The months leading up to the holiday season can be hectic when you own a business. Not only do you have to prepare your products, but you also have to ensure that customers will be able to find you online and shop for your products.
During this period, every other business is going to be pushing out holiday deals and working to boost their site’s visibility. To get out on top, there are a few search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that can help push your products and increase your site visits.
The goal is to rank higher on the list when people are searching for products like the ones that you sell. Customers are going to be in the mood to shop anyway; with SEO practices, you can make sure that your business is one of the first that they come across.
Keep reading to learn more about how SEO strategies can give your business a boost this holiday season!
On any given day, SEO is important for your business. The holiday season can feel oversaturated with both products and buyers, so standing out is even more of a necessity than usual. With a shift to online shopping since the beginning of COVID and a rise in inflation across the country, selling your items isn’t reliant on what that item is – it’s also about the cost of that item, how it’s getting to the consumer, and what other competitors are offering.
“Retailers have to really adjust to the consumers’ terms now,” Vivek Pandya, a lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, shared.
SEO is about assuming what consumers are going to be interested in and making sure that it’s available on your site. This includes keywords, markdowns, and engaging content that makes the buyer feel more connected to your business and your product.
Visibility is key during the holiday season. You want your site to come up within the first five options when someone is searching for a product like yours. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can do this!
“It is both relevance and popularity that the process of SEO is meant to influence,” Neil Patel of NP Digital says.
When you are able to utilize SEO properly, it will put your business directly in front of buyers who are looking to make a purchase. The following strategies are meant to increase your relevance during the holidays, which in turn boosts your popularity as more traffic flows to your site and sales are being made.
Getting a baseline for your site’s insights will help you keep track of how your business is doing this holiday season. This will help you to get a better understanding of what your customers were able to find when searching for products and can steer you in the right direction this holiday season.
“For many businesses going over last year’s insights, it will become clear that products with holiday-inspired keywords and optimized images were at the forefront of customer searches. Products that didn’t reflect the holiday season often get lost on sites and bring in very little traffic,” says Dorothy Pun, Founder of Knitup.
Having an understanding of what the traffic to your site looks like before the holidays can help you make changes as the season continues. You’ll be able to see in real-time what the trends that are emerging this year are and adapt your business model to them.
By now, there are plenty of blog posts and articles out there that recap last year’s trends. This may correlate directly to your own insights from last year, but it can also give you an idea of what to look out for this season. Trends are ever-changing, but if you’re thinking about them, that means other businesses are.
“Embracing holiday trends helps businesses to navigate where to put resources and what exactly to focus on,” explains Dakota McDaniels, Chief Product Officer of Pluto, an AI stock trading platform. “In the time of social media, staying on top of trends could be just the thing that skyrockets a business into success.”
Not every trend is going to help your business, either. It’s important to decide what makes the most sense for your business, so paying attention to what competitors in your market are doing can push you in the right direction.
When a customer opens up your site, they should be met with dedicated holiday pages. You can create pop-ups that surface when anyone enters your site that redirects them to your holiday items.
“It’s possible to assume that consumers coming to a shopping site during the holiday season are looking for holiday items and deals. When directed to landing pages specific to holiday items, the middle man is being taken out, and shoppers don’t have to go searching for what they’re looking for,” advises Maggie Brown, Founder and CEO of Recess Pickleball.
These pages don’t need to be kept up past the holidays, and they can change based on what holiday is around the corner. You can have pages for Halloween items, Thanksgiving items, religious holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Christmas, Ramadan, and even New Year’s Eve celebrations! The more specific that you become, the easier it is for consumers to know where to look.
When it comes to SEO, relevant keywords can do a lot to help boost your website’s visibility. After a person types into a search bar, the words that they use are matched to sites that use those specific key terms.
“There are many ways for a shopper to explain what they want. Some people may type in ‘original winter artwork,’ while others search ‘winter landscape paintings.’ Both of these search terms may conjure up the same kind of products, but it’s fully dependent on which terms a business uses when posting the product,” explains Andrew Chen, Chief Product Officer of CommentSold, a company that specializes in Shopify live selling.
