When it comes to the holiday season, many brands leave their marketing strategy to the last minute and rely on an alluring product range or service suite alone to encourage users to convert.
But with market saturation online and the whole internet for users to shop from, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out and get noticed. Importantly, users are demanding seamless online experiences as well as valuable content to consume and will no longer give their business to a poor-performing website.
That’s where the value of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in, particularly for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) that might not have the BIG marketing budgets that come from being a large corporation with money to burn.
By employing strategic seasonal SEO tactics, businesses can utilise their local presence, create bespoke holiday content that their audience can connect with, and increase brand visibility online organically.
This handy guide breaks down our 5 top SEO tips for eCommerce businesses looking to take their holiday marketing strategy to the next level.
1. Create Seasonal Gift Guides
In 2020 alone, over 45% of users said they look at gift guides to inform purchase decisions during the holiday season.
If you’ve been browsing online recently or scrolling through your email inbox you may have noticed brands have begun releasing seasonal gifting guides. These guides hero best-selling products, inspire users to shop and often feature curated collections of different gift categories. For example, ‘gifts under $50’, ‘gifts for her’, ‘gifts for mum’ and more.
Typically, these gift guides are centred around gifting for the Christmas season inspiring early bird shoppers to purchase while re-engaging past and existing customers with relevant holiday content.
Not only are gift guides handy for users to have, but they can assist in boosting organic visibility online, broadening brand awareness and resulting in increased sales over the holiday period.
A gift guide is simple to create and could take the form of a seasonal landing page on your website, a blog post or a feature in an email marketing campaign.
Featuring the gift guide on your website can assist in ranking the site for seasonal keywords, broadening your visibility online as well as providing an opportunity to generate backlinks from publications and press.
But it’s important to get a head-start on this sort of thing earlier rather than later, as more than a third of Australians are expecting to spend more this holiday season and begin their holiday shopping early.
Local businesses should capitalise on this forecasted trend to educate users on their product or service offering and begin nurturing the customer through the marketing funnel.
A prime example of a visually engaging gift guide is from the beloved Australian beauty brand, Mecca. The gift guide uses custom illustrations from a local artist and simply categorises their product offering by price, best-selling, category and occasion.
Mecca’s gift guide also features complimentary seasonal content, a clear Call To Action (CTA) specific to the holiday season, and rich media forms such as video that entices, excites and inspires.
2. Create Seasonal Landing Pages
Google has stated that eCommerce businesses can help highlight sales events by providing landing pages with relevant content and high-quality imagery.
Seasonal landing pages are used by businesses in their SEO strategy to assist in driving users onsite and increasing sales throughout the holiday period. These landing pages can assist in targeting specific seasonal keywords and can continually build up authority each year to assist in broadening visibility.
By keeping the seasonal landing page live onsite and switching up the content every year, it’s easy to refresh and incorporate into your holiday marketing strategy.
Seasonal landing pages are typically used to promote Black Friday events, Cyber Monday events, Christmas gifting guides and Boxing Day Sales. The landing page itself should follow the below criteria:
The landing page should add value to the user outside of purchasing a product. Ways to incorporate value into your seasonal landing page offering could include a sharable interactive quiz, infographic, special discount or offers and more. This not only increases the shareability of your content but gives the user a reason to read and interact with your landing page.
All products featured on the landing page should have a shoppable link to purchase. This creates an easy and immediate call to action for users and encourages them to click through to learn more about the product or purchase.
Your landing page should contain a mix of different visual mediums to encourage engagement. This could include images, videos, GIFs, infographics and more.
Your seasonal landing page should also link to other content on-site. This can aid users who are at the initial stages of the funnel and are looking for more information and proof before purchase. Recommendations could include linking to relevant seasonal blog articles, gift guides and more.
It is also important to provide some proof to your audience of your product or service’s effectiveness. This can help create more desire for the product as well as make the product more relatable to the user and reduce the perceived risk of purchase. Types of customer proof include UGC, reviews or testimonials.
Let’s use Mont Equipment as an example.
Mont has created a seasonal Black Friday landing page early and with messaging on-page to encourage users to sign-up for their newsletter to get notified when the actual sale goes live. This is a great way to get search engines to index the page and begin ranking early while ensuring the limited deals and sales aren’t available onsite before the promotional event.
3. Create Complimentary Seasonal Content
Seasonal content can increase brand awareness and user engagement providing another touchpoint to nurture the digital consumer in their purchase journey.
By creating relevant and timely seasonal content, you can drive in-market users onsite and encourage conversions. This related seasonal content can be used to complement your gift guides and seasonal landing pages through internal linking to build up the authority of these pages.
Seasonal content can also ensure your website is ranking for different seasonal terms with a high search volume, ass well as targeting users based on their search intent and need at different stages of the funnel, from awareness to consideration and conversion.
Bed Threads, another recognisable Australian company, is another great example. They have already begun to create complementary Christmas content onsite. Not only does this long-form content add value to the user to read, but it also features organically placed links back to their gifting guide to encourage users to click through and explore their website.
4. Make A Memorable User Experience
88% of online shoppers won’t return to a website after having a bad user experience, and over half of the visitors to mobile websites will leave a page if it takes over three seconds to load.
With the holiday season approaching it’s expected more users will be driven to purchase from your website. With this influx of new traffic, it’s important to consider if your site can provide a memorable and seamless user experience. In other words, can your website function effectively with a considerable uplift in users being driven onsite?
After all, if your website can’t deliver a fast and engaging experience users will leave your website and find a competitor that does.
A well-designed website puts their users first by ensuring it’s extremely user-friendly. On a surface level, this means it’s easy to navigate, browse and purchase. Analysing and auditing your website performance to further optimise page speed and mobile experience is a great place to start.
Aspects to consider include:
Core Web Vitals
- Loading speed on desktop and mobile (Largest Contentful Paint)
- Visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift)
- Interactivity (First Input Delay)
- Check out the Ultimate Guide to Core Web Vitals here
- Broken URLs
- Insecure pages (i.e. HTTPS & SSL certificate)
- Canonical tags
- Orphaned pages
It is important your site can function effectively and efficiently, not only during the holiday period, but during day-to-day operations.
5. Start Early
According to Google, by November 1 in 10 Australians have finished Christmas shopping altogether and 35% have already begun holiday shopping.
The most important tip of all is to begin your holiday marketing strategy as early as possible! As we all know with SEO, it is not something you can post overnight and expect success.
It can take weeks and even months to see traction with your optimisations. This is because search engines require time to re-index your website to see new pages or changes before beginning to show them on the search engine results page (SERP).
5 SEO Marketing Tips Summary:
- Create gift guides
- Create seasonal landing pages
- Create Complimentary Seasonal Content
- Ensure a memorable user experience
- Start early!
If you’re looking to optimise your website and enhance your digital presence, we’re here to help! Get in contact with our experienced team today and elevate your brand this holiday season.