Holiday Season SEO
Just like many of us with holiday shopping, businesses often put off SEO until it’s too late in the season. Right now, it’s too late to grab the big keywords, but you still might be able to rank for some of the profitable more specific ones.
You’re in a situation where the search engines kind of love, you need traffic for the holidays, either because you sell lots around the holidays, or your business dips during the holidays and you need to keep the lights on!
While this is the ideal time to be finalizing your 2018 SEO and online strategies, it’s not too late to save the holiday season without going complete Paid Search Advertising. You just need to focus on quick wins.
In reality, there is nothing at this point you can do that will make you “own” your marketplace, but these tips can help you for local phrases and that’s where it’s at for the holiday.
Google My Business
If you have an actual location, with Google my business allowing direct posts on the platform, this is the one you MUST handle and focus on. Cry social media all you want, but effort here will pay off in short term ranking. Seriously, if you can add an image a day, a post and make sure your hours are updated, you may just pull off a little holiday cheer!
You do have your Google My Business page set up and verified right? If not, stop reading this article and click https://www.google.com/business to set it up (enter absolutely everything it wants, submit and wait a day. You’re supposed to get a postcard, but if you call their team, they can often approve you at that time, saving you about 2 weeks.) Setting this up will take you a couple of hours to do it right but will pay off in droves.
You need to have Google My Business buttoned up to show them you are a REAL business and have an actual place to do business with. This isn’t a knock on home businesses, but a location (not a post office box or mail place) shows you are operating at a higher level and should be better “recognized” by the search engine.
Typing in your brand is going to give searchers a Knowledge Graph (the box on the side of search results) that includes information from your Google My Business listing. This keeps competition at bay by showing something important for your brand and that it distracts from all the other AdWords results from your competitors.
Tighten Up Your Site with Titles
Descriptions are great but titles are the thing that you should care about if you are budgeting for time.
Make sure your titles on your pages are optimized for SEO and describe what the page is about. Make sure they are structured to maximized click-through rates.
They should include your page and overall keywords if possible. This is time-consuming but it will make a difference for those long-tail keywords that are easier to grab in free searches. Write them for a human searcher and make them want to click on your page.
Let’s make this real for you. You’re a dad or mom who is of course out of touch with your teen but wants to impress them with the cool new video game you have never heard of. Which one of these titles would your parent-in- a-panic mind click on?
A: Title: Top 10 gamer-rated video games for 2017 holidays | gameplace.co
B: Title: Destiny 2 – Cuphead – Forza 7 – Pokémon – Horizon Dawn – consoles - accessories
Here’s the right answer: A
This title is written to the target prospect (“cool” parent with no real idea what to buy). Additionally, it focuses on the keywords the page would do well ranking for during the holiday season.
This is a little bit of story versus a simple list of keyword stuff.
Let everyone else give you gifts
Is there one large site like Yelp listings that always seems to outrank you on local searches?
Let them go ahead and help you!
Go ahead a claim that Yelp (or other) listing on their platform and build it out as much as possible. You might even want to pay a tiny bit for the listing if it’s not more than a simple AdWords campaign to beat them. Lot’s of these types of services allow you to put photos, etc and that helps build trust quickly.
Write To Santa
Santa isn’t the only one checking things twice. The search engines love content, and if you help them understand it better, you get better ranking possibilities.
Go through all of your site pages and make sure they are optimized for the keywords you are actually trying to rank for. Too often, businesses get so involved with changing pages by committee or driving home a product or service point, they forget that the search engines look at these pages too.
However, just like Santa, Google knows when you’ve been naughty and nice, so no keyword stuffing or spammy writing.
Use Google Analytics to see what works and be sure to resubmit your pages and sitemap in Googles Search Console (this is the place where you see messages about your site, etc).
Bonus idea: Videos
Videos can help you rank quickly for a number of your keywords. A video with you showing your product or services in action works great. “Explainer” videos do well for helping the search engines determine you know what you are talking about.
Videos are plenty of work but could save your holiday season if you really needed it.
Create a youtube channel and make sure you link your site and social media pages to it. Create short videos daily for the rest of the season. They can be short and sweet, but should not be dark and horrible phone shots from your no-window office. Make them interesting.
Put the transcript of your video into the description of the video. You should use services that can do them instantly online super cheap. Try services like https://www.temi.com/ . I use them and they are pretty accurate and cheap. I used Rev as well and it’s “ok” as well.
New Year Resolutions
So maybe you procrastinated this year.
Next year can be different with maximizing efforts for your SEO and making sure you get paid back for what you spend!
Next year is when you start your SEO process with a solid plan for success and ranking for the keywords that make you money.
Start with a calendar and work around your business seasonality and your new products or services that you want to roll out. Then back into launching new programs and online elements that get you attention online!
Want Some Help?
If you want a free evaluation, or even want us to jump in and help like Elves to get everything done, just let us know and we'll make sure that you get presents and we won't be a Grinch with what we charge!