7 Ways to Actually Improve Conversions For The Retail Season

This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a commission. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Most affiliate sites make a lot of money over the retail season — November and December. It’s especially true when you have an Amazon Affiliate Site.

People buy a lot on Amazon and as an Amazon Associates member, you get credit for everything in the cart when the customer places an order. It’s the biggest benefit for working with Amazon over other affiliate programs, even if they pay a higher commission rate.

I’ll go over 7 ways you can potentially improve your conversion rate over the holidays.

1. Add Something Holiday or Gift Related to the Title

Most of the time the title of your post will be keyword rich or even the exact keyword you’re targeting.

Improve your CTR on the Results Page

But if you can add more relevancy to a post for someone, then you can improve the likelihood that a searcher from Google will click on your post on the results page.

In November and December, it’s a good bet that people are searching for gifts. But even if they aren’t, they’re probably still aware of the holiday season going on around them.

So if you add something related to “Christmas” or “Gifts” or <insert-your-holiday-of-choice>, your post will seem very up to date and fresh.

Notice something? 2017??

It’s a good idea to mention the current year to make sure your site doesn’t seem out of date with last year’s deals, prices, or models.

2. Use Holiday Themed Elements

I’m not one to put much stock into the design, but it can’t hurt to add a little holiday flair into your posts.

Head over to Canva and check out some of the free elements you can use.

  • Stocking
  • Santa
  • Bow
  • Christmas Tree
  • Wreath
  • Sweaters

It’s free and I created this sweet image in about 3 minutes.

The example below won’t boost conversions, but you can create a feature image with some holiday elements to let people know they’re in the right place immediately when they get to your site.

It’s kinda fun, though, right?

Yeah! Happy Holidays!

3. Add a Gifts Section

Let’s say you have a review for the best ballpoint pen and it’s a straightforward product review. You can add a short section near the beginning of the post where you call out great ballpoint pens that would make excellent gifts.

So maybe it looks like this…

Awesome Pen Gift Sets…Great for the Holidays

Many people are looking for ballpoint pen gift sets so I put together this list. No matter who’s on your list, they’ll love any of the sets linked below. (Links to Amazon so I get a commission if you make a purchase.)

This can be a great way to call out products in your post to state they are good gifts. You can add this no matter what the product is.

You could create a page that specifically has gifts for a specific person or profession. So you might have a post with “gifts for mom” or “gifts for writers” for example.

This is a great way to add affiliate links to your informational posts. Since you know generally what the person is trying to solve, you can recommend a product that helps them do something:

  • Faster
  • Cheaper
  • Easier

Just because a post is informational doesn’t mean you can’t mention relevant products.

4. Add a Stocking Stuffer Section

This is the same deal as the last point but you may have some more constraints.

First, the item should be smaller in size — it needs to fit in a stocking, i.e. a big sock. The pens listed above would all be perfect.

Next, usually stocking stuffers are cheaper gifts. That might just be from my Christmas experience, though. So one great idea to extend this beyond the “gift section” is to have the following sort of headings…

Stocking Stuffers Under $10

  • Gift 1
  • Gift 2

Stocking Stuffers Under $25

  • Gift 1
  • Gift 2

Stocking Stuffers Under $50

  • Gift 1
  • Gift 2


5. Mobile Should Look Great

When I’m about to buy something at the store and I don’t know much about the product, then I’ll Google it. I do check out some affiliate sites to do research and in that case, I’m looking at my phone.

Your site should use a mobile responsive theme. I hope your theme is but if not, you should switch to another theme. These days Google takes the mobile experience seriously and the visitors to your site will probably bounce if the user experience isn’t great.

Speaking of a great mobile experience…

6. Fast Load Times

Make sure your site loads fast. People are in a hurry and some of them may even be out a store researching a product.

There are several steps to take to speed up your site — read more here. Depending on several factors, different things may or may not help your site.

I’ll mention a couple of the biggest factors below.

Fast Hosting

Shared hosting is fine when you’re getting started, but as your site gets more traffic you’ll need to upgrade to a package that is more robust. Normally, you can stay at your current hosting company but upgrade your plan.

It might be called “semi-dedicated,” “cloud,” “WP-Optimized,” or something else that is slightly descriptive, but not very helpful to compare to another company. Basically, you end up on a server with fewer websites so the server response time is faster.

For one of my sites, moving from shared hosting to semi-dedicated hosting meant that I went from a server with 700 websites to a server with 10 other sites.

The site load time for a certain large, image-heavy page went from 8-9 seconds to just over 1 second. I recommend Site Ground if you’re looking for a great host with excellent customer support. (I’m an affiliate so I get a commission if you sign up. Thanks!)

Reduce Image Sizes

I didn’t realize how important it was to reduce the size of images. Yes, we want to have big, beautiful images but that really slows down the load time. So I try to keep images to about 100 kb or less in most cases.

Sometimes you need to have higher quality images, but if you can get away with a lower quality jpeg, do it.

7. Mention Holidays or Gifts in the Intro

This is the same idea as the first point. If someone sees the reference to the holiday season, it may help them feel like they’re in the right place.

Perhaps you don’t want to change the post title, so instead, you can just add a reference in the first couple of sentences.

Side note: See the out of date 2017 posts? Make sure to update the titles with the current year if you note the year in the title.

Your Turn! What tips do you have?

Leave a comment and let me know:

  1. Do you have any tips?
  2. If you have any questions…ask away!

References and Further Reading

About the Author: Doug Cunnington is the founder of Niche Site Project. He shows people how to create Affiliate Sites using project management and a proven, repeatable framework. Doug loves creating systems, using templates, and brewing beer (but usually not at the same time).

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