Last Updated on 21st February 2024

Holiday Season Ecommerce SEO Opportunities

As the holiday season approaches its time to get organised planning your marketing campaigns.  In reality, planning for the holiday season should start several months in advance, and more so when it comes to SEO, which is rarely instantaneous (unlike PPC), rather than leaving things until the holiday season is on the near horizon.

Holiday Season Gift Guides

Everyone loves a holiday season gift guide, and you can really go to town in making these really audience centric and tailored to specific hobby-enthusiasts or personas.  Try to stay away from the ‘too broad’ ‘Gifts for Mum and Dad’ (of course there will be plenty of search volume around terms like these) in a single post, and instead, if you have the capacity build strong hubs with collections of gift guides all curated and connected together to create a hub of ‘gifts for Mum and Dad’. Mum and Dad is too vague and you are very unlikely to be able to meet the true informational need with a vague collection of 10 or 20 items for Mum and Dad when there are so many different personalities across ‘Mums and Dads’.  How about curating a collection of Gifts for Dads who love golf, or Dads who love cooking, or Dads who love whisky-tasting?  Build out your strong hub of gift ideas, create tabs and filters or separate pages grouped strongly together.  Produce beautiful creative and social posts to reflect the same look and feel.  If you plan and execute this well then next year you can revive the Holiday Season gift guide section you created and turn this section into an annual showcase which will not only grow in popularity, but might well attract natural links and build trust and relevance over time.  Whilst this may seem like a huge amount of work, curated lists provide a great way for visitors to scan for ideas for their friends and family, particularly if you can cluster the lists in a very well categorised and compartmentalised manner.  Give your curated blog posts with ideas for gifts some extra visibility by featuring them on your home page and linking across from other relevant sections of your website using strong connections and user journeys.

January sales and ecommerce opportunities

You’re barely over the Christmas rush when the January sales hit. Then it’s all hands to the pump again. But this is the season to maximise your profits.

But there is a lot of competition, let’s not forget that. So how can you make sure your business start the New Year off as winners? Here are a few pointers!

Fix mobile web performance

It doesn’t matter whether consumers are buying online, or in-store, the majority of shoppers use their mobile phones as part of their shopping routine (even if they are simply using mobile whilst actually in a retail store to compare the price of items they are physically inspecting (i.e. standing in front of and looking at in a store), with equivalent products from other brands or retail outlets. And that means hitting up your website with their handset, and an opportunity not to be missed to take a piece of competitor business if your brand happens to be in the comparison set.

Mobile users do not have the patience to wait for websites to load. If your webpage is too slow you risk losing potential  customers.

This is not only a problem you will have on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or during the January sales, but all year round, so you may as well use the sales period to fix the lag. Make your New Years resolution a business solution.

Remove any unnecessary CSS or Javascript and make sure you compress images since unoptimised images tend to be one of the main causes of a slow delivery of content on mobile devices. You don’t need bells and whistles that slow down your website, you need a website that sells your products. A few tweaks here and there can go a long way to resolving the problem.

Beat price comparison

It has become the norm for consumers to use their mobile phones in-store to compare your prices with other retailers. But you do not have to lose your customers to your competitors.

Make it clear that you will offer a lower price than any competitor even if the price on your sales label is higher, with a ‘price match promise’ or ‘lowest price promise’. If customers can prove your competitor is selling the same merchandise for less, be flexible on the pricing.

However, you need to ensure you are compliant with Advertising Standards too when it comes to making lowest price promises. The Advertising Standards Authority have a good guideline brochure which should help you navigate through challenges with lowest price promise terms and conditions.

Use personalised marketing

Personalised marketing is a trend many online stores have not got their head round. Consumers will typically unsubscribe from misplaced emails that are not relevant to them.

The point of asking consumers to give you personal information is so that you use it to target them with offers they may have an interest in. Yet far too many online businesses do not use this data and scatter emails at random.

You will increase your chances of a higher success rate – and keep your existing customers – by targeting them with specific offers that marry with their interests.

Social Media and Christmas Campaigns

The holidays are a massive part of the year for many reasons and for marketers it’s a big opportunity to leverage social media success. A study from MarketLive says that half of holiday shoppers will be influenced by social media this year and this shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Holiday shoppers take part in a number of social activities over the festive period – from product reviews and recommendations to hunting for gift ideas on Pinterest. A strong social presence at this time of year could make a great start to 2015 so its time to get your holiday social campaign off the ground.

How to choose your holiday social media strategy

Just like any other marketing campaign your festive strategy needs to be planned out for success. The right approach depends on the type of business you are and the services you offer. A social media campaign for toys at this time of year will vary greatly from a triple-glazing company and its important you understand the role of your services or products.

If it’s hard to imagine your products or services as a Christmas present, offer your customers the gift of a discount or special offer. Even if you’re generally associated with the summer months (eg: a marquee hire firm) you can send out offers for those Christmas and New Year’s parties – as well as those Summer weddings, which will already be in the planning stages.

The question you need to answer is, what does your audience want at this time of year? It could be free shipping on their gifts or guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve. They may be simply hunting for the best deal available or to buy online and collect from your store.

Turning it social

Special offers, deals and postage perks are not the key to social success this holiday season, however. It’s a great place to start, but to make a success of your social efforts this festive period you need to get out there and get involved with your audience. First of all you need to tell them what you have to offer and how they can take advantage. Then you need to make sure they like, share and comment on your social offers.

It’s a tense time for many online shoppers and you can use this to create a sense of urgency about your deals and offers. Set a time limit on your special deals to drum up the hype and make full use of the fact that Christmas is fast approaching.

Don’t make it all about the sales though and focus some time to include your audience in the festive build-up. Get them to post advice for the holiday seasons, their best decoration pictures or whatever best suits your campaign, brand and products. If you can get them to picture or video themselves using your products you’re on to a winner. Find a way to improve the holiday period for your target audience and whether your services are relevant to this time of year or not, you’ll have made an impression they won’t soon forget.

Being active on social media networks is a great way of directly communicating with your audience. You can make social media your most effective tool this holiday season and into January by posting content that creates a pathway to product landing pages and interacting with customers.

Offer long-term rewards

The January sales may offer great financial rewards for the short term, but how about the long-term? You could use the sales period to offer membership or discounts on future purchases in order to attract customers for now and lay the foundations for customer loyalty moving forward.

The sales season is a prime time to boost your online sales profits, but you can also use it to get the year off to a good start – and to start as you intend to continue.

If you are looking to maximise your sales online either through ecommerce SEO get in touch and we’ll provide an initial website analysis and suggest what you could realistically achieve.