Throughout the year we experience a number of holiday seasons, from a romantic filled evening to a week long of eating more sweets than you ever thought were possible, and such festivities are followed by waves of what we call ’emotional buying’.
Maybe someone needs a present for a loved one, or even a new toy for their dog. A good salesman knows emotion is the key to any successful conversion, but this particular period is often where people are more susceptible to such types of purchases.
The joy of Christmas for example, often brings out the best in people, it’s a time to celebrate what you have, spend time with loved ones and family, and traditionally…buy each other gifts.
It’s very easy to capitalize on this period through what is most commonly known as ‘holiday SEO’
Holiday SEO is a process where we create and optimize content purely for the holidays.
We do this to ensure your webpages are able to rank year after year and continue to grow in authority, without the need to create new content on a 12 months cycle.
Add Holiday Related Keywords
Firstly you’ll want to review your site to determine if you already have any seasonal based web pages. If you do, it’s a great place to start.
If you have multiple pages, you can review each one to see which of those are performing best. Once you have your winner, that will be your foundation for your holiday SEO.
Now your ready to start adding content to that page, you’ll want to begin with the same process as always. Research your competition, analyse key terms you’d like to rank for, and set out a plan of action.
When your working on your list of keywords, you will want to avoid terms specifically with dates in, such as Christmas 2021, or valentines 2030.
It’s our goal here to create a page that ranks for your chosen holiday, not just for this year, but every year after.
Once you have your list primed for action, start to create the content for your page.
This content needs to be, as always, high-quality, evergreen, and again, not include dates. This could be your brands stance on a particular holiday, a description of what you do, or just a seasonal message for your customers.
You can take some great inspiration from your competition, most larger brands will have utilized this process, particularly for Black Friday & Cyber Monday, as these tend to draw in the biggest revenues.
You will notice that the majority of these are omitting dates.
In the screenshot below we can see that Argos are using a page that gets republished and updated every year. They do include the dates, but a company as large as this, has the authority to compete in such a large space.
Rather than try to compete every year for the same key terms with a different date at the end, its far easier and more efficient to rank for those without.
For example, create a page focused around “Black Friday Deals” opposed to “Black Friday Deals 2020” then “Black Friday Deals 2021”. This would require fresh content on a yearly basis, and not to mention all those pesky dates you have to change.
By all means, you can still update your page whenever you please, just leave the core content as it is.
Lastly, it’s best practice to make sure your URL doesn’t include any dates either, but do however, try to include your main keyword, providing it is natural.
Create Seasonal Pages
It’s a great idea to set up new pages or even landing pages for particular deals your are offering that season.
What I mean by this is just the same as we discussed above, create an evergreen page that can be used year after year, but not just for holiday itself.
In the same example, you will see that a static URL has been created with no dates or specific periods attached to it.
Some of the best pages to create are those that you would least expect. Head over to your competition and see seasonal pages they have.
These are usually generic terms such as: “Best gifts for Moms” , “Best gifts for Brothers” and so on. As you can imagine from a little bit of research or even from your own personal experiences, a generic phrase like this is what a whole lot of people will be entering in to their search engines.
Remember to change your category pages, along with the title, and meta descriptions/tags to fit the upcoming season for each of these new pages. Be sure to showcase your deals, it’s a great way to increase your CTR.
Done right, your holiday SEO can be a powerful tool.
If your opting to include dates, those will also need to be updated.
However, this is completely situational. You will need to analyze the data for your keywords and make a decision based on their metrics.
Landing pages are perfect for creating offers, specific to products or whole ranges or items. They can be marketed through paid ads, newsletters and will be linked to your SEO optimized holiday pages.
This helps the authority of your main pages to give them that little extra boost when competing on the SERPS. Just keep a clear site structure in mind and make sure it flows seemingly.
The last thing Google wants to see is a mess of webpages with no real structure to them.
Leverage Social Media
Social media will play a huge role in your online success for the holidays, granted this isn’t entirely SEO but it is something you need to consider.
Taking advantage of social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook (Generally whichever platform your customers rely on the most) can have a huge impact on your sales.
