That’s right – the holiday season is merely months away, and smart website owners are already starting their optimization strategies. Getting your search optimization working for the holiday season needs a couple of months of lead in – which means “start now”.
Yahoo! decided to help get their users motivated by posting some tips for holiday season search engine optimization and marketing, based on research they’ve undertaken over the years.
As listed on their blog, these are the top 5 tips which cover both SEO and paid search marketing strategies:
1. Engage the bargain hunters – According to the BizRate and Shop.org Holiday Mood Study 2006, nearly half of the consumers polled named “free shipping” as a primary motivator to purchase. Other shoppers named “online only sales” and “repeat buyer discounts.”
2. Keywords count- According to our internal data, “Christmas” was, not surprisingly, the most holiday-related search term in 2006 with more than three million average monthly searches. Other popular terms included “Christmas decoration,” “Hanukkah,” “holiday gift” and “gift for dad.” Make sure that your keyword selection includes holiday-related keywords and seasonal products and promotions.
3. Titillate with titles – Titles and descriptions can drive relevance and clicks, so it’s a best practice when creating specific holiday ad groups to place the holiday term prominently in both the title and the description, and include any special seasonal promotions in the copy.
4. Clear for landing – Make sure that your landing pages are relevant to your keywords, ad copy and any promotions. Nothing’s more frustrating for a consumer to click on an ad that says, “Get 10% off” something and then land on a page where that information is either absent or buried. Prices and promotions should be consistent with ad copy.
5. Combine search with display and offline advertising - Regular readers of our blog know that search is just one important part of your marketing mix. Make sure you include your keywords and consistent copy in your display and offline marketing material.
Step 1 - Review your web page copy and make sure that these highly searched terms and motivators are addressed loud and clear on all relevant web pages. If that’s what shoppers are looking for – don’t make them hunt through your web pages to find out your business satisfies their needs.
Step 2 – Look at your key on-page search engine optimization elements and make sure they include these keywords and search terms to increase your ranking for relevant searches. When looking at your keyword strategies, think “long-tail” when choosing your terms, as trying to compete on keywords like “Free Shipping” alone is pointless. However you’ll have more success targeting a search term such as “hand made widgets with free shipping”.
Step 3 – Re-evaluate online advertising strategies to ensure ads incorporate key motivators and cover the important search terms. Although paid search strategies are less time critical (can often be started later), people will have already started their shopping, so it’s an important time to do critical testing on your campaigns. That way – your best ads and keywords will be in full swing come the sales rush.
These are only 5 simple tips and 3 action items, but getting them to work for your website is time critical. Don’t make the mistake of waiting and hoping for the best; get started now or speak to your search engine marketing company and make sure they’re on the case.