The “most wonderful time of year” is also one of the most competitive times for seasonal SEO. Despite the competition, consistent SEO best practices can make your site stand out and benefit from the seasonal spike in online shopping activity.
Why Does SEO Matter During the Holidays?
It’s always important to make your products and services accessible, and potential customers are more likely to find you if you have used thoughtful SEO strategies to boost your website’s visibility. The efforts to help maintain and elevate your online presence will pay off, though, at the end of the year. According to Adobe, which tracks sales on retailers’ websites, consumers spent $35.3 billion during 2022’s Cyber Week, with a record-breaking Cyber Monday spend of $11.3 billion. Improving your website’s SEO can bring in more visitors, boosting sales and revenue during busy holidays.
Because many businesses prioritize their efforts during the lucrative fourth-quarter holiday shopping season, there has been a growing emphasis on holiday SEO. This SEO strategy involves optimizing online content for search engines in advance of specific holiday seasons or special occasions. While your year-round SEO will serve you best, there are a few quick things you can do to improve your specific holiday SEO efforts.
Top Ways to Incorporate Holiday SEO:
- Sleigh (Slay) Seasonal Keywords: Review the keyword phrases you focus on throughout the year. Take note of the ones that show an upward trend during the holiday season and prioritize those pages before the holidays arrive. Let’s say you sell coats. You may notice that “faux fur coats” or “winter peacoats” start seeing an uptick in search in early November because consumers are starting to think about what coats they will wear to all of the holiday gatherings and festive parties they have coming up. Instead of just focusing on competing with customers looking to “buy coats online” or “buy coats on sale,” you can meet their specific need for “faux fur coats.” These trending seasonal SEO keywords for your products or services can help you spot gaps in your existing content. You can then optimize existing pages that align with the intent of holiday shoppers or create new pages if you don’t already have them.
- Spruce Up Your Pre-Existing Content: Consider reusing holiday landing pages or improving deal pages from previous seasons. You’ll save time and effort, and you’ll have a go-to holiday spot for your customers. For example, let’s say you have a “Holiday Deals” page. You don’t want to keep creating deals pages for 2023, 2024, 2025, etc. It’s much better to have a single page that lives consistently on the site so that you can reuse and add to the page’s authority year after year.
- Track Your Festive Performance: As you navigate the holiday season, it’s essential to keep an eye on what works best. Pay attention to the patterns that happen every holiday season. These data patterns show you what shoppers like and allow you to plan your holiday marketing accordingly. To evaluate how you’re doing, use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Semrush, which give you helpful information about how customers are interacting with your website and how well your strategies are working. By learning from past successes and ongoing trends, you can adapt your approach for even better results in the future.
These steps are basic SEO best practices with a slight holiday season twist. However, you do not want to simply start and stop your SEO efforts based on the holiday season. Maintaining consistent SEO efforts will help your business stand out among the others who also incorporate holiday SEO into their marketing strategies.
To have a successful SEO strategy all year, you need to focus on targeting specific, evergreen keywords that relate to your product or service. Then, you can optimize the landing pages or create new landing pages or categories to fill the holes in your site where strong new keyword themes exist.
This intentional focus builds a strong base and boosts your effectiveness during the holiday season. It’s akin to having a pre-lit Christmas tree that is ready to go with the addition of ornaments. Your holiday SEO efforts are shimmery and seasonal like the ornaments, but they truly shine because you have a quality, sturdy base.
Top Ways Year-Round SEO Can Help During the Holidays:
- Consistent Visibility: Consumers usually prefer familiar and trusted brands because they feel confident when they shop from those websites. By working on SEO throughout the year, your website becomes more visible, not just to search engines but also to your potential customers who search. Tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics can help you keep an eye on how people use your site and how it performs. SEO helps increase your brand’s consistent visibility, making it easier for customers to find you. During the holiday season, advertisements bombard people with choices, which makes this visibility especially important.
For instance, let’s think about a search for gingerbread cookies. In December, there are a ton of options to choose from. Of the brands offering gingerbread cookies, you spot one that is familiar to you. This cookie brand is your go-to for chocolate chip cookies throughout the year. If you are having trouble deciding which gingerbread cookie product to choose, you will likely pick the brand that has already become your trusted source of cookies of all flavors.
- Easily Adaptable Content: It is much simpler to adapt content you already have than to create new content from scratch. Consistent content creation lets you quickly adapt existing material to fit holiday trends. Continuous content optimization helps you target keywords to maintain visibility during the holiday season. Using tools like Google Trends, you can identify seasonal SEO trends and popular topics related to specific holidays. This data guides you in creating content that aligns with what people are searching for during the holiday seasons.
For example, let’s say you have an online clothing boutique, and you’ve been optimizing all year for “party dresses.” You notice in your trends data that the search for “holiday party dresses” surges in November. You can create a new category and possibly a blog post that centers around “holiday party dresses.” Include quality images and well-written content that speaks to your keyword theme but, more importantly, speaks to your audience. Make sure to link from your blog post to your new category, naturally, and to include your new category in your header navigation. By creating this new content, you meet the needs of a specific segment of searchers and provide relevant content, making it more likely that you’ll sell more products.
- Strong User Experience: By continually optimizing user experience — including the server speed, load times, navigation, and mobile-friendliness of your site — you can handle the increased traffic and expectations during the holidays. Perform a technical SEO audit months in advance of the holiday season to make sure that everything is functioning well before an onslaught of increased traffic.
Boosting your website’s visibility, creating easily adaptable content, and improving the user experience throughout the year will be your key to success during the busy holidays. Together with a successful roadmap for paid social, and a holiday paid search strategy, your year-round SEO strategy amped up for the holidays will give your business the gift of success this holiday season.