Search engine optimization is a vital part of digital marketing. It helps businesses gain online visibility within search engines and drive customers to their websites. However, there’s always room for improvement. The holidays are a prime example.
With the upcoming holiday season fast approaching, millions of people are looking for holiday deals and discounts. These shoppers will inevitably type in keywords used in SEO for the holidays. To tap into this lucrative traffic source, you’ll want to optimize your site for these keyword phrases.
Here are the trends for SEO for the holidays to keep in mind when optimizing your website.
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Tips for SEO for the Holidays
Most businesses will experience a seasonal increase in traffic and sales during the holidays. However, some industries may see a slowdown in traffic and sales. Ignoring the importance of the holiday season means missing out on opportunities to leverage or minimize the effects. That being said, you should heighten your holiday attention.
SEO for the holidays can be challenging, but you can have a happy holiday season with the right holiday marketing strategy. Here are important tips for optimizing your site for SEO for the holidays.
Tip 1: Take a Look at Your Site’s Load Times and Performance
eCommerce sites need to load quickly and function well at all times. Slow page loading times, missing images, glitches informs, and non-intuitive navigations can strongly indicate a bad website. For Google, these are indicators of a poor website. Even if you are doing well in other areas, you may lose traffic and search engine rankings if your site does not load quickly or perform well. There is no better tool to check these issues but on Google Search Console.
Check these factors on your website if they contribute to a low website performance:
- Desktop and mobile loading speed
- Mobile-friendliness score
- Broken links
- Outdated blog post
- Duplicate content
- Web architecture inconsistencies
- Orphaned pages
Here are tools that can help you improve your SEO strategies during the holiday season
- Google PageSpeed Insights – Analyzes your site code to identify performance-busting issues that slow down page load times during a happy holiday season.
- Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool – Checks how fast and mobile-friendly your site is.
- WebPage Test – Use this to measure the load speed of your webpages
- Siteliner – Siteliner analyzes your entire site for broken links, duplicate (or similar) content, external and internal links per page and compares the results to other websites.
- Screaming Frog – Screaming Frog is an advanced free software for technical holiday SEO audits and can help uncover deeper-level issues that many other tools cannot.
Tip 2: Prepare Ahead of Time
The holiday SEO planning process takes longer than you expect. But you can speed them up a bit by doing work in advance. This is one of the holiday marketing tactics you can employ easily. First, try to get your content done before the next event starts. Then, look at how you performed last year and see if there’s anything you can do better this year.
One month and a half prior ahead of the holiday event: Introduce your event through promotion and add a save-the-date event post on all your social media platforms as well as your site. This is the time to encourage your followers to share your post.
A week before the event: Update your followers of the event through email and social media platforms.
A day before the event: Remind your followers through an event post as part of your social media campaign.
There are many steps in creating and maintaining your website. We recommend you take them seriously. They may be a bit time-consuming, but they will save you money and trouble down the road.
Tip 3: Trends Are Your Best Friend
When it comes to holiday content keyword analysis, you have to pick the right battles. For example, you can’t compete with Amazon for shopper attention during holiday hours. Instead, focus on less competitive terms such as “buy makeup online.” You can use the Google Search Console, one of the keyword research tools, to check for website issues. Try to utilize the Google Search Console to optimize your web pages for mobile phone users.
It is important to review how people search for holiday gifts is very different from those receiving them. You can use the Google Trends tool to see how people search for the words you want to rank for. This could be a good opportunity to rank for those terms.
An effective smart search engine optimization (SEO) strategy must focus on a broad range of competition keywords. In addition, an effective strategy must also include a purchase or product research keyword.
Start with your top-level query. These target keywords are generic high-volume words used during the holidays. “Gifts for Mom” would be a fine example. Next, run and review the search queries. Look for relevant keywords that spike during the holiday season. Note that there will also be peaks in November during the Black Friday Holiday Sale so consider those. Finally, find those that crash immediately after, as this is truly gift-giving searchers.
You can then take those terms that are of interest and run your difficulty assessment. The reduced competition lowers the average monthly volume reported in the Google Trends report during the rest of the year. Find the terms that are often least competitive in organic and paid search but still match your intent.
Suppose your primary goal is to make a list of long-tail keyword phrases to fuel your evergreen holiday SEO strategy. In that case, you must prioritize keywords with high volume, low competition, and high relevancy to your niche.
