It’s the happiest season yet again. And with people busy looking for gifts, food or venues online, ‘tis the season to put your holiday SEO best practices to use as well.
It doesn’t matter what product or service you are offering. As a business owner, mid-November until New Year is your cue to unlock your best holiday website content, sales pitch or exclusive deal.
But remember, any content takes time to rank. So, if you want to boost your rankings, increase your profit or outperform competitors, you need to prepare and start early.
Here’s a checklist you can use to get you and your team of SEO elves holiday-ready!
1. Update Any Existing Holiday Website Content
Have you produced any holiday-related content for your website before? If so, consider revisiting these previous posts or blogs, then check which ones are ideal for updating.
It’s easier to reuse and optimise your old-but-still-relevant content than produce new articles. Some content may only need a new title, fresh image or updated tags and URL, which takes no time.
Moreover, existing holiday posts have already earned some domain authority that you do not want to waste. Now, when updating, here are some helpful holiday SEO tips you can follow:
- Use tools that will show your current ranking and organic traffic. The results should help you identify which articles are doing well and which ones will do better with slight tweaking.
- Set up a list of relevant keywords that suit your business or holiday content. A keyword research tool is helpful in this case. For example, Google Trends or Keyword Planner can show you product-specific terms users are typing in their search queries. Having a holiday keyword plan is more efficient than inserting random keywords.
This guide for handling outdated content might help you out as well.
2. Create Discount/Sales Content
With your analysis findings and keyword list ready, it’s time to prep your holiday content that will make you stand out. Now, there are plenty of options you can do to relay your holiday message to your intended audience.
For example, you can insert your holiday deals, offers or contests into your blog posts. You can then use these articles for your social media campaign or email marketing. Weave your keywords into your titles or subject lines to make your content more eye-catching.
If you also sell products on your service website, a gift guide featuring your products will be a good idea. Just make sure your product descriptions are updated and accurate.
Another thing to include in your list of holiday SEO best practices is to wow your visitors with a holiday landing page. It’s your digital storefront, after all. Optimising it can encourage people to shop around your online store and linger.
You can create a holiday subsection here, too, to guide users to your best seasonal offerings and lessen distraction. Keep things simple and user-friendly for a successful customer journey.
3. Ensure Local Business Listings are Up-to-Date
Holiday SEO best practices apply even to business owners of brick-and-mortar stores. That’s because holiday shoppers will still search for you online through local business listing sites like Google My Business (GMB), Yelp and Bing. Also, some prefer to look for gift ideas in-store.
Ideally, you should already have a working business profile, complete with crucial details like your company name, address, phone number and website. When creating this, avoid committing local SEO mistakes to heighten your search visibility and competitiveness.
Now, if you’re preparing for the holiday season, make sure to revisit your local listing to ensure everything is accurate and optimised. For instance, update your store hours if you’re observing new ones during the holiday.
You can also include holiday keywords into your meta descriptions, titles or URL to attract more customers to your website. Make sure to check your category pages, too, so users can quickly spot the products or services you have on offer.
Also, highlight your delivery method or payment options to enhance your market appeal. While updating your local listing, give your customer reviews a quick run through as well. Check out our tips on how to optimise feedback and use it to your advantage.
4. Optimise Website Speed for Mobile and Increased Holiday Traffic
Everyone is in a hurry to finish their holiday shopping. And so, the last thing you want is to serve your potential customers with a slow-acting, irresponsive website.
That will only lead to bounce rate spikes, low ranking and frustrated visitors. Sadly, that also means a lost chance of gaining a new patron or making a sale. We want none of that, especially during this time of year.
So, when implementing holiday SEO best practices, prioritise user experience and take care of your core web vitals. Check your website and see to it that it’s fast-loading, broken link free and mobile-friendly.
We suggest using the right tools for faster auditing, too, like:
- Google Search Console for indexing errors
- PageSpeed Insights for web performance issues
- Mobile-Friendly Test for mobile-friendliness and site speed
- Siteliner for broken links, duplicate content and link assessment
5. Check Out Competitors and Learn
Like you, your direct online competitors are probably preparing for their seasonal campaigns, SEO efforts and holiday marketing tactics. The best thing about it is that you can freely check out what’s keeping them busy!
Do they have trending blogs or social media posts? What gift suggestions or content ideas are they featuring? Are they offering a new deal or an exciting contest?
The idea here is not to directly copy your competitors. Learn from them and use their ideas as inspiration instead. Find ways on how to make them fit into your branding while keeping things original and authentic.
Always incorporate creativity when applying holiday SEO best practices. That way, it will be easier for you to stand out from the competition and be memorable to your customers.
Keeping up with the hustle and bustle of the big season can be challenging, especially for small local businesses. However, if you have been working on your SEO foundation for the past years, a few tweaks should preserve your competitive edge.
Moreover, once you start applying these holiday SEO best practices year after year, planning and implementing your efforts will become faster, if not better. Also, you can use a previous holiday SEO campaign for analysis and inspiration.
Our best tip: make your SEO strategies work in harmony. With well-combined efforts, your business is sure to be jolly and bright this ho-ho-holiday shopping season!