Without some holiday shopping, the season wouldn’t be complete.
Millions of shoppers swarm to get their hands on gifts for friends and loved ones, whether it’s on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any other day throughout the Christmas shopping season. This calls for retailers to be prepared in advance.
A successful holiday SEO plan is one way for ecommerce business owners and marketers to stand out.
Early seasonal optimization investments will provide you a competitive advantage in the SERPs, allowing you to attract more visitors and increase sales.
So let’s work some (not-so) search engine optimization magic. Here’s how you can optimize your holiday landing pages and content to improve search engine visibility and increase organic traffic.
How to Have a Successful Vacation SEO
The game of SEO takes time. No matter what some supposedly “mythical” SEO tactics claim, you cannot instantly double organic traffic levels. However, if you start sooner, you’ll rank for more keywords and move up the search results more quickly.
Here are the five essential actions to follow if your company is prepared to optimize for traffic related to holidays:
Study the trends from last year
Start with the keywords that were relevant to the previous Christmas season. You may easily obtain the search query data from Google Search Console if you’ve already configured it for your website. In the alternative, you can use SEO tools like Ahrefs.
Then, use Google Trends to look up those terms, and look up the peaks and troughs of the holiday patterns from the previous year. Here is a search volume example for the term “holiday gift.” You can see that beginning in early October, consumers began looking for “Christmas presents.” The number of searches increased in November but didn’t peak until mid-December when it stayed high until the week before Christmas.
Best resources for evaluating website performance
To determine where focused re-optimization can have the largest influence on site performance, you don’t need to be an SEO expert. Just make sure to employ the proper equipment.
• Google’s Page Speed Insights finds performance-robbing bugs in the code of your website. Examine the primary product, category, and content marketing pages in addition to your homepage. Then send your development partner the recommendations.
• Your mobile website’s speed and mobile friendliness are graded by Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. Additionally, you are informed of any code or design elements that require improvement.
•A free tool to gauge how quickly your website loads is the Web Page Test.
• Google Search Console’s “Index Coverage” report aids in reviewing any indexing mistakes.
• Screaming Frog is a more sophisticated freemium tool for technical SEO audits that aids in identifying more serious problems.
Get the Right Content and Target Keywords
Understanding the search terms from the previous year is crucial, but don’t stop there. The search terms that will send customers to your website over the Christmas season may differ from those used last year, particularly if new products were released prior to the shopping season.
Don’t overthink your plan for utilizing holiday-specific keywords, though, if your SEO is already optimized for keywords. Utilize what you already have while beginning to add timely words about holiday shopping, such as:
• Cyber Monday • Black Friday • Holiday Shopping
For general keyword research, you can utilize Google’s Keyword Planner or other SEO tools. Combining both high-volume and long-tail keywords will help you draw in both seasonal and year-round customers who are shopping for items associated with the product categories you carry.
Advice on how to use Google Analytics
Google Analytics enables you to see current data about your website. This covers the number of visitors to your site, the locations from which they originate, the most effective holiday marketing strategies, and much more.
Additionally, you can see which of your users made purchases, how visitors interact with your pages, and which pages are receiving the most traffic.
Try this to drill down to the most insightful details:
• Examine the Reverse Goal Path report to ascertain which articles generated the greatest website traffic and conversions.
• Create a set of unique URLs for your site’s planned advertising and referral marketing efforts to track how visitors behaved once they arrived.
• Examine data from the conversion funnels from the previous year and/or put up new ones for the holiday SEO campaigns this year.
Mobile Performance Enhancement
Mobile performance optimization is one area that should receive special attention. According to Marketing Dive, smartphone shopping will increase by 25% in 2020.
You may use a variety of tools to assess your mobile performance, starting with Google’s Page Speed Insights to evaluate how quickly your mobile pages load.
Keep in mind that Google has increased its “Mobile First Indexing” strategy; now, over 50% of Google’s indexing is carried out via its mobile crawler, and all new sites are also indexed by its mobile crawler. Your website’s overall position on Google will be impacted by the functionality and user experience of your mobile site.
Check out these tips on using Instagram Stories to increase interaction to continue your holiday marketing.
Determine the Best Holiday Keywords
A successful SEO strategy heavily relies on keyword research. Budget wastage results from targeting inappropriate keywords or people with no intention of making a purchase or conducting product research. Low probability of success if you pursue extremely competitive keywords that every other online retailer is pursuing.
To start, review historical data from the previous year to develop your holiday keyword strategy. Have you seen any intriguing search terms that customers used to discover you? Check out the Google Search Console’s 2017 Queries report.
You may then enter a few of those keywords into Google Keyword Planner to get more suggestions. For the time being, disregard PPC indicators like bid cost and pay attention to seasonal keyword volumes. To uncover popular keywords for the holiday season, divide keyword recommendations into monthly segments. The catch is that GKP only provides a range of search volumes and that their competition score only considers paid search results rather than organic search results.
Therefore, it’s ideal if you have other keyword research tools on hand, such as:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
They all enable you to view the precise monthly search volume for a term, receive additional “similar keywords” auto-suggestions, and check which domains currently rank for your desired keyword (and how hard it will be to bump them).
To ascertain the seasonality of keywords, use Google Trends
Another great (and cost-free) resource for seasonal keyword research is Google Trends. Use it to examine recent shifts in search trends and find new search terms. additionally, the dynamics of the search volume in real-time.
To find even more long-tail keyword suggestions, go around to investigate associated subjects and search terms.
Then evaluate them in light of the three factors we outlined in the preceding section, and include the top candidates in your plan.
Local SEO should not be overlooked
It’s simple to overlook the neighborhood customers your brick-and-mortar shop can also serve with the rise of eCommerce. Even though most holiday shoppers want to favor online shopping, some will still visit physical stores.
By updating and improving your Google My Business profile, you may convert local online traffic into online visits.
• Developing resources for local content marketing.
• Getting press coverage from neighborhood publishers.
• Promoting other delivery methods like curbside pickups and BOPIS.
• Update your inventory levels frequently to appear in Google Shopping’s “nearby” filter results.