Well, “holiday” planning is a never-ending story to me and it’s not a surprise that I picked this topic for my autumn SEO article too 😉
Inspiring marketing campaigns, during holiday seasons, from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to Christmas, are the favourite times for brands and companies, as there is always an opportunity for businesses to boost their sales and reach a bigger audience.
During these special sale seasons, they offer alluring discounts on their products and services, aimed at drawing more customers to their businesses.
To get the best results, there are some best practices and strategies to adopt to gain organic search engine visibility. With the right digital marketing tools and the best possible approach, you can give your business or your client’s website the traffic boost that you have been aiming for. You can increase the conversions by presenting the best campaign content to meet the needs of your potential customers.
Google has previously recommended that you:
“can help Google highlight your sales events by providing landing pages with relevant content and high-quality images”.
To discuss those tips from Google and more in detail, I have compiled a list of the most recommended SEO practices for holiday-related campaigns and summarized it in this free “Holiday SEO Checklist template”, to make it handy!
Creating the Landing Page Before the Season Starts
Creating the campaign page before your Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas sales give Google bots some time to discover and index your campaign pages. This will eventually help you rank higher in organic results. While doing this, it’s also important to check the page speed as well as the mobile-friendliness of the page.
If you’re planning to run SEO efforts for your holiday campaigns, for this year and the following seasons, make sure you create unique and dedicated campaign landing pages for each holiday season, which will be maintained live on your website throughout the year. If you already have one for any of them, use that page and optimize the content according to new products, offers, recommendations, quick links to the most popular pages and gift collections, especially targeting Christmas etc. Include content that you would want to keep throughout the year and include a relevant, high-quality image with an up-to-date representation of your sale. Give visitors a reason to come back when your offer starts.
Check out the example from the Black Friday & Cyber Monday landing page of FatFace below:
John Lewis also has a dedicated Black Friday campaign page including updated information, tips, explanations and existing content:
Source: John Lewis
ASOS also includes links to the most popular product and category pages from their Black Friday page:
Good keyword research is essential in optimising any of your campaign sales pages. Analyse your campaigns from previous years and figure out which of them got the highest traffic and conversions. Build your new campaign by combining the existing keywords from those years and new opportunities. Perhaps you can look for any new trends considering the products/services in sales as well.
Make sure you use the relevant keywords you discovered from the keyword research tool, such as Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, Ahrefs, and Keywordtool.io. Consider checking the Google Trends tool to explore trending topics as well. For example, by simply searching “Christmas” on Google Trends, I could get the inspiration to start expanding my keyword research for Christmas campaign page content or even for a new blog post that I would recommend to support the sales page and increase exposure on social media as well.
For example, boots.com, very.co.uk and riverisland.com added to their Christmas landing page a gift collection section that directs visitors to the relevant offers:
Source: River Island
On a side note, don’t forget to analyse the existing organic queries that you can find from your Google Search Console account. You can find the top-performing campaign pages in terms of years and analyse the organic queries coming to those pages, using Search Console, in order to reach the best and most realistic data, to get ideas for your content.
With the updated keyword list including the relevant keywords, you can now decide on what to include in your SEO title, meta description, H1, the content on your landing page, anchor texts that you will be linking to your campaign pages from your relevant pages, image alt-texts and so on.
Linking Strategy for the Holiday Campaign Pages
Well, if possible, link to your campaign page from your main menu or homepage banner using intriguing CTAs. Consider adding internal links from relevant pages to the main campaign page of your website. For example, if you have created a Christmas campaign page and you are receiving traffic to one of your blog posts, including Christmas vibes, try to give a link from that relevant blog post, or other types of content, to your campaign page. Even if your blog posts are not created directly for the campaign season, you can still use a holistic approach and find out season related blog articles that are performing well and link from those pages to your campaign page. For example, if you’re planning to improve your internal linking structure for a Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign page, you may consider linking from articles written about autumn fashion such as “Top 10 Fashion Trends that Will Rule this Autumn 2021”, etc. You can also create a linking structure among your campaign pages as they are already relevant in terms of the deals, holiday vibes, festive seasons etc. River Island added internal links to the Black Friday and Christmas pages of their website from their Cyber Monday page:
Source: River Island
Links coming to your campaign page from external domains are also an important part of increasing your campaign page’s performance. Getting links from websites with high domain authority to your campaign page improves your search engine visibility, traffic, and organic performance as well as the URL rating of your landing page. So, the more your campaign page includes valuable content, the more your chance to get links from other domains would increase. Consider creating shareable content by adding unique creatives, visuals, additional details, infographics and information which would differentiate you and your products/services from your competitors. This means giving your readers a reason to share your link with more people and eventually this may result in getting linked from different websites and so on. You can also consider creating and sharing quizzes within your holiday campaign page including additional special offers/discounts for the campaign products/services that would attract your followers and visitors. These kinds of offers would increase the potential shareability of your content
Publishing Blog Content to Support Campaign Pages
If you’re already running an active blog or resource section on your website, publishing relevant content to support your campaign page would be a good option to consider prior to the campaign periods. This phase is something you can run together with your keyword research as you will probably find various content ideas to publish on your blog or at least get inspiration from. Depending on your services or products, you can create interesting and well-considered content, which you can also include in your social media strategy as well as the monthly newsletter you send to your subscribers. This way, you can give your readers a reason to visit your blog and from there, you can direct them to your campaign page without being salesy.
Reviews, Coupons, Vouchers, Delivery Options etc.
Customer reviews are important for your business. People do a lot of online research before any specific sales weekend such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday etc. During their research, they may go through customer reviews on your page to ensure your products and customer service have good ratings.
Positive ratings positively influence your customers’ buying decisions. Therefore, it is recommended that you showcase customer testimonials on your landing pages, where potential buyers can easily see them. However, while placing them on your web pages, ensure you do not obstruct the important UX elements.
Place creative and unique proposition values that would make your business stand out such as free deliveries, delivery discounts and installations, competitive pricing, coupons, vouchers etc, at strategic places on your web page. Below are a few examples:
Online shopping makes the buying and selling experience easier for both the buyers and the sellers. More customers can be reached within a short time, unlike the traditional marketplace. So, in addition to all the above, make sure you’ve checked your site speed and solved any problems that would negatively affect the user experience and conversion rates. During festive holidays, the increasing number of visitors may cause slow loading speed and so on.
In order to get prepared for the holiday seasons, as mentioned before, I’ve also prepared a simple checklist that you and your team can use as a cheat sheet for almost every seasonal campaign:
Holiday Campaign SEO Checklist
**Please accept this as my early Christmas gift 🙂