The holiday season may seem far away now, but it’s never too early to get a jump on holiday SEO practices so you can be in prime condition to get as much traffic as possible during that time. For one thing, it will sneak up on you if you aren’t prepared for it. More importantly, it’s good practice to have your SEO optimized at all times, so you can get as much business as possible. The specific practices to achieve holiday success aren’t far off from what’s effective year-round. These are the 7 SEO activities to start now, before the Q4 holiday season.
1. Optimize for Monetizable Keywords
A common misconception among companies is that all keywords are monetizable when the truth is 92.42% of keywords get ten monthly searches or fewer. Monetizable keywords are ones that specifically provide two main opportunities – that your audience will buy from you, and that you can get returns before your budget falters. One of the most important SEO activities you can do, then, is to optimize for these keywords. Start by filtering or segmenting your keywords based on user intent. It’s helpful to create a tier list of which keywords are most likely to produce sales. Then, check search volumes, see where the traffic lies, and try to be in contention for the top 3 spots on searches if possible. If you’re trying to fight super large sites for that keyword, though, consider looking elsewhere.
2. Offer Unique Content on Landing Pages
One of the holiday SEO techniques that generates consistent results is building opportunities for unique content on landing pages. Many SEO activities can fall short or are difficult to execute if the site isn’t built properly for SEO integration. Ideally, there should be a theme or template that matches its appealing design with real-world marketing applications. Basically, you want to make sure that key marketing channel landing pages have opportunities to highlight a mix of unique, keyword-optimized images, text, and video. For example, you can consider optimizing your website’s experience by providing clear CTAs or steps for users to follow (i.e. a “next step” button) and ensuring that any added elements don’t slow down your page’s load time.
3. Maximize Structured Data and Schema Opportunities
Structured data is essentially markup around webpage content that highlights what the content is for. This, in tandem with Schema, is used by search engines and data aggregators to process the purpose of the page. It’s how Google knows 5 yellow stars on a product page are for reviews. With Google’s technology improving, it’s able to understand structured data and what your webpage offers much more clearly. Based on this SEO activity, you should incorporate structured data wherever possible without overdoing it. If all the right parts of your page are marked up so Google can dissect all of its parts, Google will have more knowledge of the site and be more likely to recommend it to diverse searches.
4. Pursue Opportunities with Other High Ranking Sites
This SEO activity is more about link building than anything else. A problematic ongoing trend in search results is Google favoring aggregators of information instead of actual sources of information. With 90.63% of pages getting no organic Google traffic, this can be a problem. These aggregators will have lower quality info and will be a poorer search experience. Users want results, not another site that may or may not have that result. You can use this to your advantage for holiday SEO as you can find out which sites rank highly on terms relating to gift-giving, types of gifts, or sales by category, and reach out to them to get involved with their lists. You’ll have a huge advantage getting your products on those sites now than if you waited until the holiday season.
5. Close Gaps Between the Mobile and Computer Experience
Mobile optimization for web pages is more important than ever. More than half of internet traffic goes through phones now, so your page needs to be up to code. If people can’t navigate your site, they won’t shop on it, and a poor user experience can negatively affect how your site ranks on Google. The key SEO activity to accomplish here is having your page load quickly and be easily usable by mobile users. This may take time depending on the current state of your site, which is why it’s so important to get started now.
6. Incorporate SEO Strategy into Social Media and Elsewhere
This holiday SEO activity is pretty straightforward: use keywords in social media content posting. Social media is massive, with hundreds of millions to even billions of users worldwide. From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Tiktok, and even Twitch, there are a plethora of available platforms to influence audiences. That’s where influencers come in. Working with influencers trending on topics matching your SEO keywords can boost your market saturation. Distribute SEO content frequently on these networks, as doing so can up your ranking, build links, and get your content indexed and crawled early and often.
7. Make a Splash in October or Early November
This may be the simplest yet most important SEO activity you can do. Making a splash means doing something noteworthy and out of the norm in your industry. In other words, go viral. Say something aggressive or offensive. Do something incredibly nice or generous. Or just do something plain ridiculous, like when KFC made its own gaming console. This gets people talking about your brand, and is a way to crack open the system since most SEO agencies aren’t on top of this strategy yet. However, it can also be risky and require a lot of brand support to get right, but it can pay off. Make a splash—just don’t start a tidal wave.
Find What Works for You
Not all of these SEO activities are easily done, but they don’t all have to be undertaken simultaneously either. The most important thing is that you raise your brand awareness, whether that’s through a super responsive mobile site, structured data, monetizable keywords, or doing something bold. But whatever you choose to do, now is the time to get started. By starting efforts now, you make sure you can get everything you want done to reach your holiday SEO goals, and possibly even more. So go ahead, invest in strategies now and track your progress over the next few months.