When establishing your stores brand’s presence online, SEO plays a big part in reaching your target demographic and attracting new shoppers. As you plan for the holidays and the biggest shopping period of the year, you should consider integrating thoughtful SEO strategies to boost conversion rates and attract more customers.
Recent projections for holiday spending suggest that $119.99 billion dollars of online revenue will occur in November and December. To get your store ready for the busy days ahead, here are six important factors to focus on when devising your SEO strategy this holiday season.
Start Planning Early
If you haven’t already given some thought to your holiday marketing and SEO strategies, it’s not too late to implement a few ideas, but mark your calendar for next year! The best way to get ahead of the competition is to formulate a reliable plan, before the rush, to ensure a profitable fourth quarter. Many retailers begin planning their strategies as early as the summer.
November typically marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, so we are now in full swing! Once your store is optimized with holiday themes and keywords, you can execute effective digital marketing campaigns to capture record revenue through the end of the year.
Evaluate and Optimize Keywords
As an eCommerce professional, you probably realize the value of keyword research and implementation; however, optimizing these strategies around the holidays can draw new organic traffic to your site and increase sales during this critical time period.
When optimizing keywords, you should focus on phrases that offer a high traffic yield related to the holidays. That way, when consumers are searching for gifts this season, they can be directed to your online store and browse your product offering. If you already use this strategy across your site, you’ll still want to identify holiday-centric keywords and build custom campaigns so you can capitalize on seasonal searches.
Each time you revise content and keywords, Google bots will re-evaluate your site and may rank it more favorably, making it accessible to a wider range of consumers. That will help you gain traction in the search results during the height of the holiday shopping season.
Create Unique Holiday Content
In addition to updating existing content, creating new holiday-centric content for your eCommerce site will draw more attention to your business. One top-performing SEO strategy is to develop pages on your site devoted to gift guides.
Start by considering what terms consumers are using to shop for gifts. Keywords like “holiday gifts for dad” or “best gifts for sisters” are likely to attract a lot of organic web traffic. When browsing for gifts, most people aren’t looking for a specific product; they’re sifting through products online until they discover something that offers the right fit for their needs. Put yourself in the mindset of the shopper to identify valuable search terms for SEO.
To maximize your SEO, review product descriptions and optimize them for seasonal relevance. It’s also important to employ a smart linking strategy with all of your content. Properly executed, links will drive more traffic to your site. Use quality links for internal and external purposes and optimize anchor text to increase keyword rankings.
Tease Promotions to Boost Anticipation
When creating new holiday content, consider running targeted holiday promotions — such as offering free shipping for consumers spending over a certain monetary threshold — and advertise time-sensitive offers on your eCommerce store and all content channels. Creating a buzz around your holiday specials will get people excited for your upcoming deals.
In recent years, social media has become a top platform for consumers to discover brands and promotions. According to a recent report by Marketing Sherpa, 71 percent of small businesses rely on social channels to grow their business.
Because of this rise in popularity, social media advertising can be an extremely lucrative way to get people excited about holiday specials, leading to higher conversion rates. Another way to increase anticipation for your holiday offers is by offering exclusive deals to social media followers, which can grow your following and position your company as a trusted site.
Optimize for Mobile
In 2017, conversion optimization company Invesp reported that 19 percent of US eCommerce sales were completed through mobile, and it was estimated that this number could rise to 27 percent by the end of 2018. Experts in the industry agree that while right now mobile may seem to only make up a fraction of eCommerce sales, this number is growing every day as more people use their devices for an entire range of tasks.
One of the most beneficial SEO strategies you can implement this season is to ensure that your site is optimized for mobile to provide consumers with a great user experience. In today’s world, everyone is on the go all the time, so offering customers with an easy way to view and purchase items right from their phone is guaranteed to boost conversion rates.
Measure Your Success
During the rush of the holiday season, it’s important to keep an eye on data insights and marketing metrics to measure your success. If your performance starts to lag, you can stay nimble and make adjustments in real-time. Many of these adjustments may remain relevant and deliver results long after the holiday season.
As you prepare for the busiest season of the year, savvy marketers incorporate SEO strategies to maximize their revenue and leverage their brand online. Using seasonal focused terms will meet shoppers on their path to purchase and convert them to exceed your revenue goals and brand awareness during the holiday season.