Lake Champlain Chocolates has three brick and mortar retail locations in Vermont. So this small business knows how to sell chocolates to shoppers in person. But the chocolatier has also learned how to sell online. \u00a0And when it comes to holidays, Lake Champlain Chocolates knows how to capitalize on them to increase sales. Lake Champlain Chocolates was founded by Jim Lampman, originally as a wholesale truffle maker 30 years ago. \u00a0Customers soon tracked them down directly, and customer demand led to the company opening up retail stores. Fast forward to today, and the company has expanded beyond their local area in Vermont. \u00a0In addition to its 3 chocolate shops, the company now engages in mail order and online sales -- and says those\u00a0represent the \u00a0fastest-growing segment. \u00a0The company now ships confections to all 50 states. How to Increase Holiday E-Commerce Sales For a chocolate vendor, certain holidays are peak times. \u00a0According to\u00a0Greg Tickle,\u00a0E-Commerce Manager for Lake Champlain Chocolates,\u00a0the year-end Christmas holiday is the biggest time. But Valentine's Day and Easter are also big holidays for the company. \u00a0So getting as many sales as possible during holiday periods is important. This year the Valentine's Day season provided lessons about how to use online advertising to increase holiday e-commerce sales. Lake Champlain Chocolates increased its Google AdWords\u00a0spend by 14%, and saw a 40% increase in AdWords-generated website sales this Valentine's season. The company's experience shows that executing intelligently makes the difference in getting a good ROI from advertising. \u00a0Lake Champlain's Tickle points out how important it is to collect data, be flexible and adjust -- on a near-daily basis during holidays. \u00a0With holidays you have a limited number of days to capture the opportunity. You must stay on top of things. \u00a0"Monitor Google AdWords campaigns closely," he says. \u00a0"Change your ad text. \u00a0Drop keywords that aren't producing sales, and bid on other keywords." And it's not just AdWords you want to monitor. \u00a0You also should look at your site performance as a whole, to see how well the traffic you are drawing in from your ads is turning into actual sales. "Monitor your analytics. Then adjust as you see where visitors are coming from, when they come, and where they go once they are in the site. \u00a0You need data to know what's working and what isn't," Tickle emphasizes. Keeping a close eye on Google Analytics is what led Lake Champlain Chocolates to optimize landing pages and its AdWords ads for mobile devices. \u00a0Traffic from visitors using mobile devices has been growing steadily and now constitutes roughly 30%. \u00a0Even the company's email newsletter gets opened on mobile devices. \u00a0With evidence of mobile growth, the company made it a point to work on improving the mobile visitor's experience, and increased mobile sales as a result.\u00a0 Another of Tickle's advertising tips is to "speak to" the shopper's needs. \u00a0He says it is important to make sure the words in your ad and in your website work together to help the searcher find what he or she is looking for. \u00a0The ad text and the landing page copy should match closely. Optimize AdWords Campaigns and Optimize The Website Robert Brady, a per-per-click advertising expert with Righteous Marketing, agrees that Google Adwords can be very effective to increase holiday e-commerce sales volume. \u00a0"Holidays present an opportunity to obtain additional traffic by adding holiday-themed keyword variations. \u00a0If you normally sell knitted sweaters before Christmas it would be wise to also bid on keywords such as 'Christmas sweaters' or 'knitted sweaters for Christmas.' Your ads should speak to the Christmas theme and then send these visitors directly to your Christmas-themed landing pages where you would expect them to convert at a higher rate." It really breaks down into two activities that work hand in hand, Brady emphasizes. \u00a0For best results, e-commerce sellers must optimize their pay-per-click advertising campaigns to get better-qualified visitors to their sites. They must also engage in "conversion optimization" on their websites to get more sales from those who in fact end up visiting, \u00a0he adds. Lake Champlain Chocolates' Tickle sums it up this way: \u00a0"Increasing traffic to your website may not always result in increased sales and may likely result in higher advertising costs; however, by improving your website conversion optimization and the user experience, you will increase your return on ad spend ... your ROI."