I am happy to introduce Ian Vaughan as the next guest blogger here on this site. This one has a very festive feel, so if you’re a miserable humbug who doesn’t like Christmas, then you’re going to have to read something else today! If you do, enjoy!

As you may have noticed across town and city centres across the country stores have been busy putting up their Christmas window displays, lights and decorations for the festive season and your company’s online channels should be no different.

Design, SEO and Promote

A few minor festive graphical changes to the branding of your website and social media channels can make a huge difference in converting customers online to leads and sales.

Add festive touches to your logo and background of your website and change your Twitter background and profile image to show that you are embracing the festive season and include details of your Christmas opening hours and any ordering deadlines.

It’s a great way to connect with people and start building brand awareness, and entice potential customers into browsing your website. The more engaging you make it the better the results will be.

Looking at the data in Google Trends, Hitwise and your Google Analytics data from the previous year are great ways to see which phrases start to spike at this time of year and tailor your keywords to gain as much additional traffic as possible. Add Christmas related keywords and content integrated into your website.

Content marketing is very important in SEO so think about creating Christmas related content such as

· Choosing the perfect wreath for your new composite door

· Christmas dinner in the conservatory etc.

Use Christmas imagery in your products on your website – for example

· A Christmas tree in your orangery or conservatory

· A Christmas wreath on a composite door.

In the current financial climate customers are savvier than ever when it comes to pricing so if you are running a great deal or promotion such as interest free credit then it’s important that this is clearly displayed across your website.

Social Media & Email

If you are using Social Media then use these channels to promote any Christmas services and promotions. Over the Christmas and New Year period many potential customers will be looking for a locksmith or glazier so make sure that customers are aware of your services and the number they need to call. This shows to potential customers a personal

Offering specific Twitter only discounts also works well such as an extra 5% off for Twitter customers etc combined with a relevant landing page on your website to improve customer conversions . This can help grow your Twitter following from mainly B2B contacts to more B2C. The more appealing the deal the more chance it has to get seen and re-tweeted by potential customers.

This approach can also be used on Facebook and Google+. As well as promotions link to any useful content you have created on your website or blog and remind customers of last order dates.

If you have an email database of users, now is the perfect time to make use of it using email marketing. Many companies overlook the power of email. Use it for a special of the day, weekly offer, and links to useful content on your website.

Don’t forget to have a strong follow up marketing plan in place for January. Using some of the approaches above can give your company a head start over your competition in the January Sales.

The companies that have a strong multi channel strategy to support customers on their journey of selecting their windows, doors or conservatories will be the one’s that continue to thrive and grow in 2013!

Ian Vaughan is a veteran web marketer and developer since the early days of the internet in 1995. Now specialising in online marketing covering – SEO, PPC, Website Conversions, Usability and Social Media – providing consultancy and managing online marketing strategies for forward thinking businesses. Follow him on Twitter or visit his website at http://www.idvaughan.co.uk