For your company, the holiday season can sink or swim your business. It’s well known that a single day in November or December can single-handedly bring in the amount of sales that you would normally see over a week or so any other time of the year. Your customers start looking for those holiday ideas well ahead of the holidays though. Customers love to window shop, plan out those holiday gift purchases and are often waiting for the right sales on the products they want. The problem? Many e-commerce sites take their sweet time getting those deals out the door and don’t proceed to do so until well into November. That’s too late for not only those customers that like to shop early, but also for search engines, where new pages can take weeks to index.
The solution to this? Get started early, get ahead of the competition, and plan out your holiday SEO accordingly.
Your Site Content Needs to be Based around the Holiday Calendar
What have the top searches from last year shown us? The fact that consumers are looking for those online deals and gifts around not only holiday terms, but also those retail and online discount days, you know, the big ones like: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The best bet for your SEO and to get those potential customers’ attention is to have landing pages and categories optimized for those related holiday terms. A few examples:
- Halloween – Costumes for Halloween
- Thanksgiving – What to bring over for Thanksgiving
- Christmas, Holiday – Gifts for the Family
- New Year’s – Crazy New Year’s Party Ideas
- Black Friday – BIG Black Friday Deals
- Cyber Monday – The Flashiest Cyber Monday deals this side of the internet
As with any SEO campaign, it all starts with the keyword research. Because without keyword research, how would you know what your content should contain? You have to dig deeper into those category terms and review what worked well last year and what didn’t. Look for what keywords worked organically and what ones worked as paid and look for those on-site search terms for a high search count and even higher conversion rates.
Google’s Keyword Planner has replaced their AdWords Keyword tool, but it’s just as effective and a great source for finding those keywords and digging up potential new target terms for optimizing for SEO for the holiday season.
Another great tool to use is Google Trends, a tool that allows you to see what terms are trending and see what was trending during a certain time. As of right now, “Black Friday 2013” is a highly trending search term right now and it’s only September. Those are potential searches that could be landing on your website right now.
Organize your Products into Holiday Categories
Now that you’ve identified those important search terms such as “gifts for those co-workers you might not like but need to get on their good side” or “top gifts for kids” it’s time to figure out which products of yours fit into the categories you make from those search terms. You can make unique and creative landing pages for those gifts like:
- Personalized products
- Gift cards
- Novelty items
- Your top sellers (at a spectacular holiday discount)
- And those items you can make into big sellers for the holiday season
Publish Pages Early
Give your webmasters the go ahead to start publishing landing pages long before your merchandising team uploads the specific holiday products to those new holiday specific categories. These landing pages can hold a coming soon banner showcasing everything that will be placed there to generate interest and allow search engines to index the page ahead of the peak holiday period between November and December. This boosts your SEO and allows you get those customers that like to shop early.
Optimize SEO in your MetaData
One more step with your keywords is to apply them to your meta descriptions, your titles, tags, and your holiday landing pages URLs. Your pages will generate more SEO if they contain text copy that have your target keywords in it. This is more important than ever as SEO is being more tied to relevant content more than ever.
Build Those Links
Your goal is to drive links to all those new landing pages you’ve just created. How do you do that? By using all the channels available to you. Write a few articles about your excitement for the holiday season and all the deals and gift categories you have for your customers. Use that mailing list to tell your already established customers all about it. Social media is your friend, especially Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the best sites out there to help you promote your products and promote your holiday gift content. You can create a new holiday based board that is optimized with all your keywords and include your top holiday gift ideas on it. This will generate extra links and SEO for your site.
Your creativity is key here as a Pinterest board, with some extra work and a bit of luck, might even index on the first page of search results.
The holiday season is your friend so get on it early by creating new product categories for the holidays and generating buzz and interest in your site. You can increase your SEO value by getting a hold of those early holiday shoppers and getting them to your website.