This Christmas is going to be a little unprecedented. We all know that already. Although there’s still snow on the ground, festivity in the air, and plenty of Christmas cheer, there’s also COVID to worry about.
Even so, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your while to plan out some holiday-focused search engine optimization. It is, after all, an incredibly busy time of year, especially for consumer-focused retailers. Playing your cards right means you’re potentially looking at an enormous increase in qualified leads.
Ignoring the holiday rush, on the other hand, means missing out on a ton of sales. While it won’t necessarily kill your business, it’s also not something you want to miss out on. With that in mind, here are three of the most important things to understand about holiday SEO.
Timeliness Is Key
First thing’s first, if you haven’t already started planning out your holiday content, you need to do so. Immediately. There’s a reason most brands start pumping up their holiday marketing campaigns in November — or even immediately after Halloween.
Start by understanding and analyzing your audience, focusing on a few core areas.
- What gifts are especially popular in your industry at the moment, and which are realistic for you to carry? If you’re an electronics retailer, for instance, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are incredibly hot-ticket items, but you aren’t likely going to be able to stock them.
- How are current market trends impacting consumer search and purchase patterns? Many consumers are likely looking to spend a bit less this holiday season due to COVID, so you’ll need to be cognizant of that.
- What are people discussing on social media? How does your audience feel about the holiday season? How do they feel about your brand?
There are a few places you can search out this information. First, examine keyword data from Google Trends. Look at both your social feeds and those of your competitors. And finally, see if there are any industry-specific analysts that you can tap for additional knowledge about your market.
Armed with this information, you can begin creating your content and figuring out your keywords (but more on that in a moment).
Focus On Performance
No, we aren’t talking about performance metrics. We’re talking about website performance. About the end-user experience — ensuring your site is quick to load, easily navigable, and usable on mobile devices.
See, people are already stressed enough as it is. Holiday shopping is just one more set of stressors atop everything else. This means, in no uncertain terms, that the people visiting your site aren’t going to want to deal with performance issues like long load times or poor navigability.
They’ll simply go elsewhere.
Performance is important for reasons beyond it just being the holiday season. As you’ve likely already heard, Google plans to fully integrate its Core Web Vitals, metrics that directly measure the user experience of a web page, into its ranking signals by May 2021.
It’s better for you to get on top of this sooner rather than later.
Choose the Right Keywords (and Content)
Last but certainly not least, tweak your website to tap into the holiday trends and habits you’ve researched. Use your keyword and sentiment research to inform your content marketing efforts, working to create specialized, themed blog posts around the season. Make sure these are geared specifically towards your audience and their interests and do what you can to tie in any holiday promotions you’re currently running.
Given the current climate, however, you’re going to want to ensure a few things.
- Don’t push anything too sales-y on your audience. The last thing people want right now is to be aggressively sold to.
- Your content marketing efforts are integrated with your other marketing channels, including email and social media. Coherence and consistency are key.
- Keep things specific. For your calls to action, focus on a single product or grouping of products.
- Keep your buyer personas in mind with everything you write.
‘Tis The Season
The holidays are nearly upon us. It’s the perfect time of year to take a focused approach with your marketing and SEO effort. By understanding current events, your audience, and your brand, you can help ensure that your business has a very merry Christmas, marked by improved traffic and better revenue.