While you don’t want to oversaturate your sites with too many words, including the top 10 keywords in the product description, the product name, and the URL can give your items a boost over other companies.
SEO isn’t just about tracking insights and using keywords anymore! How you portray and market your products to consumers can help to influence buyers as they’re browsing during the holiday season.
“Creating a site that includes personal anecdotes and blog posts that incorporate products gives the buyers a better feel for how others have received the products. It’s important to make each product personal so that it can better connect with the person adding it to their cart,” Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce shares.
Buyers want to know that the products they are buying will live up to their expectations, and the best way to do this is to come up with content that engages them.
Just because someone has put your item into their cart does not mean that the experience is over. There are ways to encourage sales through the functions of your cart page, including deals, discount codes, and reminders.
“If a buyer puts something in their cart and forgets about it, there is a way to program the site to send reminders and offer discounts to that shopper. Not only does it incentivize the purchase, but it shows consumers that the business is being run by people who care and are invested in the product,” says Scott Chaverri, CEO of Mito Red Light.
Offering a variety of payments, giving free shipping after a certain value, and including places for discount codes will encourage the buyer to make the purchase and to visit your site again.
7. Increase Your Site’s Speed
Before the holidays kick off, you’re going to want to ensure that your site speed is up-to-date and properly working.
“Shoppers don’t want to wait more than three seconds to see what is on a site. They want fast and functional, and if they don’t receive that, there’s another site out there that will provide it for them,” provides Travis Mydock, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney at Mydock Law.
You’ll want to check your site speed before the holiday season starts and prepare for an overload of shoppers. If you can avoid your site from crashing or being slow, the more likely consumers are to stay on your page for longer.
8. Improve Your Mobile Site
Online shopping during the holidays can happen anywhere, anytime. Many people utilize their phones for online shopping, which means that the mobile view of your site should be top-tier.
“If a site looks disorganized and dysfunctional while a person is trying to shop, they might assume the site is no good. It’s essential that every business double-checks how their site looks when viewed on a computer and mobile browser,” claims Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB.
Many websites will give you the option to view your site from a mobile perspective so that you can make any changes that you need for it to function properly.
9. Harness the Power of Social Media and Ads
Regardless of whether you make sales through social media apps or not, being able to utilize social media and advertisements on these platforms can boost your visibility. Ads get sent out to people who are in the market for your product, and it does this by understanding those consumers’ algorithms and previous searches.
“Purchasing a few ads to different social media sites, like Instagram and Facebook, can put a product that a person didn’t realize they needed directly in front of them,” states Dominique Zimmermann, CEO and Head Designer of Bombshell Sportswear. “If a buyer searches ‘cozy knit sweater’ just once, an ad with the same product is likely to show up on their feed within the next 24 hours.”
At this point, you can’t avoid using social media because it’s prevalent in so many consumers’ lives. Ads are an easy way to put your products out there, so don’t be afraid to try them out.
10. Watch Your Competitors
People who are putting out similar products to you are likely keeping the same tabs on trends that you are. By paying attention to what your competitors are doing, you can keep up with them and propel your business forward.
“Keep an eye out for what others in the same field are doing – this is a great indicator of what successful businesses are doing to stay in the game,” says Lioran Pinchevski, Founder and CEO of Finaloop, a company that specializes in ecommerce accounting software.
The last thing that you want to do is copy someone else’s marketing campaign, but it never hurts to get a little inspiration and gauge how customers are responding.
Make This Holiday a Festive One for Your Business!
Your business is going to thrive this holiday season if you implement the SEO strategies listed above. Staying ahead of the trends, using specific keywords, and making sure that the backend of your site is functioning fast will only boost the traffic to your site.
You’ll find that your site is coming up on the first page of search engines more than it ever has, with it consistently climbing closer to the top five. If you’re looking for more sales this holiday season, this is how to do it!