Publishers may be spending more time optimising their holiday shopping content for search ranking, but going live with your article a year before Thanksgiving won’t help your conversion rate or serve your readers. 

Here are five things you can do to make that “best” in your headline mean something.

1. The when

Black Friday-level prices start trickling in at the start of November (and if you’re really paying attention, all throughout the year), but by the weekend before Thanksgiving, your team should be all hands on deck. Almost every significant deal is live by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, followed by a bit of a lull on Thanksgiving Day. By the time the Black Friday traffic spike hits, most of your content should already be live, because most of the deals have been live for hours or days.

After a brief respite on Saturday, most of Cyber Monday deals will pop on Sunday.

2. Establish authority by priming your audience

If you’re a publication that only covers deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day, your readers are going to see through the proclamations that your deal coverage is the best in a field of thousands of other guides. A great way to plant a flag (besides making deal coverage a daily fixture on your site, which it should be) is to run a series of educational posts leading up to Black Friday.

Tell your readers what to expect and when to expect it, what the most exciting deals are going to be, that they do not need to leave the house to take advantage of the discounts on offer, what credit cards to use for their holiday shopping, and what you’re personally excited about.

3. Write what you know

In an ideal world, every deal you ever cover would have a supporting, previously independently written editorial recommendation to support it, but since that’s not possible, seek out discounts on your favourite products of the year, or in categories, you’re an expert in. This will also help to distinguish your content from everything else out there.

4. Cast a wide net

On a similar note, get beyond writing up the deepest 4K TV discount you can find. There are great deals to be found in every product category, and every exciting direct to consumer brand (which is a group that tends to really understand the value of affiliate) is likely offering their best deals of the year.

5. Make the most of the audience and the platform you have

As your commerce program grows, you’ll be able to carve out more real estate on your CMS for tentpole shopping events like Black Friday. Wherever you land on the Google homepage, make sure the best of your holiday shopping coverage is signposted on your homepages, article pages, infinite scroll, in your newsletters, and beyond. The calls to action and sense of urgency inherent in deal articles will likely outperform all those gift guides.