broken links etc. Fix the flaws WebSite Auditor finds.

2.2 Now switch to the Pages tab to see how well the pages' content is optimized. WebSite Auditor will compare your page to its top ranking competitors to tell you if some extra keywords added can push the page higher in search results.

Note: In case you're using SEO PowerSuite in its trial mode now, you have only 1/3 of your site's pages found and analyzed, so the needed pages may not be included into the project.

3. Run backlink audit with SEO SpyGlass

Now it's time to run some link building for the pages you're optimizing.

3.1 See how your top ranking competitors are building links for their sites. In SEO Spyglass, enter your targeted keyword and see all the backlinks pointing to the website, ranked #1 for your keyword.

Check how the keyword is used in the anchors. Analyze the backlinks' quality and spot some sources to use to build links for your own site.

The trial version of SEO PowerSuite lets you check only 1000 backlinks per website. To run the full backlink audit, you need a full-featured SEO PowerSuite license.

Part 3 — Run a PPC campaign for the "summer" keywords you've found

If some of the summer keywords are too hard to rank high for — consider attracting their traffic with Pay-Per-Click. Switch to Rank Tracker's PPC Research workspace, to check your estimated PPC costs and see if it pays to run PPC ads for the keywords.

Part 4 — Run a social contest to attract new visitors from social media

Running a social media contest can generate you some quick fans, build your email list and drive quality traffic to your site. The strategy behind such contests is quite simple, but you'll likely need a social media tool like BuzzBundle to spread the info and measure results.

1. Brainstorm your contest concept and outline the rules

There are various contest strategies you can make use of, depending on your niche specifics and the resources you have. Yet to ensure the event goes viral over the social networks, put "share the contest in social networks — enter the contest" rule.

Decide on what prizes you provide and clearly outline the rules of your contest.

2. Activate all of your marketing resources

2.1 Post the contest info on your blog and website.

2.2 Send an email invitation to your current email subscribers.

2.3 Make sure the info spreads over all of your social media profiles. BuzzBundle will help you easily post the message to numerous social networks and social profiles.

2.4 Send personal invitations to your friends, colleagues, partners or the most loyal customers through direct messages (make sure you're not spamming your clients, but sending your info to interested people only). You can also do that directly from BuzzBundle tool.

3. Find relevant third-party forums and blogs to post your announcements there

BuzzBundle will also help you here.

3.1 Just enter the keyword, related to your contest, and BuzzBundle will find all mentions of this keyword in social media.

3.2 Make sure you answer any questions your readers ask on forums and blogs:

4. Monitor how your contest spreads and measure results

In your BuzzBundle project, you can create a separate group of keywords, related to the contest. The software will show all social discussions on this keywords in one convenient stream. And you'll be able to track how the contest spreads through the web:

Part 5 — Run a "Bring a friend" campaign to make clients spread the word about you

Over the low summer season, it's wiser for you not only to attract new visitors yourself, but encourage your customers spread the word about.

"Bring a friend and get something" campaign can help you keep your traffic throughout the summer. More to that, as summer-mood makes your customers more open and more communicative , you're likely to get great results.

Part 6 — Revise your paid advertising budget

1. Revise your banner advertising spending

As your revenue per visit has a tendency to change in summer period.

The basic rule here is to calculate the average check per visitor you're likely to have in the summertime and cut down on the ad placements where a visitor costs you more.

Take your site's last summer stats. You need the overall traffic in June-August 2012 and the overall sales over that period of time. This rough estimate can give you an idea of how much you can pay per visit from banners:

Revenue per visit = Overall sales/ overall traffic

Same way, you can calculate the cost per visit you pay for a banner:

Cost per visit = Monthly banner price/ monthly visits it brings

Keep only the banner placements that fit Cost per visit < Revenue per visit rule.

2. Take a closer look at your PPC profitability

The same rule applies to your PPC advertising. As your revenue per visit has a tendency to change in summer period, revise your current PPC campaign — make sure the bids you pay per click are lower than the revenue per visitor you get.

PPC bids < Revenue per visit

Part 7 — Try to raise your average clients spending

Even though your customers are less willing to buy your goods and services over the summer months, there are still some ways to stimulate them buy from you. Think of various special offers and promotions that help you make your clients buy more and spend more on your goods and services.

1. Launch a "Get 50% off the second item" campaign

A simple sale makes your customers spend less. "Get 50% off the second item" kind of promotions makes them spend more and gives you a solid way to monetize your summer traffic.

2. Offer accompanying goods

Wisely offer your customers the accompanying goods and services they're likely to buy. This, again, raises the sum your customer spends per visit.

3. Make your customers come back

Try stimulating your customers to turn to your services more often. Special "Buy 10 items over the month and get 11th free" offers are a good way to raise your summer sales.

And finally…get your mood right!

Don't think of summer as a pre-doomed sales lowering period. Get into the right working mood, set goals, plan the work, reward your team and… be positive and open to your customers — people buy more from the people they like!;)

Tools used:

1) Google Trends

2) SEO PowerSuite and BuzzBundle

Important note: Even in its trial mode, SEO PowerSuite and BuzzBundle can help you a great deal over the coming summer season. But to get the fully functional software you need a Pro or Enterprise software licenses.

Your trial mode analysis will be limited:

SEO PowerSuite
Free License Pro and Enterprise licenses
1,000 backlinks for a website 50,000 backlinks for a website
1/3 pages of your website found All pages of your website found
No historical data saved for comparison Historical data saved for comparison
Get SEO PowerSuite license to unlock full analysis
Free License Pro
30% of discussions found per keyword All social discussions found per keyword
5 keyword groups to track in social media 10 keyword groups to track in social media
50 keywords per project 100 keywords per project
Get BuzzBundle license to unlock full analysis