With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the biggest holidays of the year just around the corner, it’s time to consider some critical SEO content strategies to boost holiday sales. Running basic ads and posting on social media just isn’t enough to get the attention of your customers and expand your reach in search engine results. Check out what our COO, Jordan Brannon, had to say about how Coalition Technologies strategizes for the holiday season.
What’s Your Big Sale Product?
One of the best SEO content strategies to draw in your customers is with a loss leader product. What will you be marking down as your biggest sale item for this year? Make the deal good enough to be attractive and use the draw to funnel customers to other related products and services.
Make it Exciting
You want to choose an item that’s already popular and offer a sale that’s out of the ordinary. People are starting to expect more out of holiday sales than ever before, so you have to make your lead deal worth their attention.
“Pick the big, super exciting discount item that you’re promoting for the holidays, and feature it for sale on a page that is key to your ongoing SEO content strategy, or that links clearly to those pages,” says Jordan.
You also want to feature your discount everywhere you can, from PPC ads to social media posts. Start a discussion around your sale that naturally leads to semantically related keywords and link sharing.
Optimize for Keywords
Ideally, you want this product page ranking throughout the year, but you may be forced to create a new URL for it. If this is the case, optimize explicitly for the sale to avoid duplicate keywords and cannibalization. Instead of [product name], utilize [product name] on sale as the keyword. You want to have sale words in the meta description and title tags to increase the click-through rate and ensure that Google gives your URL better rankings.
Launching Your Ads
If your BFCM and holiday ads aren’t out yet, you need to launch mobile and social media offenses as soon as possible. Late October and early November should be your timeline to boost holiday sales. People need time and numerous opportunities to see your ads, click through them, and compare prices.
Your ads need to specify that these deals are for the holiday season only. You’re creating a sense of urgency here that excites people and encourages them to buy. Using holiday terminology in conjunction with sale words will help you in convincing people to make that impulse purchase.
Promote Long-Term Products
One of the best SEO content strategies to take good results year-round and boost them even higher for the holidays is using products that are already part of your catalog. You don’t want to source and promote promotional items that aren’t related to your normal collection. Their pages and URLs won’t have enough time to gain traction and they won’t translate to additional sales after the holidays are over.
“Free scarves [with your purchase] are great, but if your brand primarily focuses on denim or bottoms for SEO, emphasize those,” says Jordan.
Holiday sales shouldn’t be one-offs that have no impact on the rest of the year. All the extra SEO content you’re creating can introduce new consumers to your brand. With a focus on products that are always on your site, these new buyers will come back throughout the year to purchase them again.
Your focus should be on common URLs that can be reused from year to year. This builds SEO authority with search engines for an SEO content strategy that you can profit from each time the holidays come around.
It’s unavoidable that some products you’re promoting for the holiday season are specialty items that are discontinued for the rest of the year. One way to keep these URLs alive is by setting a permanent “sale” URL for it on your site. Even if customers can’t purchase the item, keeping the URL around adds to the page’s value and results in higher rankings the following year.
To make the URL relevant for consumers year-round, use it as a countdown or presale announcement to ensure the URL makes sense as a linking destination.
Make the Most of Landing Pages
Once your ads are designed and written, some of them may have specialty landing pages to funnel leads to all the sales and promotional products you have available. Your landing pages need to be attractive, informative, and utilize SEO best practices to boost holiday sales.
Links Throughout the Landing Page
Using your landing page to send customers through to other pages is another SEO content strategy that does double duty to boost holiday sales and add value and authority to other pages on your site. A landing page is another opportunity for you to create more interlinks to highly relevant and authoritative pages for the future.
Share on Social
Social media is a way to get the word out about your products without using paid results. Build your social following on Instagram and Facebook throughout the year, so you have customers waiting for announcements about BFCM deals and holiday sales.
Get Influencers Involved
Sharing your sales with influencers in your vertical can also establish permanent backlink value to your site. You may need to send them samples of your products in exchange for a review, but a large enough influencer has a lot of power to recommend your product. Combining your following with that of another account can significantly boost holiday sales.
While linking directly to your site or relevant landing pages is a great SEO content strategy, you can also bump up the search volume for your product by encouraging followers to search for additional deals on Google. Tell your audience that they can find the most current deals by searching for a specific term like Black Friday deals on [product name] + [brand name].
