You have probably spent a long time planning your marketing strategy for the upcoming biggest back-to-back sales this holiday season already, just like most of your competitors. Christmas and New Year, after all, offer a great opportunity for profit, especially with the right implementation of marketing tactics.
However, how can you be sure that your online store really is completely optimized for the upcoming flurry of activity? Please feel free to use the last-minute checklist that we have compiled below to give your website the advantage during the most competitive shopping time of the year.
Top SEO Tips for eCommerce Stores for Christmas
In a nutshell, search engine optimization or SEO is the process of boosting your website’s online visibility using both on-page and off-page techniques. This is the reason why you’ll find this article divided into these two main categories.
SEO is definitely one of the most essential aspects to ensure the efficiency of a website, especially if it’s an eCommerce store. Your SEO efforts are a little bit more critical during the holiday sales season, though, when most of your competitors are probably leveling up their game as well.
On-Page Techniques for eCommerce Stores for Christmas
Let’s begin with on-page SEO first since it would set the stage that your off-page techniques will build upon later on. Before we start, please take note that we will be dividing this topic further into two subtopics to separate fundamental SEO techniques from more advanced and technical ones.
Fundamental On-Page SEO
Here are fundamental on-page SEO factors that every eCommerce store must fulfill:
Optimized Meta Tags, Descriptions, and Keywords. Accurate meta tags are essential for any webpage. These are short descriptions that tell search engines what a web page is all about. Hence, while they won’t really appear on your page, they are important nonetheless.
Consider adding descriptions and tags to important visual elements on your page as well. For instance, each image must be equipped with an ALT text that search engines will be able to read.
Finally, don’t forget to utilize keywords relevant keywords in your content. Your website must ideally follow a main keyword, but feel free to use other keywords and keyphrases as needed.
Excellent Accessibility. Once you have your tags and keywords sorted out, the next fundamental SEO step that you have to do is to ensure your website’s accessibility. It must have a user-friendly design.
The navigation must be easy to locate and use. And most importantly, your website must be made accessible to anyone regardless of their physical disabilities and challenges, network issues, and preferred digital devices.
Popups and CTAs. Finally, don’t forget to make it clear to your online visitors what it is you expect them to do. Do you want them to check out your Christmas deals? Are you offering a new loyalty or rewards program? What are your intentions? These should be made clear with engaging calls-to-action (or CTAs).
You can weave your CTAs into your content or display them as flashy clickable buttons. However, we do recommend displaying them through popups. They are attention-grabbing from the get-go, minimizing visual distraction from other screen elements, plus, it requires an extra action from the visitor in order to remove them (which makes sure that they do get noticed). They are very easy and fun to do using popup makers online.
Christmas Landing Page. Here’s an extra tip: why don’t you build a separate landing page for Christmas? You can even equip it with a sales funnel that walks your online visitors through the complete sales process, from browsing to payment.
You don’t even have to create a new page each year. You can simply update an existing one. In this way, the URL remains the same with the SEO efforts you’ve dedicated to it the previous years still intact.
Technical On-Page SEO
Once the basics have been established, we can now move on to the nitty-gritty technical details of your on-page SEO.
Updated Site Map. Let’s start by updating your sitemap. Remove old, dusty, and inaccurate pages. 404 error pages must be avoided at all costs, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a proper 404 error page in place to lead your visitors back to your website. Add 301 redirects to further minimize 404s and avoid getting penalized for them.
Lastly, don’t forget to add your Christmas pages in there to make search engines aware of your new site updates.
Optimized Capacity. The next thing that you need to do is to check if your page is ready to handle the surge of traffic that you expect to get on Christmas and that your page speed is in its optimal state to avoid losing your clients due to problematic loading periods.
Optimized URLs. Finally, make sure that your new pages have keyword-focused URLs. Updating all your URLs will take some time (and it should be done at some point), but your Christmas pages should at least have optimized ones to increase their search result rankings.
There are definitely other on-page SEO techniques out there that you can apply to your website, but the ones we have mentioned above already gives you a strong foundation that can weather you through the upcoming peak season.
Off-Page Techniques for eCommerce Stores for Christmas
Anyway, now that we’re done with on-page techniques, let’s move on to the steps that you can do off-page to further bolster your online reputation and brand recognition.
Never underestimate the power of link building. Not only does it increase the likelihood of your link being stumbled upon and accessed, but it also improves your site authority and search result rankings.
In our experience, the best way to build links back to a website is still through guest posting. It establishes a certain level of credibility, after all. This doesn’t mean that other methods won’t work, though, such as blog commenting, forum posting, and social bookmarking.
Speaking of adding credibility and link-backs, we have found Q&A platforms like Quora and Reddit to be really effective in boosting SEO off-page. It’s also a great way to reach out to your target demographic on where they think it matters given that you’re addressing the questions that they have posted personally.
You might be asking: “But what if I can’t find questions that are relevant to my niche to answer?” No problem, it is perfectly fine to ask a new question and answer it yourself, provided that it’s unique (it hasn’t been asked or answered recently) and done with finesse (it’s not too salesy and in your face with the promotions).
Social Media Buildup
Finally, building anticipation on social media is always a good tactic. Here are some ideas on how to do so:
Launch a teaser campaign as early as possible. Give your target audience something to ponder on and get excited about. You’re not required to provide specifics yet, so you can always launch your teaser campaign as early as possible.
This technique is often used to launch new brands, products, and services, but you can certainly utilize it for upcoming sales, like Christmas and Cyber Monday.
Dedicate blog posts. As they say in SEO, content is king. That’s why it’s always a great idea to write a cluster of blog posts leading to your upcoming Christmas event.
Keep in mind, though, that the goal is to build the hype, so plan your posts accordingly. Don’t provide them with all the details on your first post. Do this gradually, writing in an energetic, exciting, yet equally intriguing manner.
Come up with a new hashtag. What’s great about this tactic is that it can potentially create user-generated content that can further bolster your online visibility and reputation.
Craft a contest. Speaking of user-generated content, there’s no faster way to do it than creating a contest. The price should preferably be related to your Christmas event. It can be a best-selling item or service, a huge discount, or another form of special perk.
Get an influencer to back you up. Finally, it won’t hurt to give influencers an advanced taste of what your audience can expect on the big day, whether in the form of a free demo, product trial, or special offer. Providing them with customized discount codes also adds a nice touch to show your care for their followers.
Is Your Online Store Ready for Christmas?
Hopefully, that’s what you have achieved after going through this post. Our objective is to provide you with a reliable guide to follow, after all.
To sum up, don’t forget that boosting your website’s search rankings before Christmas (or any big event for that matter) is essential to maximize your eCommerce store’s sales and profit. There are on-page and off-page digital marketing techniques that you can do to boost your company’s online reputation, build customer engagement, and create anticipation for your products and services.