The trees are changing color, and you can feel the nip in the air. Fall is upon us and old man winter isn’t far behind. It will soon be time to gather with family to reminisce about the year’s achievements and future planning.
Once our bellies are full of Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, many of us turn our attention to the upcoming holiday season. Millions of people rush to get their hands on gifts for friends and loved ones—especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
It’s never too early to start planning for the busiest time of the year. If you currently have an online store, you’ll want to boost your rankings, generate more online sales, and most importantly, increase foot traffic for the holidays. But you can’t expect much of anything to happen if you start marketing a week before the holidays.
It’s happening earlier and earlier each year. People rush to complete all of their holiday shopping well before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are you going to be ready for them?
Let’s look at some ways business owners can plan ahead in enough time to optimize SEO before the mad rush begins.
Make Sure Your NAP Information Is Updated
Sounds simple, right? You might be surprised at how many local businesses searched online don’t reflect accurate NAPs (names, addresses, and phone numbers) or business hours, including holiday hours!
Time Isn’t On Your Side
We all know that SEO requires patience and planning. Work backward toward the big day. Give yourself thirty days or more prior to the holidays to send out save-the-dates. Use newsletters and website event calendars to announce upcoming promotions/sales.
A week prior, post an upcoming event/promotion on your site and to social media. Encourage other businesses to share it. Utilize your contact list to send personalized and fun invitations about what’s happening next.
A day prior, post a reminder on social media and your website.
Optimize Page Content for Holiday Keywords
Use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush to see what keywords are driving users to your website, and what pages people are going to after they arrive. You must stay current on seasonal keywords from year to year, or you’ll risk becoming stale, and users simply won’t find your site.
Promote On Social Media
Social media can play a huge role in your online sales. Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram are a hot spot for sharing your holiday season gifts page(s). You might also think about setting up holiday gift guides touching on vast interests and sharing them.
Different is Good. Don’t forget, crafty content alone won’t generate holiday sales. People gravitate toward uniqueness and simplicity. Make sure your site is easy to navigate through, with captivating images that are hard to pass by.
While the impact on your search engine authority likely won’t have much of an impact on traffic before the holidays are over, the impact on the long term authority of your site is an investment that is well worth the effort, and any improvements it makes to rankings for holiday-related search queries will come back to benefit you again next year.
You can never start too early when your online business depends on the holiday season.