We are nearing November, which means that the first big moments of the Holiday Seasons are coming closer and closer.
In case you’ve been reading some our previous Holiday Season blogs, you’d know that this period offers businesses the opportunity to achieve some incredible sales results!
But, to get people to the point of buying your products or services, they’ll have to find you first.
Yes, it’s Late
Of course, everyone likes to see the results of their efforts as soon as possible. If you are already familiar with the basics of SEO, however, you know one thing for sure: It takes time to get and see the results. In addition to this, SEO never really ends and is surely not a one-time deal.
If you haven't started yet or are just starting now, many might say that you are already too late to actually bank on the opportunities Holiday Season SEO has to offer.
Does that mean that you should give up altogether? Absolutely not! There are still many things you can and should do to get everything out of the next 3 months.
Here are 8 SEO practices you must follow to increase the success of this year's Holiday Season efforts. Let's go over them one-by-one:
1. Research and Monitor:
Knowledge is power. And to gain knowledge, you need to learn from past experiences or understand the results of your actions as they happen. This is why looking into your previous Holiday Season data is a vital first step of your SEO strategy.
You have to be critical and ask yourself a lot of questions when assessing this data.
''What keywords worked best for you last year? Were there any landing pages in particular that did really well? Can you identify some points or areas in which you could have performed much better?''
While these are just a few general comments, it's already clear why it’s important to make sure you have your analytics in place correctly - you want to be able to understand the outcomes of your efforts.
But that’s surely not all there is to it.
During the weeks and months of the Holiday Season, you should also be sure to keep an eye on your insights to measure the performance of the content you are (then) currently bringing out.
In that case, if you find your performance to start dwindling, you would still be able to make small adjustments to keep everything back on the right track.
To stay on top of your data insights, using tools and working with platforms that allow you to have direct access to your data, can most certainly make your life a lot easier! For starters, always be sure to have a Google Analytics account set-up up!
If you want to learn a bit more about why evaluating data is so crucial, be sure to check out this blog!
2. Re-optimise Your Existing Content
Some of you might already have some Holiday Season related content from previous years. While you could spend hours or days on creating new content, why not go through your list of existing content and check if you can ‘’re-use’’ some of that?
Although we should keep in mind that a lot can change within a year, often you’ll find that a large chunk of your content should still be relevant today!
Some content might need some small adjustments or new added parts, but that will still save you a lot of time! Go over the titles, images, alt-tags, meta-tags, URLs and obviously the texts.
Now here’s an easy tip for you.
Do you have any Holiday Season related content with ‘’2018’’ in the title? If so, that’s great!
Check if any changes are necessary and simply adjust the title to ‘’2019’’ - made easy. This small alteration can do a lot!
Just think about it: You are looking for the best kid gifts for kids and you can choose between ‘’The 36 Must-Have Toys for Christmas 2019’’ or ‘’15 Best Toys for 2018’’, chances are pretty big you are going for the first one.
Another valid reason for optimising and re-using your existing Holiday Season content, is because the pages on which the content is published often have already established some domain authority.
It would be a shame not to benefit from that!
3. Update Your Keywords
If this is your first time dabbling in SEO this might sound a bit vague, so I’ll quickly explain. When setting up your content calendar for a certain period of time, it’s advisable to set-up a list of keywords that are relevant to your business and popular in use.
This will make your business easier to find and your pages to rank higher, which will help you attract more visitors to your site (thus attracting more potential customers!).
Now, the same goes for the Holiday Season. It’s important to do some research beforehand, instead of just throwing some random keywords on a piece of paper. You won’t need to write an entire research paper, but taking at least a day to think about it won’t be an unnecessary luxury.
To make your life a bit easier, there are many tools you can use to create a nice Holiday Season keyword list (or just a keyword list in general). Definitely check out Google’s Keyword Planner or the Google Trends tool!
Once you’ve put together a nice list of relevant Holiday Season keywords it’s time to produce some awesome content to go with it, which brings us to the next step:
4. Create Holiday Season Specific Content
I’m sure this one won’t come as a surprise by now, but yeah it’s true - you’ll have to create some banging content people will search for that will help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Since this content would be based on the list of keywords you had previously created, it should resonate with your audience and be relevant to your business.
