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Optimising Your SEO for the Festive Season

15 December 2021
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Optimising Your SEO for the Festive Season

The festive season is a perfect opportunity to refresh your SEO strategy after a long year, and ahead of a new one in January, as you set out fresh targets and objectives for your content and website. In the short term, the run-up to Christmas provides ample opportunity for engaging with customers, many of whom are eager to buy products and gifts for the big day.

Google’s own data shows seven in 10 shoppers in the US are planning to shop online over the holidays and the same number are on the lookout for new brands and retailers to purchase from. In-store is still relevant, though, as two-thirds of consumers want to visit more local small businesses, so don’t forget about local SEO. That means, at the very least, updating store hours for the busy shopping season on your Google My Business Profile (GMB).

However, many of the SEO tactics for the coming months are centred around new content. A study by Accenture found 100% of market leaders believe content is critical to business success and that 83% expect production volume to grow in the long term. If you are currently struggling on that front, outsourcing SEO services such as content creation can ease the burden and improve the quality of your output during busy seasonal periods.

Finding festive keywords

Search intent and phrasing changes during the festive season, as people make more queries that include words such as ‘Christmas’, ‘holiday’, ‘presents’ and ‘gifts’. Finding seasonal keywords for your topics can help your content to rank for these queries. The good news is that you should already have a list of target keywords that you are already ranking for. All they need is a festive twist.

Google Trends comes in handy here. You can use this tool to search for topics and find keywords that are currently popular with people in different regions. What’s more, you can click on these search terms to see a graph for the “interest over time”. Do these keywords peak in the run to Christmas annually? If so, add them to your list.

Try to brainstorm as many potential keywords as possible at this point. Google Trends has a related queries section, and Google Search has suggestions and related queries. Both of these can flesh out your ideas. From here, you can run your list through a relevant tool like Ahrefs or Semrush to find the best keywords in terms of average search volume. Filtering based on volume in December specifically is also very useful.

Creating seasonal blogs and landing pages

While there are only a few weeks left until Christmas, you still have time to craft a series of blogs based around your new keywords. Taking a quick look at what your competitors have been doing for their festive marketing can give you inspiration here, as can feedback from your own customers and the keyword and topic research you have just undertaken. What does your target audience need right now? With gifts and reviews probably high on the list, you can publish content that raises awareness and then attempts to convert.

Most people will be looking to buy, so focus your efforts further along the sales cycle. This is where festive-themed landing pages can help to seal the deal. Creating web pages with gifts or services tailored for a specific demographic of your audience could work for B2C transactions, while focusing on services that can drive growth for a business in the new year and beyond might be best for B2B. Just remember to include a call-to-action (CTA).

Double-checking technical SEO

Including a website audit in your SEO strategy is recommended as the year draws to a close. The technical health of your site can be the difference between capturing a new lead and them instead opting to navigate elsewhere, especially over Christmas when online shopping is so popular. User experience is paramount.

You can start by crawling your website using a relevant tool to find any issues, such as missing images, 404 errors, broken links and duplicate content, before checking internal and external links. Now is a good time to test the site speed, as long loading times can lead to higher bounce rates. Generally optimising for speed and mobile access will stand you in good stead as the new year gets under way. Taking a look at Google’s Core Web Vitals – three core metrics – can identify areas for improvement here.

And if you have rolled out new products pages for Christmas sales, optimising them by adding structured data will help search engines to better understand them. This is a more complex technical tweak, so you might need to liaise with developers to add the relevant code to pages. It’s worth the effort, though, as structured data is great for ranking for rich results in SERPs.

Planning for 2022

Everything you have done so far can be used as a springboard for better marketing campaigns next year. Your keyword research will throw up new ideas you can explore with articles and videos, seasonal blogs can be recycled into new content and an optimised, fast website will continue to engage and convert when the holiday season is over. To get ready for 2022 you can also:

  • Analyse Google’s latest algorithm changes.
  • Consider how search might change again next year.
  • Reassess the quality of your top-performing pages and decide whether anything needs updating.
  • Look at new ways to enhance the user experience on your website.
  • Try to improve your E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
  • Review the effectiveness of your social media channels.

The incredibly busy festive season often segues into a quieter period in January and February. You can use this time to lay the foundations for another successful year for your SEO strategy. If you want to get started with that preparation right now, we offer a range of services that can assist with the process. Contact us today to find out more about our content creation, blog management and outreach services.

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