Some 2021 Pre-Christmas SEO Wins for Retailers

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Digital marketing for holiday seasons

If you think it might still be too early to mention Christmas, think again! Many retailers will be pinning their hopes on a decent festive season in order to recuperate the revenues they lost during a couple of rather tumultuous years.

Our web experts are sharing these 10 straightforward, seasonal SEO gifts to help you prepare your business for Christmas. Think of this as an early advent calendar. And no, it’s not too early!

1. Google Analytics

Keep monitoring your web search rangking

Use Google Analytics to review your website’s performance last year. How did people reach your site? What did they do once they got there? What products/areas of your site did particularly well? You might have some great blog posts that drove lots of traffic. Maybe you have some product comparisons that you could quickly update and reshare on social media. Or if you got a lot of referral traffic from a third-party link (perhaps a Christmas gift guide), you could contact the site owner or journalist to ask if you can be included again this year.

2. Review meta content

Depending on the size of your website, you might not have time to restructure your entire meta content (page title, description and headers) but you could pick an area or a range of products that you think might be well suited to the Christmas market (or contrary to that, an area that has historically been underperforming).

While reviewing the meta, you should also check that the on-page content is reflective of the meta you’ve chosen. Lastly, don’t forget to ensure that it is backed up with sufficient blog content on the website, too.

3. Specify the Christmas searches

We’ve all got that someone who’s difficult to buy for. Those we don’t see very often, those who ‘have everything’ or people who’d ‘like a surprise’. That’s when we resort to doing panic searches, such as ‘great technology present ideas for tricky teenagers’ and the like.

There’s a huge variety of these types of search terms. That’s why it’s definitely worth doing some keyword research and finding out what search volumes are out there and who is already ranking for them. You might be able to find a niche phrase that has not yet been exploited. If you can rank for that phrase, you can reach an audience that are already in buying mode.

4. A Christmas category

It can be time-consuming and sometimes a little daunting for people to search through a large number of products even when filters are available. To help make potential customers’ Christmas shop more efficient, you could consider creating a ‘Christmas’ tab on your website. This can either simply be a range of Christmas gift ideas or subdivided by price or person.

5. Paid search, a.k.a PPC

If you haven’t tried pay per click or PPC advertising before, well, Christmas is the obvious time to give it a whirl. While it might be competitive at this time of year, you’ll be surprised to know how the additional volume of shoppers compensates.

Don’t spread your resources too thinly here. Select a few key products or product types. These could be products you really need to shift (think sell-by dates or very on-trend items) or products with the biggest profit margins. Unique products can work, too, or simply those with the broadest appeal.

To quote the old British Gas slogan, PPC is ‘easily off and on-able’. What this means is, should you need to you can reach your target audience quickly but also keep a close eye on your spending.

Unless you’re operating in a truly unique market, PPC can be expensive. So targeting appropriate keywords is crucial. Longer tail keywords can be less competitive and therefore less costly but that goes hand-in-hand with smaller volumes.

6. Local SEO

Every Christmas we’re encouraged to ‘shop local’ or ‘shop indie’. This may be the case even more so this year with COVID-19 lockdowns impinging on our ability to travel and the economy in general.

local SEO for local customers

Buying local doesn’t necessarily mean buying in person. Some shoppers will be looking for deliveries from local suppliers. To make sure you don’t miss out on your local market, ensure your Google My Business is up to date and contains all the correct contact information. As far as the Christmas season is concerned, your opening hours is particularly important.

7.  Top-of-funnel marketing

Some Christmas present purchases are quick and dirty, a.k.a the ‘that’ll do’ type of buy. But others require more research. This might be because the person we’re buying for is more important to us or perhaps because the spend is higher. But in any case, people will do more leg work before they part with their cash.

Try to be the company that provides this advice. Explain the pros and cons and compare two of this season’s must-have head cams, tennis rackets, electric guitars etc.

When we’re buying for others, it’s not always our area of expertise. This is important to remember. So simply by being honest, informative and simplifying decisions, you can win shoppers. Research-stage content is super useful for your customers. What’s more, it’s also great for SEO and social media fodder too.

8. Internal linking

You’ve done the hard work and increased the number of visitors to your website, great. It can be disappointing if users bounce and leave the site without having seen any of your other magnificent content or products. First off, don’t be entirely disheartened. You may have provided exactly what the individual was looking for and they don’t need anything else. They will have left having had a very positive experience with your business.

Now if you’d like people to hang around for longer, make sure you’re directing people to the next most relevant piece of content or product on your website. This is where internal linking is important. It’s a subtle way of enticing a user to click through to another page. Don’t be afraid to use more brazen tactics such as ‘if you like this, you might also like…’ or links to contact us pages.

9. Images optimisation

We all know that page speed is a direct ranking factor. So the first and foremost thing you need to ensure is that your site’s images aren’t slowing things down. This means making sure your images are compressed without reducing the quality.

But optimising images also means making sure that your images are correctly tagged in order to be visible in Google image searches. Christmas present shopping is a very visual experience. So it’s important to make sure that your product images are optimised, too. Google is getting better at recognising what’s in an image but you can help it along by adding alt text, title text and using a descriptive file name.

10. Prepare a social strategy

Build online authority by going social

Social signals (likes, shares and overall visibility) does play a role in organic search ranking. More importantly, it’s the pulse of a business. It shows customers that you’re alive and kicking and ready to help them. What’s more, multiple surveys show that customers are increasingly prepared to make purchases directly from social media channels. It’s also used frequently as a research tool before buying.

In the midst of dealing with Christmas sales, don’t let this channel dip. Prepare your social strategy in advance so that it doesn’t need too much thinking about in the crazy build-up to the big day.

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Source: BrowserMedia

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