Black Friday & Cyber Monday
For many high street and online retailers the holiday period is a prime time for consumers, with a number of retail discount days created (i.e. black Friday, cyber Monday, etc..) that are now fully established in the UK; brands have to be online ready.
A lot of the digital strategy for this period happens well in advance and many online retail brands create specific seasonal campaigns to increase their profitability during this time of the year.
However, many retail brands focus on direct sale channels such as PPC/Adwords, Display and Email marketing. Organic traffic is often forgotten about, with many companies unable to see the importance of event and holiday based keywords, and how by focusing on an organic strategy can enhance profits and introduce a new target market to the brand at this key consumer time.
Timing is key and even if brands are aware of seasonal SEO keywords and want to create landing pages/blog posts around these terms, waiting until November is too late. Typically search engines will not properly index pages straight away (dependant on the websites authority). That is why it is best to plan ahead for SEO around Christmas keywords.
**At the end of this blog we provide 2 bonus tips on our top 20 Christmas keywords and a list of other seasonal events that will also require SEO planning**
What Are Seasonality Keywords?
These are keywords that are based around consumer based holidays and events such as Christmas, Birthdays, Weddings, Halloween, Valentines, Anniversary, etc… For the purpose of this article we are focusing on Christmas as it is just around the corner.
These keywords are words that increase in demand around this time of year and are usually created around search terms consumers type into the Google. The most common type of keywords searched for around these times are ones that are based on “gifting keywords” and gender based/family members (i.e. Christmas gift ideas for dad), also this can be branched out into service providers and co-workers. Also keywords that are more relevant around this time are “price” derived keywords for stocking fillers, and secret Santa (i.e. gifts for under £25). These keywords have a high buyer intent and search volume and should be part of a brands 12 month SEO strategy.
When Should You Start Your Seasonal SEO Strategy?
Ideally you need to start well in advance of the Christmas period, we recommend 6 months before to ensure that any landing pages or blog content you create can be indexed and ranked within the search engines.
At a minimum you should aim to create the campaign 3-4 months ahead to make sure that you gain visibility in the search engines.
How Do You Find Your Seasonal Keywords?
By carrying out keyword research with the Google keyword tool you are able to get a rough estimate of the search volume for a keyword at a specific time of year.
For example, let’s say we have an eCommerce site that sells items that would be ideal as Christmas presents for your Mother. If we type the following key-phrase into the keyword tool “Christmas presents for mum” we can see what Google data is available for that keyword at that time period based on a 12 month trend:
As you can see from the above graphic the 2014/15 trend for this keyword is flat until August and then it increases into September, October, with both November and December having on average 27,100 searches a month in 2014. If this was a keyword we wanted to optimise for we would have to start creating landing page copy and blog posts around this keyword in May/June to ensure we have visibility for that term during the holiday period.
As you can see optimising for such a high traffic keyword such as this would have a massive effect on a retail brands profitability around the Christmas period. This is why seasonal SEO is so important.
How Do You Maximise Your Visibility During This Time Of Year?
1. Create specific Christmas based landing pages
These are static pages you would need to create on your site based around terms to do with the gifting keywords we would select in step 1 (“ask google”). We would need to identify a number of products on our site that we could combine into a unique landing page based around the key term (i.e. Christmas gifts for co-workers). Once these pages are created they can be promoted and also used as landing pages for PPC and email campaigns to boost conversion for key phrases.
2. Create a “top Christmas gift” list blog/s
These blog posts are great fun to produce and read, once these pages are keyword optimised they also have the potential to drive a substantial amount of targeted traffic to your website. Top list blogs not only add value but the format can be copied through different gifting categories to drive a higher volume of buying traffic.
Blog posts to create around these topics can be: Top 10 Christmas Gifts For Your Mum (other family members, partners, co-workers, etc…), Best Secret Santa Gifts For Under £10, Top 5 Luxury Personalised Christmas Presents.
Tip: To add further value you could have these blog posts as downloadable guides so that the buyer can use this as a reference point when starting their Christmas shopping. You can even promote these guides through social to ensure a competitor advantage (adding value).
3. Build Links and Promote Through Social/Email
You need to promote the pages once published to not only build links but to ensure that your key target market is aware of your new content. The first step is to reach out to your email list, notifying your loyal customers/followers of your new content, this can be through a dedicated email campaign or just a signature link or banner on the footer of your email. Social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest are ideal for these top lists/guides for people looking for a one-stop shop of information to assist them in buying presents for people during the Christmas season.
What Do You Do With Your Content and Landing Pages After The Christmas Period?
As you can see with the above graphic from the Google keyword research the traffic dies off after the period and basically flat lines. Most companies take down their content and landing pages or redirect these landing pages to another static web page.
We would always advise to keep your content and landing pages live as they will be very important for next year.
The best thing to do with these pages are to put up a holding page with links to key web pages on your site. This ensures that the pages are still live and indexed but still have some consumer value rather than just giving a redirect to a new page that has no value.
In summary, seasonal keywords will not be applicable for every business but for an eCommerce site they are essential. Planning and research is key in getting this right, and to ensure that your Christmas period is a profitable one by making the best of SEO traffic.
Other Seasonal and event based keywords that are not tied to Christmas include:
- Black Friday evening
- Family Days (Mothers Day & Fathers Day)
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- Boxing Day (Sales)
Bonus 2: Top 20 Christmas gift keywords:
christmas gifts,christmas gift ideas,christmas gifts for her,homemade christmas gifts,christmas gifts for him,unusual christmas gifts,cheap christmas gifts,christmas gifts for mum,mens christmas gifts,christmas gift boxes
,christmas gifts for men,christmas gift bags,christmas gift,handmade christmas gifts,personalised christmas gifts,christmas gift ideas for her,unique christmas gifts,cool christmas gifts,christmas gifts for dad,christmas gifts for boyfriend
How is your site setup for the Christmas period? Could your products benefit from creating a keyword optimised relevant “top list” blog post to coincide with the season? Or are you thinking, “How can I benefit from getting my site ready for next year?” If you answer yes to any of these questions please give us a call today on 01793 238697