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It’s that time of the year where carols are sung, and decorations are hung on the Christmas tree. Despite it still being mid-November, a lot of people are already prepping for the holidays by planning out what gifts to buy, purchasing any necessary decorations in advance, as well as listing out what kind of food to prepare for Christmas Dinner. Families all over the world are doing the same thing, and you can almost smell the eggnog and Christmas cookies. So, let’s say you’re prepared for Christmas. But is your website prepped as well?
As the holidays are rolling in, you should also make sure your website is optimized for the occasion. You might be surprised to know just how many people actually look for holiday sales even as early as now and that a lot of companies, having anticipated this, have been preparing since last month. SEO takes time, which makes it beneficial if you were to start early. Don’t get too discouraged though, as there are still plenty of things you can do in order to catch up to the holiday rush. Here, we lay down some things you can change on your domain to prepare for the upcoming holidays.
Since you know that you’re already a bit behind schedule, there is no time for dilly-dallying. Don’t wait for the holiday to take you by surprise, and the earlier you can get a start on you holiday SEO efforts, the better. But as we said before, it’s not as exacting as it may seem. Studies have shown that publishing content even one week before the onset of the holidays can help in boosting your results by 50%. However, starting at least 45 days before the holidays can get you over 90%, so what are you waiting for?
Don’t forget to optimize for the mobile experience
If you’ve been keeping yourself up to date with the latest SEO trends, you would know over half of online users choose to use their mobile phones rather than laptops or desktops to browse the internet. That number only goes up when they are looking for things to buy. Because of this, you should always prioritize the mobile experience for your visitors. Make it easier for them to navigate as well as put things in the shopping cart.
Don’t forget link building
Although this should always be on your priority list whenever you are re-optimizing your pages, this is doubly important when it comes to the holidays. When you ensure that links are getting on your content pieces, the higher the chances that your page will rank. Contact your previous partners, as well as the websites that you had worked with before. Another thing you want to make sure of is the shareability of your content. Put in social-friendly tidbits so the readers and visitors are encouraged to share. You could also try to include some pictures with a holiday theme.
Update your keywords
One of the first things you should take care of when optimizing for the holidays is to update the keywords you use. Check out how your pages are currently ranking and analyze the traffic. If some pages aren’t doing so well, you might want to tweak them. After that, check out the keywords and prioritize embedding some holiday-related terms that will fit well with your content. Of course, you should also check out the current trending terms so you know which ones will be most effective.
Create holiday content that fits your brand
After you’re done revamping your keywords for the holidays, you are now able to create and implement a content strategy fit for your brand. Think about content that works with what your company is; don’t just create content that is filled with holiday messaging which isn’t really in line with what you provide. Above all else, it should be authentic as being original always matters.
For those companies that provide products or services that are usually given as gifts, it would be easy to create content that highlight what they give out. No matter what you provide, just make sure your content revolves around marketing what you give out, focusing primarily on your best offerings. You should also consider creating holiday-specific landing pages for the themed content you’re about to put out. An example of this is adding a holiday subsection, which will catch the eye of people who are looking for gifts for their friends and family.
Another idea would be to create blog posts revolving around the holidays. Gift guides and such that are targeted towards specific audiences are good examples of these, and you can also target them to personas like busy moms or working students. Integrate all these strategies into your social media channels, as well as embed the links into your email marketing campaigns.
Create a teaser for what’s coming
Once you’re actually done with all the research and strategy parts, an effective way to ease in your audience would be to offer teasers. Offer some sneak peaks to the subscribers of your email campaign, as well as some of your frequent visitors. Another great way to reach your loyal customers would be through your social media accounts. If you want, you may also opt to add them to your website in some relevant spots, to reach even those who are new to your domain.
If you’re going to be adding in some seasonal landing pages, you can add in a “coming soon” trailer. A good idea would be to give out some previews of some products that are going to be featured during your holiday sale. Target certain personas again, for example teenagers with a taste for gadgets. Post some pictures in advance, with an additional note at the end that there will be more coming soon.
Ensure your pages load fast
When the holidays are in full swing, there is going to be a large amount of traffic going to those websites that advertise products or services that are perfect as Christmas gifts. Now with that large amount of traffic, your servers will experience a commensurate level of stress. When your servers are overloaded, loading times might be affected, which won’t do your brand any favors, especially when it comes to the very last minute. Even a one-second delay can be the difference between a sale and a bounce, so make sure you do all you can to enhance the loading speed on all of your pages. One thing you can do is check the photos on your site, as photos are often one of the biggest culprits as to why pages take a long time to load. Using properly resized images will speed things up.
The holidays are always a good time for businesses. However, in order to maximize the effect of the season, you should always make sure to prepare as early as possible. But what if you’re already so busy actually handling your physical stores, and you don’t have enough time to write websites? A good compromise would be to make use of a website content writer, or some other copywriting services. Check us out at SquareFish. While you take care of your brick-and-mortar shop, we’ll handle the digital side of the brand.