SEO is essential all year long, but did you know that you should be switching up your SEO for the upcoming holidays? According to a survey from UPS and Comscore, 51 percent of customers polled said they preferred shopping online. They said that they turned to search engines to find the perfect gifts, tips on how to host a rockin’ holiday party and holiday recipes.
Related: How to Improve Your Google AdWords Campaign This Holiday Season
So, consider the obvious message here: The holiday season is the perfect time to attract shoppers to your website and maximize your sales.
But consider something more: If you want festive shoppers to find your website and all the awesome products you have to offer among the glut of other businesses on the web, your SEO needs to be optimized for the season.
And the good news here is that there’s no need to completely overhaul your SEO strategy; all you need to do is make a few little tweaks to push yourself ahead of the competition. So, don’t waste another minute; the holiday season is right around the corner. Here are four simple steps to boost your seasonal SEO traffic.
Get specific with seasonal keywords.
You’ve already got a list of keywords that drive traffic to your site year-round, but for the holidays you need to incorporate some seasonal keywords. Consumers will be scouring the web for the perfect gifts and using holiday specific search terms to find them. You can use Google Trends to discover what key phrases users are searching for during this holiday season. That way, when shoppers start searching for those phrases, you can be found weeks, even months, before your competition.
Think about what your ideal customers might be searching for. For instance, if your online store sells electronics, consumers might search for “Black Friday flat screen deals" or “Cyber Monday free shipping deals.” Take advantage of the most popular search terms and lead users straight to your shop. Another trick is to add the year to your keyword, for example “Black Friday 2018,” to attract consumers looking for up-to-date deals.
Produce holiday-themed blog posts.
Consumers always turn to Google to search for holiday ideas and advice to get them through the season. So, if you want to show up in the search results for their queries, start creating holiday-themed content. Start brainstorming holiday blog post ideas early and plan out your posts on a content calendar. Make sure the topics you choose are related to your business and help consumers solve a problem.
Related: What, Exactly, Is Influencing Our Holiday Gift Choices? (Infographic)
For instance, the holiday-themed content that Crate & Barrel creates features that chain's products but also helps holiday shoppers out with valuable tips and advice.
Image Source: Crate & Barrel
Consider specific buyer personas when crafting your holiday content; for example, you’ll want content that targets busy moms, and other content that targets dads who struggle with gift giving. Remember to always scatter those holiday-specific keywords throughout your blog posts naturally, to ensure your content gets found by your ideal customers.
Optimize your landing pages.
If you want to attract big crowds of traffic this season, you need to revamp your existing landing pages for the holidays. Take some of the seasonal keywords described above and incorporate them into your landing pages. Be sure to include lots of internal links to your holiday-themed content and product pages. Change your page title and meta descriptions to speak to the holidays specifically and update your images and videos for the season as well.
Another important factor in your SEO this season is rich snippets. What are rich snippets? When you do a search in Google, most results show up with a blue title link and simple description below, but rich snippets include images, ratings, pricing details, product availability and more. Rich snippets will help you rank higher and get more sales, so you’ll want to update your website with schema markup using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
Don’t forget that Google, Bing and other search engines have to have enough time to follow your links and find your holiday landing pages, so make these holiday-specific changes to your landing page at least 30 days before the holiday you’re preparing for.
Create a holiday gift guide.
Holiday gift guides have been around forever in physical form but if you want to attract shoppers to your online store, you need to create a digital holiday gift guide. Gift guides not only help consumers’ holiday shopping go smoothly, but they’re great for SEO because they feature different products that web users are searching for. Additionally, a well-executed gift guide will decrease the number of clicks between your home page and product pages, which is a plus for SEO bots scouring your site.
Image source: Invesp
So, create a new webpage for your gift guide and include seasonal keywords, phrases, and links to give your gift guide a boost in search results. You can also try to get your gift guide featured by other websites and publications to obtain more links that lead back to your website.
Related: 5 Tips to Get Your Website Ready for the Holidays
Over to you
Don’t worry, you’ve still got enough time left to step up your SEO game for the holidays. With these simple steps to boost your SEO this season, your website will be front and center in search engine results and the minds of shoppers. What better way to celebrate the season than with a ton of new customers?