Holiday SEO: Is it a Good Idea?

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By Boris Dzhingarov

The holiday season is finally here and retailers everywhere are trying to find new ways to attract clients. This applies to ecommerce as well; for many ecommerce vendors, the holiday season is where they see their highest numbers, and attracting as many visitors as possible becomes essential during this period. One of the ways to attract new customers during the holidays is to optimize your SEO for the season. But some people may still be skeptical about the benefits of holiday SEO and whether it is actually a workable and worthwhile method. Let’s look at whether holiday SEO could be a profitable marketing method for you as well as some holiday SEO marketing methods you could use in your line of business.

Is Holiday SEO Worth it?

A lot of people may be asking if holiday SEO is worth it, since SEO is usually a long-term marketing strategy, and holiday marketing only happens for a few short weeks. Many might ask themselves if the effort and money needed to implement a holiday SEO strategy will provide a justifiable return on investment.

However, seasonal SEO is extremely important, not only during the holidays, but all year long. For instance, let’s say that you’re a retailer that specializes in gardening tools. Would you start marketing your wares in the dead of winter, or shortly before spring, right before the gardening season ends? I think this is a no brainer.

If your particular business starts seeing a spike during the holiday season, then you have to be ready and have a plan of action for the season. Holiday SEO will allow you to capture even more traffic during the spike and increase your profit. This could actually be done by making some simple adjustments to your regular SEO strategy, which makes the cost-benefit of holiday SEO even more advantageous. So how do you implement a holiday SEO strategy that will get results?

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Create Content Centered Around the Holidays

While a lot of retailers will decide to make some cosmetic changes to their sites around the holidays, we’re talking about actual content here. The holidays are the perfect time to release content that will attract gift buyers. For instance, if you’re a company that sells golf equipment, then it would be a better idea to start publishing posts on how to find the perfect gift for a golf player, for instance, instead of going for something more generic. People seldom search for golf related gifts outside of the holiday season, so make sure that you ramp up your efforts and release content that will be of interest to them around that time.

Switch the Keywords on Your PPC Campaigns

You should also make sure that you adapt your PPC campaigns and target keywords related to the holiday season. Then you can redirect this traffic to pages that are optimized with holiday related keywords. This way, you’ll be able to build a sales funnel, introduce your clients to time specific specials and use the page as a gateway to your regular deals.

Speaking of pages, you could have different pages geared towards holiday shoppers and add new links to your navigation as well. You might decide to have a page with all your holiday specials, separate pages for different items, or a collection of pre-selected items. For instance, you could add a “gifts under $20” section and add a link to your navigation. Tons of people look for cheap gifts during the holiday season, and optimizing these pages with the proper keyword terms could get you tons of great, highly focused consumers with lots of buying intent behind them.

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You should also take the occasion to offer multiple gift cards to your clients as well. This will not only give your visitors a wider range of options, but you can also start ranking for gift card related searches too.

Put More Emphasis on Free Shipping and Local Shipping Options

Deadlines are extremely important during the holiday season, and one of the biggest concerns for people buying holiday gifts online is making sure that they get their items on time. But since a huge part of the country is doing their shopping at once, it can lead to shipping delays and stock shortages. That’s why you should optimize your site with keywords that will showcase things like in-store pick up, express shipping options or guaranteed shipping, for instance. This is just as important as using eCommerce order fulfillment services.

A large portion of the population will prefer checking a product online before they buy it in store. This gives retailers a chance to convince buyers to buy from them instead of a brick and mortar store by offering different shipping options, like website to store delivery for example. ‘Guaranteed by Christmas’ deals are very important as we get closer and closer to Christmas, so if you offer the option, make sure that it’s displayed front and center on your website.

Work on Your Images and Reviews

It’s still surprising to see how many people neglect the SEO on their images. But if they knew how many searches are conducted on Google’s image search engine every day, especially for gifts, I’m pretty sure they’d pay more attention. Not to mention image aggregators that could eventually pick up your pictures and give you tons of unexpected traffic. Try to use a holiday theme for your top selling items or items on special and make sure to add holiday or gift related keywords to your alt-text.

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As far as reviews go, you shouldn’t write your own, but you could search for reviews with keywords that could entice gift buyers and make sure that they’re visible. If you haven’t optimized your site for reviews, now is the perfect time to do so. A review calling your item the “best gift ever” could do more for conversions than any advertising campaign, so make sure that you make it as easy as possible for your clients to make reviews and ensure that they’re clearly visible.

Holiday SEO is one of the best ways to capitalize on the huge spike in traffic during the season. Make sure that you have a clear holiday strategy in place and follow the few tips in this article if you want to maximize your efforts.