The holidays are upon us! There are officially only 120 days until Christmas. So, if you work on SEO for your customers or have your eCommerce website, you need to consider the holidays now.
To gain customers online, you need to bring in more visitors. Bring in more visitors from organic search – get your website to rank higher in search results. If you have been at this game for a while, you know that ranking improvements don’t typically happen overnight. To reap the benefits of visibility in searches during the holidays now is the time to optimize your local online business.
Best place to start?? Your existing content.
Optimizing Existing Content
It is still usable if you have any pre-existing holiday and seasonal content from previous holidays!
Update and repurpose this seasonal content – it will become your most cost-efficient option to earn search visibility for your local business in the upcoming holiday months.
I will demonstrate a real-world example of a local Oklahoma-based business influenced by the holiday season, BC Clark. (Complete disclosure: I have no affiliation with BC Clark, but I love their jewelry – and holiday jingle!)
Let’s see if BC Clark has any old content that could be updated and optimized for this year’s holiday season…
Searching through BC Clark’s blog, I found a 2018 post, Christmas Gift Guide. Perfect. This post can be leveraged to bring in qualified organic traffic during the holiday season, but first, we need to determine if they’re worth updating.
Now what? Review the current search results for this post. Look for:
- Difficulty and competition: Are there big competitor names drowning out Page 1? Are the ranking pages high-quality in terms of content and design? If yes, it’s fair to assume it will be challenging to rank these keywords.
- Formatting best practices to appear in searches: Look for common elements among the ranking pages; find trends contributing to why those pages rank for that search. For example, if you see many results with video, you should probably add some relevant video content to your page.
- Understand Searcher intent: Ranking pages gives insight into searcher intent, and the types of pages people are searching for. For example, are all the top results definitional content? Do you see multiple review pages? Analyze the results to understand what searchers want.
A quick search of “holiday gift guide” indicates a Grinch-like time for BC Clark to rank their page among some quite large sites and big brands:
However, the “Christmas gift guide” looks a little more promising:
While some well-known brands are still listed, there are also pages ranking from lesser-known sites. That is encouraging for BC Clark. Currently, of the 20 pages checked, BC Clark is not ranking.
Because their page is not ranking, it can be a bit of an uphill battle for BC Clark to reach page one by the holidays – but doable.
Let’s analyze the opportunity based on search volume to get an idea of potential traffic and ranking…
According to SEMrush, “Christmas gift guide” has a monthly search volume of 1,000. However, we need to consider other associated keywords, too.
Here, you can see how easy it might be for these smaller-numbered volumes to add up to a large number on aggregate quickly.
It looks like “Christmas gift guide” and “gift guide Christmas 2018” are the head terms here, with a volume of 1,000.
Now that we’ve confirmed our content updates are worthwhile, let us analyze BC Clark’s blog page to see what optimizations we can make.
Immediately, we can assess that there is some on-page optimization that can be knocked out:
For example, “Christmas Gift Guide” appears in their post’s H1 tag but not in the H2.
- Include the keywords in H2s and H3s to help Google further associate the page with the topic of Christmas Gift Guide – and likely improve rankings.
Going back to the page one results, we can look at what companies ranking well are doing – get more ideas for improving BC Clark’s blog post page.
For example, something that stands out in this search is everyone ranking on page one has a mixture that says “gift guide” and “Christmas” in their meta description. Their meta description is, “Designer news, events, fashion tips, and invite-only sales from BC Clark, Oklahoma City’s top fine jewelry and luxury watch store.” Adding appropriate keywords and terms to the meta description could be beneficial and potentially help BC Clark rank higher for Christmas gift guide searches:
Below, we can see a “People also ask” box which provides ideas for new sections BC Clark could add to their page:
These tweaks should get BC Clark’s blog post page heading in the right direction! That said, link building will still be essential to help guild them to Page 1.
While it will be challenging to convince site owners to link to Christmas content while out of season, by starting promotion early, BC Clark can have verbal agreements with local site owners who might like to share BC Clark’s content with their audiences in or around December.
Having these “verbal agreements” and execution of backlinking in place will significantly improve link-building success as it bypasses the issue of trying to contact people during the holidays, working around vacations, and general unresponsiveness.
Backlinking is a little to no investment opportunity (through content creation resources). BC Clark could begin executing immediately and potentially appear on Google’s page 1 search results. It could bring qualified traffic from late November to December when people search for Christmas gift ideas.
Another tidbit of content updates can be in the actual copy on the page. Currently, there are only 156 words; it is better to make this number 350 or more!
You can add more copy to your blog post by answering questions your customers might ask about Christmas gift-buying. Think about using items listed under the “People also ask” for holiday copy content inspiration. For example, a new, additional copy for this blog page might look something like this:
“Christmas will be here before you know it! BC Clark’s Christmas gift guide displays the finest, most glittery, and holiday-spirited jewelry our customer’s hearts could desire. Choose the perfect engagement ring for the unsuspecting lucky one, a holiday pendant and watch for the folks, or an elegant pair of diamond earrings for the upcoming Christmas party. ‘Give the gift you know can’t fail at BC Clark’s Anniversary Sale.’ *HINT* That is right around the Christmas gift-giving season! So check out our Christmas gift guide and prepare for a glittery holiday.”
That is 90 more words; keep going!
Updating Content for your Holiday Gift Guide – You’ve Got This
Start planning your holiday-time SEO now. Don’t miss out on your bottom line during the holiday season.
Follow these tips so your local business can appear in searches. Then, get more people interested in your products and services on your website!