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U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS

For many businesses, December is a very busy and profitable month. Your website can help you a lot in making the connection with prospective buyers, or even sell online. There are a lot of things that you still can do to make your website a better tool this Holiday Season.

1) Is your website mobile responsive? Check your site using Google’s own mobile-friendliness checker: http://kort.ca/google-mobile. It might be too late to build a whole new mobile-responsive site should you find out that your website is not ready for mobile users, but you can build a few key mobile pages (home, about, contact, special deals?) to make sure you are at least capturing some of your mobile visitors.

2) Are you capturing leads? By adding an opt-in form to your website and sending out email updates to your subscribers, you can direct them back to your store to check out new products. The response will be even bigger if you offer subscribers special deals. You can also build a relationship with your prospects and customers by explaining who you are, what you do, and why your business is so special and worth visiting. You can also direct them to your social media profiles, allowing for a better (and more profitable) customer experience.

3) Use video. People really like to watch videos. Search engines often rank videos on the first page of their search results. All of these are great reasons to start thinking about using video for your business. For instance, you can create a slideshow with the most popular products this Holiday Season – like creating a slideshow catalogue. Make sure to add a clear call to action like your phone number, or website. A custom (branded) intro and outro to your video, and perhaps some tasteful background music, will turn a simple slideshow video into a great marketing tool. These days you can even add call-to-action elements to the videos themselves – for instance click/tap-to-call or click/tap-to-email using YouTube Cards. That will certainly increase the effectiveness of your videos, especially when viewed from mobile devices. I mean, if you just show your phone number or website in the video, you would probably not get a great response from people on mobile devices. But if these were clickable areas within your videos themselves, then you would probably get a decent number of people taking the desired action to call you, text you, or visit your store.

I hope these ideas will help you get even better results from your upcoming Holiday Shopping Season!

For more information: contact your web developer, or website optimizer Nardo Kuitert at www.asknardo.com or 519-787-7612. Nardo has written the On The Web column on behalf of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce from 2006-2016.

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