When the temperature starts dropping, that’s when the number of holiday shoppers starts rising. This is why when you talk to an SEO company or an expert in the industry, they will tell you that planning your digital marketing strategy should start in September. After all, it takes time to see a rise in your SERPs ranking and in the traffic your site gets. Hence, an early start to SEO is the way to go.

Tis the SEOson

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If you’ve somehow procrastinated optimizing your website for the holidays, however, don’t despair. You may be struggling to boost your organic search traffic now, but there are still a few last-minute tactics you can use to gain traction on your website and drive revenue to your business this holiday season.

Why Capture the Holiday Crowd?

Data from Adobe Analytics shows that in 2018, online shoppers in the U.S. spent about $6.2 billion on Black Friday. Moreover, on Cyber Monday, online sales reached $7.9 billion, making it the biggest shopping day in U.S. history.

Seeing as overall sales during this biggest annual shopping weekend only grows year on year, 2019’s sales figures will most likely be even bigger. In Deloitte’s latest study, the analytics company states that e-commerce sales are going to grow 14 to 18 percent this year, better than the 11.2 percent recorded online sales growth in 2018.

These numbers show how huge the online market is and can be, and that it presents a wealth of potential for your website and e-commerce business.

To make the most of this period, it’s crucial to have a solid SEO strategy established ahead of time. But, with tens of millions of online browsers and shoppers in the U.S., even just minuscule percentage of all that search traffic can lead to a huge rise in your business’ overall sales. But you must first attract that percentage to your site.

So, how do you get your website ready for the biggest shopping season when it’s only a few weeks away? We recommend focusing on three things: conducting proper keyword research, developing your content, and optimizing your website for mobile.

The Key is Keyword

Keyword research is essential if you want a more direct approach to optimizing your website for the holidays. This process will give you an idea about which keywords receive a good-enough volume of search traffic during the holidays. Then, that’s when you can incorporate keywords that relate to the product or service you offer.

With only a few weeks left before the holidays, you might not have enough time to rank for big and common keywords that receive the most traffic, such as “gift ideas” and “Christmas gifts.” But, if you create great pieces of content and optimize your website right, you may rank for keywords that receive relatively lower search traffic. These may be ones with a geotag, such as “Hanukkah gift ideas New York” or branded ones such as “H&M gift ideas.”

This strategy means that, instead of going after the top keywords and likely failing to rank in them, you focus on lower-hanging fruits. There is likely less competition for the keywords at the lower end of your keyword research results, which means that it will be easier for you to rank in them.

Create Creative Content

With the most suitable keywords in your grasp, it’s time to conceptualize content. As the famous digital marketing mantra goes, “Content is King.” This is especially true for the holidays when consumers are looking for listicles, like “Best Gifts for Every Type of Mom” or “Top 10 Gifts for Gamers.”

The good thing about the holidays is that it stretches for weeks, from the lead-up to the days of celebration, and you have a wealth of creative and unique topics to choose from. What’s more, you can customize your topics based on the products or services you offer.

Let’s say you own a spa. A simple “Five Reasons to Give Your Mom a Spa Gift Card This Christmas” would be an informative and relevant read for your target audience.

Of course, optimizing your content with the right keywords doesn’t stop at creating blog posts. How you name your products and services also make a huge difference in how you’ll rank.

For example, you’re an online candle retailer. You could create a new collection called “Holiday Candle Gift Sets.” If you sell jewelry, create a collection named “Holiday Gifts for Her.” Then, further optimize these collections by creating short descriptions, either of the products or the collections themselves, and use relevant, holiday-specific keywords as you go.

Mobile is Your Friend

According to the Adobe Analytics report we earlier quoted, sales from mobile devices during Thanksgiving weekend hit $2 billion, an all-time high. This just shows that, if you want to keep up with your customers this gift-shopping season, you have to make sure that your website performs well when accessed through smartphones.

With hordes of people looking forward to Cyber Monday sales, your website must, first and foremost, be able to handle more traffic than usual. Even though yours isn’t an e-commerce giant like Amazon, if you do your keyword and content optimization right, your website is likely to get more website visitors than your typical Monday traffic. This means your server must be able to scale up to accommodate them.

That leads us to the performance of your site. Online users typically don’t wait for more than a few seconds of loading time before they give up and back out after a page fails to load. This translates to a higher bounce rate, which Google and other search engines then penalize. The result? You fall lower and lower on SERPs.

In short, a slowly loading page not only results in you losing out on holiday sales, but you’ll also lose your previously established rankings. That is why you have to be on the lookout for things that slow down your website speed.

So, to give your customers the best browsing and buying experience during their holiday shopping on your website, make sure that:

  • Your pages do not have too many unnecessary elements
  • Your product pages lead to a one-click checkout process
  • Your pages load fast

Harness the Holiday Season

Consumers are spending more and more every year during Thanksgiving weekend, what with back-to-back Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. With the right strategy, this shopping season can be the most successful time of the year for your business. So, make use of the tips above and reap the benefits of your effort when the holiday rush finally begins.

Bernard San JuanDigital Marketing
When the temperature starts dropping, that’s when the number of holiday shoppers starts rising. This is why when you talk to an SEO company or an expert in the industry, they will tell you that planning your digital marketing strategy should start in September. After all, it takes time...