Doesn’t it seem like shopping for the holidays arrives earlier and earlier every year? When purchasing a Halloween costume, Christmas decorations are already for sale. But this isn’t anything new.
During the last few decades, consumers have become accustomed to the mania that surrounds “Black Friday,” arguably the most popular shopping day of the year. More recently, online shopping has evolved and taken on a life of its own in the form of Cyber Monday, which falls on November 30 this year.
Since 2010, Cyber Monday has repeatedly been the biggest US online shopping day of the year. In fact, last year’s sales surpassed the $2 billion mark, with mobile traffic accounting for 45% of all online traffic. Online retailers – you better be prepared.
My tenure in the SEO space has given me a large amount of experience helping online shops prepare for the holiday onslaught. As we all know, SEO is key to any campaign, including holiday-centric ones, and is an ongoing and time-sensitive practice that cannot be ignored. Incorporating a SEO strategy into your Cyber Monday efforts this year is crucial and must be done well in advance.
How in advance? You should have already started.
1. Don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic
I would begin by putting a comprehensive plan in place prior to the season. Determine the products or services that are most important to your business and begin to research specific metrics such as keyword traffic, competitive analysis, and possible long-tail keyword options. The last thing you want to be doing before the big push is scrambling last minute to understand these key audience indicators.
Remember, if you are targeting keywords that have high traffic and lower competition, you have a better chance to move up the SERP in a timely manner.
2. Give yourself a boost
There are several tactics for an advertiser when it comes to boosting organic rankings as the holiday season arrives. Once you have crafted your plan, you can begin building rich and engaging content.
Rich content can come in the form of a comprehensive blog post about a specific product, or even additional text on your site’s product page that better informs a potential buyer and assists them in making a quicker purchasing decision. Adding to existing product pages tells search engines you are actively seeking traffic for specific products.
In terms of content that incorporates graphics, I suggest infographics as they enable you to display a substantial amount of pertinent information visually and can be shared on social media channels.
The richer and more comprehensive your content is, the better your ranking potential is.
3. Attract the right crowd
Another proven strategy I suggest is utilising your engaging content to attract influencers and other similar authoritative sites that may be interested in linking to your content. There has been a debate in the SEO space over the past few years on the importance of link building and the impact it has on organic rankings. Most seasoned experts in this field would still agree that building a high-quality and diverse backlink structure will have a significant impact on your organic rankings, especially if you are linking quality off-site content to quality on-site content.
Content marketing and rich content, such as the aforementioned infographics, are both popular and effective practices in building these links. The more engaging and creative your content is, the more sites will pick it up and help send link juice and authority signals to your site.
The end result
Once results are in, ongoing analysis and development is the best next step. Analyse what was successful and what didn’t work so well for next year’s Cyber Monday, you are armed with knowledge that will increase your chances of success.
To put it simply, in order to have a good SEO plan for Cyber Monday, and the holidays in general, you must plan ahead as best possible. SEO is a long-term commitment not just specific to any given holiday, and one that can provide and optimise ROI when practiced correctly. Be sure to close out Q4 on a high note, with SEO on your side.