How To Create Urgency With Your Customers And Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

Have you ever been to a website with the intention of making a purchase and found yourself compelled to act immediately because of a “limited time offer?”  It is a very effective tactic used by e-commerce websites when they want you to get off the fence and make a purchase.  The offer can be framed a number of ways and can have benefits beyond just getting that one sale.  Here is a quick list of “call to action” ideas followed by a few reasons this should be a regular part of your internet marketing strategy.

  1. The Countdown – The “limited time offer” takes on many forms with the most aggressive being the one that prods you to act during that same visit.  This usually takes the form of a timer or countdown where the offer ends in mere minutes or hours.  It’s a bit more difficult to implement this than some other strategies but I know I’ve fallen for it at least a couple times so it does work.
  2. The Expiring Coupon Code – It’s pretty easy to create a coupon or discount code that is clearly posted on your website and expires at a set time, maybe a few days later.  This gives your visitor a bit of time to consider the purchase but not so much that they forget you exist.
  3. The Limited Use Coupon Code – Competition can be a great motivator and setting up a coupon code that has a set number of uses definitely gets people thinking.  Once the coupon code is used X number of times, it is no longer valid.  You can use this in conjunction with the expiring coupon code to really whip people into a frenzy.
  4. The Holiday Sale – This is one of my favorites!  Check a website like – http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/ – if you want an extensive list of holidays and then pick the ones that are most appropriate for your business.  It’s pretty fun to make up reasons why your business would be celebrating all these holidays and pick out specific relevant products to feature.  For example, maybe all your green shoes are discounted for St Patrick’s Day.  You get the idea, have fun with it.
  5. Free Shipping – Give incentives for customers to reach a minimum purchase amount by offering free shipping on orders over that amount.  You’d be surprised how often people will throw in an extra item just to get free shipping but you need to make sure you have some lower dollar items for them to do this.

Aside from the obvious benefits of encouraging your visitors to make a purchase, there are also some search engine benefits if you take advantage of them.

  1. Update Your Homepage Title – If you’re going to have a sale, then by all means ADVERTISE IT!  It’s the perfect time to update the title of your homepage to reflect your offer.  For example, “Halloween Sale! 20% off your order of our custom silver jewelry while supplies last.”  The search engines love seeing updates to your homepage title that reflect the changing times, it makes you more relevant and shows that you are actually updating your website even if the majority of your content stays the same.
  2. Update Your Homepage Meta Description – Cash in on your search engine listing even further by adding additional seasonal or offer info to your homepage meta description, like, “The next 20 orders will save 20% on their entire order of custom silver jewelry during our Halloween sale. Get FREE SHIPPING on orders over $200.”
  3. Add A Blurb To Your Homepage – It can’t hurt to throw up a banner, burb or image on your homepage that further advertises your incentive.
  4. Create A Page About It – Do you want to take this all the way?  Then create a new page on your website with all the details and Q&A about your incentive and link to it from your homepage.  This further creates relevance for what you’re doing and you might even get ranked for things like, “custom silver jewelry on sale.”
  5. Social Media Blast – Of course, no sale would be complete without letting your followers know so blast Twitter and Facebook with a post sending people to your new page informing them of the details of the sale.  You could even find a way to reward those who “like” or “follow” you with their own coupon code.

In the end what you’re trying to do is encourage your visitors to take action, make a purchase, sign up for your newsletter or whatever your goal is and while you’re at it, take advantage of some of the on-site tools and social media outlets available that will help spread the word and get your search engine rankings moving in the right direction.