“Google will look at related keyword performance and trends to influence suggested search as well as positioning on SERPs. Getting a decent sized Instagram audience to use the right combination of terms to drive improved click-through rate can help with timing a key movement in rankings,” says Jordan.
With this technique, you get quick short-term results that can help boost holiday sales at the last minute!
Focus on Amazon
Rankings on Amazon operate a little differently than the algorithm for ranking your ecommerce site on regular search engines. While keywords and page value are the primary focus for Google, you need reviews and a high velocity of sales to influence your positioning in listing results for Amazon.
Sale Velocity vs. Optimization
SEO content strategies for Amazon need to focus on increasing sales now to ensure your products have a high ranking in the midst of holiday shopping. Pre-releasing discounts on certain items on your Amazon listings before the holiday rush can help you garner the sales you need to ensure your products are properly positioned as searches increase over time. Use your D2C store to drive sales through Amazon and accumulate information on customer habits throughout the year to prepare for high sales during the holiday months.
“You can apply some promotional pressure towards your Amazon listings at selected times to really help ramp up sales when Amazon is hitting peak traffic and sales volumes,” says Jordan.
If you want SEO content strategies that you can apply now to get your sales higher in a month or two, your approach will be slightly different than a prolonged campaign that will have increased benefits as time goes on. Short-term strategies include going viral, updating your site for the holiday season, and changing the terminology around your key products to reflect sales.
Words like “free,” “sale,” and “clearance” have a powerful effect on most shoppers. They’re automatically curious about what you’re offering. Even if someone ranks above you in search results, including one of these words in capital letters, catches the eye and ensures that someone will click through to your site instead of to a competitor’s.
You also have the opportunity to modify your top-selling products to reflect seasonal popularity. Is your top product formal dresses? You can add in ranking keywords that address prom season, holiday parties, and weddings. Are you in the jewelry industry? Optimizing for keywords that revolve around Mother’s Day or Christmas can reflect a bump in your rankings around these times.
While not part of your online SEO content strategy, if you have a local presence, promoting sales throughout your area is a short-term solution that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Placing a few ads with publications in your city or town will ensure that you appear on people’s radar more often and complement the work you’re already doing online.
Update Top Pages with Sales
Adding a banner to your homepage, and other top-ranked pages, that announces your most exciting sale allows you to add relevant links and calls attention to your lead product right away.
“Updating the content on [a] page to feature a link to a holiday relevant page, that is also keyword-optimized, will often pass immediate value to the destination page,” says Jordan.
Reviewing Past Successes
Learning from your past is an important step you should take when creating SEO content strategies for the future. You can explore your successes in email marketing and PPC ads through a number of analytics platforms like Google and SEMRush.
Google Search Console reports your page rankings for the most desirable and high-converting keywords. Revisiting your landing pages and top product pages from October to December of previous years allows you to explore opportunities to update your content this year. Have you stopped using a particular keyword that is converting really well? Are you ranking near the 5th or 6th result for a popular term that with quick optimization could rank 2nd or 3rd? Every little bit will help get more eyes on your product and your website.
If you had an email marketing campaign last year as part of your SEO content strategy, what headlines and content got the biggest sales? You can recycle these previous ideas for the new year and send them out to an even larger mailing list than before.
Jordan asks clients “What email marketing segment is converting the best? If its audience based, look at ways to address the concerns, wants, expectations, or needs of that audience for the holidays.”
PPC ad copy is very similar to email marketing. You need headlines that immediately grab attention. It must be relevant and highly targeted to draw the conversions you desire. Since you can see the results from your PPC campaigns very easily, you can test out different keywords, headlines, and sales from week to week to find the perfect SEO content strategy.
There are plenty of other approaches you can take to bump up your SEO strategy at the last minute. From improving your page load speeds to optimizing your site for mobile users, all of these can be incorporated to create short and long-term results.
Throughout the holiday season, you also want constant accessibility to your conversion data. Any breakdown in data tracking can kill your performance, as you won’t be able to see and catch the trends for the season. Keep an eye for any error reporting in all your analytics to stay on top of everything.
If you want a little extra help developing effective SEO content strategies and boosting holiday sales this season, the team at Coalition Technologies is happy to help. Reach out to us today to learn what we can do for you!