Tip 4: Don’t Forget Your Long Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are often very specific but are searched by a few people. These long-tail keywords may be the “gold mine” for attracting relevant traffic to your product pages. When these long-tail keywords are presented as highly relevant results, they are more likely to be clicked. Conversion of the customer often happens after that.
Questions are another great way to create long-tail keyword opportunities. They are more popular for mid-to-top-of-the-search funnel holiday shoppers looking for exclusive deals. In addition, these are excellent choices for content marketing resources like guide articles, videos, product comparisons, and round-up posts.
Always assess and review the long-tail keywords, whether the people searching for the products are looking for more ideas, considering to buy, or already ready to buy. Furthermore, take note of whether those keywords are relevant to the popular products you’re selling.
Tip 5: Add Structured Data
When making changes to your product pages for the season, do so in such a way that they’re optimized for the season. Make sure to include any additional product information, pricing, and ratings that make sense for the season. For example, if you’re selling holiday presents, you might want to add ratings and price information and link to your holiday page.
With Google Search Console, there is a wealth of new opportunities for businesses to reach online shoppers and improve business performance. Businesses can leverage this platform to increase revenue and profits while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Tip 6: Reuse Last Year’s Content
Here’s one holiday SEO tip: Reuse content. While there is no shame in reusing a previously published guide, if you already have such a publication, feel free to reuse it in 2021. Update details like popular brands and product categories for this year. If the slug of the site is still the same, change that to next year and redirect the older URL to the newer one. No need to make a new page. Just reuse the old URL and backlink to the new one. That would be a waste of good inbound links to re-make the same seasonal content twice.
There are many ways in which people can use social media to make changes. For example, republishing a post from last year and adding a word to the title or meta description may be small changes. But if done repeatedly over time, this type of change may grow into something large.
Tip 7: Create Evergreen Holiday Landing Pages
Create a singular deals page for every holiday you can identify in your keyword research. This page should be updated annually to suit the needs of your potential customers during that particular year.
By maintaining one page that you periodically update, you can accumulate external and internal backlinks over several years. In addition, you do not need to reset your content each year, thus, saving time and resources.
Keep your content fresh and current so that you can provide value year-round. Evergreen content can help you do this. Treating these pages as part of your core holiday SEO strategy removes the stress of creating new pages every year when the holidays draw near. These pages are treated as “evergreen” pages, so they provide a template for you to use, and templates are always time-saving.
Link building this content internally throughout the year and featuring it more prominently during the shopping season can help drive holiday traffic to your site. Don’t remove it and start over again every single year. Instead, let it build links and work for you.
Accommodating the holiday consumer means segmenting your query and repositioning your content appropriately. You know the consumers who would be most likely to purchase items at this time of year.
Tip 8: Enhance Your GMB Listing
Whether your online business is local or not, your Google My Business listing is a great way to get out there and let people know who you are. As you can see here, if you properly optimize your listing and business profiles, you may even have some useful snippets of the information displayed on search results pages.
Recently, there have been additional tools that Google has added to its Google My Business dashboards to help potential shoppers find important information, such as if they’re open for in-store purchases and the likes! So make sure you use the free Google Posts feature in GMB to get those important promotions into search results!
Why Should SEOs Care about Seasonality
The holidays are the best times to improve rankings because people spend more special hours online looking at search results. In addition, these days represent the biggest selling time of the year for many businesses. If you have been working on your website, you should be in a better place by now. Studies have shown that releasing a campaign month and a half before the event date increases traffic to that content by 90%compared to when the campaign is released on the week event itself.
Why SEO for the Holidays This Year Is Very Different
Like every other aspect of life in 2021, the holiday season will be very different this year. While people are concerned about the future, many have lost their jobs. In addition, many have also had to deal with COVID-19. As such, it is difficult to predict what will happen and how it will affect everyone.
With the holiday shopping season nearing, there are many opportunities for retailers to increase online sales. They must ensure they are targeting the right audience with the right message at the perfect time to capture their attention. They must also make sure that they are in place, in front of the right audience, with the right message given at exactly the right time.
Don’t be surprised when online shopping starts early and goes late. Because if you want to get people to your store, you should spread this out over a longer period.
Now is the time to kickstart your holiday content and promotions. Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to plan them. Start now! Do you need help putting your business out there this holiday season? Contact us so we can help you!