As businesses start getting ready for the Christmas push, the focus for the website is usually on adding seasonal products to the store, preparing your promotions and dressing up the pages to look festive. One thing that often gets overlooked is how you can use SEO in the run-up to Christmas to bring more traffic to your site and grow sales even more. Here we look at five ways you can boost Christmas SEO.
- Speed up your website
Website speed is part of the ranking criteria used by Google and other search engines. The faster you can get your website to load and respond to user interaction, the greater its chance of ranking highly. If that’s not enough of an incentive, also remember that fast websites have much smaller bounce rates and cart abandonment rates than slow websites.You can check how well your site is performing and what improvements you need to make by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights test. Simply type in your URL and press ‘Analyse’ to get the results. While there are a lot of things you can do to help speed up your site, do make sure that your web hosting offers sufficient RAM, CPU and bandwidth for your needs during the busy season. If in doubt, it might be time to upgrade to a bigger plan.
- Look back to move forward
When planning on what will work well this year, it can help to look back at last year’s analytics and Search Console data. These can help you understand where you’re likely to get a lot of organic traffic from this year, as you’ll be able to see which pages attracted the most visitors and delivered the best conversions. You’ll also be able to find out which were the most popular search terms used by your visitors last year and how well you ranked for them.
- Start working on your keywords
Armed with information from last year’s data and backing this up with predictions from Google Trends, you can gain a clearer idea of how to implement an effective SEO strategy for the upcoming season. One of the important elements of such a strategy will be your use of keywords.While successful product-related keywords won’t be of much use this year if you are no longer selling the same products, understanding the other successful search terms from last year will. Do remember, however, that there will be some exceptionally popular keywords that you may have to avoid simply because other big brand stores will dominate the search results for them.For companies with lower authority websites, it is often better to target less competitive keywords. In some cases, this can sometimes mean focusing less on sales-related keywords and more on research-related terms, e.g., ‘stocking filler ideas.’ Using long tail keywords that are relevant to your brand’s niche, have decent search volumes and are low competition is often the best strategy to use.
- Create landing pages for your Christmas offers
In the midst of a cost of living squeeze, many more people, this year, are going to be looking for offers to keep the cost of Christmas to a minimum. This will mean an increase in the use of words like ‘offer’, ‘discount’ and ‘deal’ in the search terms people use, e.g., Xbox bundle, perfume deals or Lego discounts. Creating specific landing pages for these deals and using the deal-related keywords in the titles, headings, meta descriptions, image alt-tags and content can help increase your chances of ranking well in such searches.
To give these pages the best chance of ranking, publish them early (using a temporary 302 redirect if you want to keep them hidden until nearer the time) and then add them to your sitemap so that they are indexed by the search engines.
- Recycle old pages
As new URLs can take a while to start ranking, you can have more immediate success in search results if you use an existing Christmas-related URL created for a previous year and repurpose the page for the current year. This is especially true if the existing URL has an established authority online and backlinks from other websites.
So, if you created successful landing pages for previous Christmases which you have since taken offline, rather than deleting them, simply update the content and keywords for this year and take advantage of their existing SEO firepower.
In a tough economic climate, it is important to get as much leverage as you can from your website this Christmas. Hopefully, the points above will help you to boost your site’s SEO and help it rank higher in seasonal searches.
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