A lot of people use places like these to store their lists, note down products, and even tag their friends, on most platforms, such as Pinterest, these can be made public so others can find inspiration in your wishes.
Try to get as much engagement on your posts as possible, you can leverage tactics such as quizzes, interactive poles, or even a competition.
This is also a great place to post your promotions and sales for your upcoming events. Link your landing and seasonal pages to encourage higher visibility.
The goal here is direct traffic from your social platforms over to your holiday pages. You’ll want to promote them as much as you can whether that’s organically, or from paid advertising.
It’s also best practice to write seasonal content such as “gift guides” and “top 10 lists”. Your content will have a higher chance of ranking when it’s useful to the visitor, and if your promoting great products, people tend to share them whether they need a gift or not.
You can also republish this content every year with update products and deals on your social media.
A process like this always works well with visitors on a repeat basis, they will eventually look out for your posts each holiday if they know you have great content.
Although we’re focusing on products, the same process works for businesses that are selling services.
For example, a fire safety company, could create a whole seasonal model around ensuring their local Christmas lights are not hazardous.
You just need to apply a little imagination to your posts.
However, if this isn’t your forte, you can always perform a competitor analysis and see whats working for bigger brands, or even local ones in your area.
Improve Backlinks on Seasonal Pages
We know this isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but backlinks are a must. You can’t rank a page without them, especially in a higher competition space.
And creating search engine optimized holiday pages is definitely a competitive environment.
These pages can be a little more difficult that usual too, for the first year or so, at least. This is due to the fact that said pages are only going to be relevant for a short period of time each year. You will have a lot smaller of a timescale to build your links and get the authority you need.
So don’t beat yourself up if your not hitting the mark the first time around.
Just keep on improving these pages throughout the year, and as always, update your backlink profile on a regular and consistent basis.
This is exactly why it’s important to create a static page you can reuse every year, otherwise you have no chance of acquiring the backlinks you need to actually rank.
The work required to produce high-quality pages every year would be tremendous.
Especially when your going up against business that have been in practice for years and have much higher authority within their content.
And even if you had the time, Google isn’t fond a quick flurry of links, it’s far better to be consistent, and build your backlink profile up over a number of years.
Content is the backbone of any webpage. It’s where the foundation of your SEO lies, and you cant rank pages without it.
I have seen first hand, way too many times businesses that have reused previous years content and been careless, not altering the details, not checking to see if facts are still relevant and accurate, and inevitably this causes the ranking of your content to sink.
Google is a lot smarter than most people think, and if your content isn’t the best possible version it can be, you will be outranked by someone else who has put the effort it.
Remember, its not just Google you need to worry about, its not exactly great for your brand if your providing visitors with incorrect facts and outdated advice.
The content of your page, needs to be just like any other, relevant to the topic at hand, and providing an all-round great experience for the reader. It’s not always about the SEO of your holiday page.
Include your keywords throughout the page but make sure to avoid overstuffing. Your copy needs to read smoothly and naturally.
As we have mentioned, you need to centre your content around whatever topic it is your trying to rank for. You can use Google Trends for an insight on the most searched queries in your industry. Use this to your advantage and create content for those particular queries.
You will however, get yield a much better result from your research if your using a paid tool.
Just remember not to choose the highest volume phrase out there, it will likely result in incredible competition.
You will also need to focus your content on the emotional behaviours of your visitors.
Compassion is generally the best place to start, holidays are a time that people spend with their loved ones and will often throw their rules out of the window when it comers to price. Research shows that many buyers purchase an item on impulse, even if it’s not their usual behaviour.
With good emotions, come the bad. Holidays can be a dreaded time of year for many. Not everyone has the chance to spend their time with family.
A lot of disasters have also occurred in recent times, not to mention a worldwide pandemic. There is no better time of the year to engage in your customers reality, and I don’t mean exploit.
It’s an incredible opportunity to let your clients and customers know that you care. Let them know a percentage of your sales are going to a foundation or local charity – something the consumer can relate to.
Many business’s will put this into practice and its proven to have helped with sales and customer relations. It shows you care and believe in something more than the bottom line… something a lot of people are looking for before making a decision.