How to Prepare Your Website For Holiday Shoppers - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

This year, more shoppers are planning to skip Black Friday (when many retail shops offer deep discounts) and to, instead, shop at home or at work on Cyber Monday (when online retailers offer their sales), according to a survey by  In fact, shoppers spent more money online in 2008 and 2009 on Cyber Monday than they they did those years on Black Friday.

If  you’re a small business owner who is hoping to maximize your revenue online this shopping season, you better invest some time and energy in search engine optimization–otherwise you’ll be lucky if anyone finds you. “The overall concept of search engine optimization is to make your page content relevant to the search terms that people are looking for,” says Chris Curtis, founder of Web Business Ownership LLC, an internet business strategy firm based in Newark, Delaware that focuses on small businesses.

With that in mind its not to late to make some simple changes to your site so that you can reach the hordes of online shoppers hoping to score a deal. Here are three simple things you can do to make the most of Cyber Monday.

Think Like a User.
Ask yourself: “If I were looking for this, what would I type in Google?” For example, if you’re selling “cars”, remember that “automotive” and “automobile” are both relevant keywords that need to also be within the content on your page. “Summon your most creative skills, and work it out,” says Curtis. “The benefits in traffic will be worth the effort.”

Get Listed.
The more sites that link to your pages, the more important your page becomes. Post the link to your web site in directories, community boards, forums and blogs. Make sure that where you post your link is also relevant to the topic of your page. If your page is about “roses”, don’t post your link to a blog about “shoes,” says Curtis. “Doing so would diminish the importance of your link on that page–which means most people won’t click on it–and consequently not bring you much traffic.”

Name It!
Ever go to a page and want to bookmark it (add it to your favorites) only to find that the page doesn’t have a title? To avoid such issues on your own site you’ll want to make sure that every page has a descriptive title. The more descriptive the title, the better the chance of you being found in the search engine. Your title should also reflect the content on the page. If your page is about “traveling in Philadelphia”, then a title like “Where to Go in Philadelphia” or “Travel Tips for Philadelphia” would be beneficial to you.

Use these online tools to help you fine tune your approach to drawing more traffic online:
A resource that helps you to fine tune your keywords and build a SEO strategy
When in doubt, old school methods still work. Use the thesaurus to find keywords and synonyms.
A great way to find out who’s linking to your web site.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.