What are some things you could create, you might ask? Here are some suggestions:
- Blog posts (like this one!)
- Gift Guides
- Deals, sales or contests
- Special Holiday Season landing pages
- Holiday Season infographics or images
5. Optimise Your Website’s Speed Performance
Okay, so you did well and you show up in potential customers’ search results - Nice! They proceed to click on the result to your page and then… nothing. And oh that’s bad.
Feeling quite annoyed (‘’How dare this website just waste 4 seconds of my precious time?’’), they close the window to your website and click on some of the other sites that showed up after their making search query. A lost opportunity for a successful conversion and a new loyal customer.
This is why it’s crucial to make sure your website is running smoothly on all devices (desktop and mobile!) and at all times. Page speed affects SEO, making it a direct ranking factor for Google. If a page takes too long to load, it’ll most likely negatively affect the user experience.
That’s something you want to avoid at all costs. But how do you do this? Here are some things you can do:
- Compress images on your site that are obliterating pages
- Make sure your website is not overloaded with heavy plugins
- Check your server response time
- Use website caching if possible
- Identify and resolve 404 errors
- Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Another good tool to use if you want to check the performance of your website is Google Search Console. In case you are not yet familiar with this tool, or if you want to learn more about things you have to keep in mind while setting up a website, definitely check out this blog.
6. Compare with Competitors and Learn
You are not the only one preparing for this year’s Holiday Season.
Countless businesses are currently busy running campaigns, creating content, adjusting their websites and more. And you know what’s great about this? The internet is accessible for all, which means that there’s nothing stopping you from taking a look around to see how others do things!
Maybe you notice that some blog topics are quite popular, that some products often came up as a gift suggestion or maybe an interesting deal that stuck with you. These are just some things you can check out and take inspiration from!
Keep in mind, however, in order to stand out from the crowd, you’ll have to be at least somewhat original! Blatantly copying ideas and efforts won’t earn you much street cred with other businesses and will make you more easy to forget by customers.
7. Linking to Your Holiday Content
It’s also important for your Holiday Season content to be well linked to. This should be done from within your own website (internal link building) and outside (external link building).
First, always make it easy for your website visitors to find your Holiday content when they come across your site. Have links in place to the pages that are most important for you during the Holiday Season. This could be from the homepage to that great ‘’2019 Gift Guide’’ you have just created or adjusted.
You can also make a temporary tab in your website navigation section or in the footer. Just keep in mind that you always provide a link to any page with holiday content.
Let’s say your ‘’2019 Gift Guide’’ turns out to be a hit and is being linked to from other online sources - that’s great! Don’t get it wrong though, getting external links is definitely not easy and takes effort, time and maybe even a bit of luck.
But it is good motivation for creating helpful and original content! You can also think of online sources that might be interested in linking to your content and reaching out to them yourself.
8. What to do After the Holiday Season
Are you worried about what to with all of the precious content you will create or have created for this Holiday Season once it’s over?
Many blogs about SEO during the Holiday Season do not discuss this point, but absolutely should! Don’t worry, here’s what we recommend you should do!
First of all: Do not delete all of your Holiday Season content! In step two, we had already established the importance and the benefits of reusing your existing Holiday Season content.
By adjusting the content, if necessary, you’ll save yourself a lot of time making new content and over time your pages build up domain authority, which you don’t want to waste.
What you can do, however, is simply removing the links on your ‘’year-round pages’’ that are directed to the Holiday Season content.
This won’t hide your content for the public, but why would you? If a customer wants to check out the ‘’Best Christmas Gifts for Picky Cats’’ and buy a cosy cat cave, let them! Who are you to stop them from purchasing cute gifts for their pet companion? ;)
That’s it! You are now equipped with 8 great steps to tackle this year’s Holiday Season SEO. Do you have some additional tips you think marketers should follow to optimise their SEO strategy this year? Feel free to drop them in the comments below, we’d love to hear them!
Do you want to get more tips, tricks and strategies and exclusive content that will help you go through this year's Holiday Season successfully? Then check out our FREE Holiday Season Guide 2019 by clicking here!
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