If you are an eCommerce website, then Christmas comes early for you this year, in terms of SEO anyway! Ever noticed that from around October/November through to New Year the amount of competition on Google searches seems to quadruple? It’s because so many eCommerce websites get their SEO efforts in extra early ready for the big Christmas rush, wish means you need to be doing the same, or else you might find yourself getting knocked off the spot you worked so hard to achieve come Christmas 2013.
Only 180 Days to Christmas?
Christmas may seem like forever away to you, it is after all only June and you probably haven’t even gone on your big summer holiday that you have been planning for since last Christmas yet. But SEO waits for no man (or woman, or eCommerce site) so it’s time to make an early start on preparations for the Christmas sales period.
Here are some suggested methods to help kick start your Christmas SEO:
1. Is The Grotto Stocked and Optimised?
Before you start optimising your website, consider the typical every day details. Who are your main competitors and how do your products and prices compare with theirs? What are your stock levels looking like and how early do you have to get your Christmas stock orders to suppliers? This kind of stuff needs to be checked on an on-going basis to keep ahead.
2 Is Your Design Festive Enough?
We aren’t suggesting you deck the website with boughs of holly just yet, but if you haven’t already, you need to be considering how you will tweak your website design to fit when the season arrives, as your web designer and graphic designer may need plenty of time and notice to get this done, and if you do the website yourself, are you capable or do you need to call in some support? And how early is acceptable to start trimming the site? There is nothing wrong with starting to add images and promotions during September, as many people like to start their Christmas shopping early, especially in the current economic climate, and it triggers the thought in a person’s mind when they see festive imagery and offers.
3. User Friendly = SEO Friendly
If your website is not easy to use in terms of gaining plenty of information about products, simple and fast payment methods, delivery information, etc. then it could stand between you and many sales. More clearer information on your site not only translates as good for customer experience, its also essential in terms of SEO, as when Google compares you with your competitors, your website needs to stand out as the more worthy source.
4. Clearer Navigation Is Key
At Christmas, there will be certain categories and product ranges that will be sought after, and so slimming down the navigation process by making links to these categories on your homepage during the Christmas period will help more customers find what they want faster, and will help Google pick up on the keywords that match your site, driving more traffic.
5. Give a Little More, It’s Christmas!
Special offers such as free gift wrapping services, free delivery or BOGOF (buy one get one free) are all great ways to stand out from your competitors at Christmas, and since people are buying large amounts of gifts they are going to go for whichever site offers the best discounts/extras to save where they can, regardless of year round loyalties.
6. Be Sure to Use Christmas Keywords
This may seem like a pretty obvious one, but it’s vital to use Christmas keywords and key-phrases in your SEO efforts for the festive season. General Keywords such as presents, gifts, Santa, etc will show the search engines that you are ready for Christmas. As well as this, its good practice to research the specific products you sell and the typical search terms for these products around the festive period.
7. To Christmas and Beyond
It’s a sad but true fact that many New Year sales are beginning earlier and earlier online with every passing year, as consumers begin their sale shopping even on Christmas Day itself before the Turkey can even get cold. So it’s important to be prepared for this. As an ecommerce site, you will likely have stopped receiving orders around 2-3 days before Christmas, maybe even earlier, as final Christmas delivery dates draw too close and any last minute shoppers have to turn to the bricks and mortar shops. So why not use this time to be on the ball ready for the period beyond Christmas, tweaking the site ready for New Year sales the moment the last Christmas order cut off arrives?
8. Make Use of Analytics
You aren’t going to remember every (or even any) detail of last year’s Christmas turnover, so go back to your analytics to help you plan for this year. Around what time did people start coming to your site from Christmas related search terms? At what point did sales of products that are typically more popular around Christmas start to pick up and when did it peak? What were your most popular products last year and what failed to do as well as you thought? This can help with stock orders, what offers to put on, when to start trimming the site and optimising the content, etc. and can help you set new reachable targets for this year.
So if you haven’t already, it’s time to start considering your Christmas SEO preparations, as by the time we reach the milestone of 100 days to Christmas you should be looking at having it in place. Need some help? We have a team of SEO, web design and graphic design experts here at Mancunian Creative who could help you make this Christmas a memorable one for your company, just give us a call us for a chat on 0161 883 0843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.