8 SEO Tricks You Should Implement NOW To Increase Profits Over the Holidays
October is upon us, which means now is the perfect time for businesses to kick off their holiday marketing campaigns. Seeing as how the months around Christmas have been found to account for at least 19 percent of all annual sales between 2000 to 2014, anyone would be remiss not to put out all stops during this time of the year.
As you’ve probably figured out by now, digital marketing can work wonders for any traditional marketing campaign, augmenting its reach, effectiveness, and ability to build brand awareness. This is especially true when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), which can help retailers reach out to more shoppers and increase profits over the holidays.
The only catch is that it usually takes time for any effects made by implementing SEO to kick in, which means that NOW is the best time to begin any SEO campaign for the holidays.
Below are 8 ideas business owners can start integrating into their own SEO campaigns.
1. Churn Out Holiday Content Today
Now is the perfect time to capitalize on incoming holiday searches by publishing holiday-themed content on your site. Sure, you’ve probably tried making cosmetic changes to your homepage before, maybe even offered some kind of holiday-exclusive product or service package, but what about the written content on your blog?
Naturally, people’s search habits change at different times of the year. During the holidays, most people are in “shopping mode”—between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, it’s no surprise why.
Writing content that’s optimized for the holidays allows you to get these searchers on your site. For example, a consumer electronics store can reach out to shoppers by writing blog posts about the following:
- The best smartphone to buy this Christmas
- The best video game console to gift someone
- Best 4K TV to buy on Black Friday
In other words, content geared towards attracting people with buying intent has a higher likelihood of generating more views and conversions. And although people don’t usually start shopping until mid-November all the way to the end of December, you want to start publishing content today to give search engines time to crawl your content assets.
2. Zero In On Holiday Gift Keywords
Of course, you can’t just create holiday content without taking the right holiday and gift keywords into consideration. If you’re a small to medium enterprise (SME), it will be difficult to rank for generic holiday-specific search terms like:
- “great Christmas gifts”
- “holiday gift ideas”
- “husband gift ideas”
- “gifts for mom”
What you can do is focus on long-tail keywords specific to your niche and category. Again, back to the earlier example: you’re a consumer electronics store.
You can target keywords such as “holiday iPhone 7 (insert your city)” or “holiday discount Playstation 4.”
If you don’t know what search terms to play around with, this is where Google’s Keyword Planner tool comes in. You should also consider Google Trends to see trending search terms relevant to your industry.
Once you have your keywords, it’s simply a matter of integrating them across your landing pages and holiday-themed content assets. This shouldn’t be new to you by now, because you’re simply optimizing your site with the holidays in mind.
3. Run a Holiday PPC Campaign
PPC campaigns are perfect for seasonal promotions. If you want to fast track any gains in visitor traffic and conversions, you can run a PPC campaign on Google AdWords, with your adgroups and ads tailored towards holiday searches, of course.
Nothing will have changed about your target audience or demographic. To continue the previous example, you offer consumers electronics to a target audience made up mostly of young professionals—nothing about this changes during this holidays.
However, your PPC ads also allow you to reach out to a new set of target buyers who appear only during the holidays. These people give away your products as gifts. Think of parents buying gifts for their kids, or wives looking to buy the latest gadgets for their husbands.
4. Emphasize Great Shipping Options
Try as we might to avoid it, many of us still take part in the annual last minute holiday shopping rush. And you can bet that your customers do the same thing. Everyone knows the holiday season gets hectic, mainly because we’re all trying to beat the clock in some way. Not surprisingly, this mad rush often creates problems with product supply and shipping delays.
SEO best practices can turn this problem into a marketing opportunity. For starters, you can change your homepage company to emphasize that your company also offers in-store pickup, free shipping (perhaps for a minimum value order), and guaranteed shipping among others.
As the holidays get closer, shoppers will be more concerned about time. Your job is to be proactive and show them you’ve got their back. However, the key is to put information about shipping options on your site now to reap any SEO benefits in time for the holidays.
5. Optimize Your Top-performing Pages for the Holidays
If this isn’t your first time doing SEO on your website, you probably already know what your top-performing landing pages are. If not, visit your Google Analytics Landing Page Report to see which pages generate the most views and conversions.
When optimizing your site for the holidays, you want to return to these landing pages and give them a spin for the holidays. For example, if you have an ecommerce site, consider embedding holiday keywords on your bestselling products.
This can be done by including the product in a “holiday gift ideas” page, or better yet, by offering some kind of holiday promotion for the product to generate even more shopper interest.
6. Set Up a Landing Page for Holiday Gift Ideas
One of the easiest ways to generate clicks and conversions on your most popular products is to set up a new section within your site completely dedicated to holiday gifts.
Whether you create a new landing page within an existing category or create a new category altogether, a holiday gift section can serve as the perfect platform for putting holiday-related keywords to work, putting your holiday-optimized content front and center. Having a section that’s highly visible and easy to access is just waiting to be crawled by search engine spiders, which can only be a good thing for your SEO efforts.
Besides making good SEO sense, creating a separate section for holiday gift ideas helps your potential customers find what they want in as little time as possible. In fact, most holiday shoppers don’t even know what they want to buy. Your job is to tell them what to consider, which is exactly what this landing page allows you to do.
7. Upload Your Products on the Big Ecommerce Sites
This may seem like a common sense tactic, but you’d be surprised at just how many online retailers ignore the value of uploading their products on Amazon and eBay.
Leveraging these two ecommerce giants offers two main benefits.
- First, many marketers often forget that these two sites actually have their own search engines, which are just as influential as Google. As you may have figured out by now, these two channels are incredibly popular during the holidays, so it makes perfect sense to take advantage of the opportunity to siphon traffic and sales from these sites into your own.
- Second, increasing the visibility of your products on Amazon and eBay helps to boost your online authority, which in turn improves your ranking on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Conduct an SEO Audit to Check Your Site’s Health
The holidays can also serve as the perfect time to conduct an SEO audit or health check of your website.
In the wake of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, many sites that relied on now-outdated linkbuilding strategies were penalized and took a hit to their rankings on Google’s SERPs.
If this is your first time hearing of these updates, now’s as good a time as any to check your website health, which is as easy as visiting Google’s Webmaster Tools. Webmaster Tools will tell you if you have issues with the following:
- 404 errors
- HTML glitches
- Duplicate pages
- Broken links
- Crawl and index problem
- Slow page speed issues
If you can identify these problems sooner than later, your site should have improved visibility in time for the holiday season.
Although there will always be people who deride the commercialization of the holidays, there’s no denying that the last few months of the year see a disproportionate amount of spending among consumers and businesses themselves. Implementing an SEO campaign early on gives you the advantage of being one of the first movers in your niche. This also gives you more time to prime your site and buyers as they begin mulling their purchase decisions for the holidays.
Remember, with SEO, timing and content are everything. Aim for relevance when creating your holiday-themed content, and always remember to solve your buyers’ problems.
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