Many brands and retailers depend on the holiday season to pick up any loses over the year. If successful most companies can double or triple their income during this time. With shoppers starting to look for the perfect gift well before Thanksgiving it is extremely important that your keywords are already optimized for new pages, sales and specials.
If you haven’t already optimized the keywords for your SEO then make sure to follow these key tips to do so now:
1. Plan Site Content Around Holiday Calendar and Peak E-commerce Sales Days – Top searches from the last quarter of 2012 show that consumers are shopping for deals and gifts around holiday terms as well as known retail discount days – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and more recently Free Shipping Day and Green Monday. In order to best capture these potential customers during their research phase, e-commerce sites should plan to have categories and landing pages optimized for related terms. For example:
- Halloween – “Halloween costume ideas”
- Thanksgiving – “Thanksgiving gift basket”
- Christmas or Hanukkah – “Gifts for Dad”
- New Year’s – “New Year’s champagne flutes”
Retail Top Sales Days
- Black Friday – “Black Friday promotions”
- Cyber Monday – “Cyber Monday flash sales”
- Green Monday – “Christmas gift shipping deadline”
- Free Shipping Day – “Christmas gift free shipping”
2. Conduct Gifting and Holiday Keyword Research – The next step is to drill deeper into category terms. Review last year’s organic and paid keywords, as well as on-site search terms for high search count and high conversion terms. Google Trends and Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool are invaluable sourcing for brainstorming keyword lists and uncovering potential new target terms for holiday 2013 optimization.
3. Identify Products to Include in Site Gift Guides and Categories – With target terms identified, such as “secret santa gifts” or “top gifts for coworkers,” what follows should be a review of appropriate products to build out a rich landing page. Gift cards, accessories, novelty items, and personalized products are good bets, in addition to top sellers and items in the range of $25 to $50 (gift averages may vary based on industry).
4. Publish Holiday Pages Early – While waiting for the merchandising team to upload holiday products to these new categories, site owners can get a head start by publishing a landing page with a coming soon banner placeholder to drive interest and give search engines time to index the page ahead of the peak November and December sales season.
5. Optimize Categories and Products With Keywords in Attributes, URL and Copy Blocks – Finally, it’s time to apply keyword insights to meta descriptions, title tags and URLs. Pages will hold more SEO value if they also contain paragraph text copy using target terms, as post-Panda search engine optimization is increasingly tied to relevant content.
6. Build Links Through Features in the Blog, Email, Social Properties – Lastly, drive links to holiday pages by highlighting gift categories on the site’s blog, in scheduled email blasts, and Facebook, Instagram, and other social properties. Pinterest is particularly suited for promotion of gift content. Consider creating a holiday gift idea pinterest board (optimized with keyword targets in the name and description) and include top identified holiday products, therein driving deep links and eyeballs to the site. This is where creativity counts. With a little luck, a Pinterest board may even index on the first page of search results.
These tips are not only great for anyone starting a little late on their holiday marketing but is a terrific guide on how to get a head start for next year as well.
What other step are we leaving out that everyone should follow when gearing up to market for the holiday season?