IT’S CHRISTMAAA… Hold up, hold up. While Christmas may be a little while off yet for many people, for some, this is not the case. For many businesses, the entire year is focused on the festive season, and SEO is no different. As soon as the Christmas ends, you only have 12 months until there’s another one, so making sure everything is planned and prepped in time is essential. There’s no need to wish it was Christmas every day because you are very much living the dream (or nightmare depending on your level of humbug-ness!) The world of SEO moves fast, so what you did last year will not be enough to keep you on top. Here are 10 wonderful tips on how to do Christmas in 2017.
1. Be Creative with Keywords
The relationship between keywords and Google’s algorithm has become more complex in recent years, but that shouldn’t stop you from believing they are any less relevant. Keywords are still important in SEO, but now it is more about the actual content itself, and the quality of it which really matters. Google AdWords will help you find your keywords, then all you need to do is ensure that high-quality content (in the style of a blog or other means) maximises these. Google will then crawl your site, and subsequently pick it up, receiving a higher ranking on SERPs.
2. Be Descriptive, Competition is Fierce
You need to get noticed, so make sure that you have a USP included in your meta-description. Keyword perks that people will be searching for should be included within. Christmas is the season of delivery, and we’re all a sucker for deals. If you offer free delivery, or a discount if the gran total reaches a certain amount, then make sure you include this in your meta-description to help your ranking and traffic opportunities. Alongside this, push it on your Social Media platforms and make sure to be transparent with the deals you offer.
3. Optimise and Update Old Content
Looking at which of your pages ranked well on Google Analytics from Christmas’ past will highlight where you need to improve, and what methods to carry forward. If you have a blog post that was relevant to a specific event or date that you no longer want people to visit, but it ranks highly, then check and find out why it is still ranking. After, you can then see if any of these ranking factors can be implemented to any other pieces of content on your site. (If you are finding that none of your pages are ranking highly and you’re unsure of how to execute on-site optimisation, check out our guide.)
4. Get your Google My Business Profile Sorted
Getting yourself on Google My Business can give users more information on SERPs when searching for your company, and it is easy to set up. Google My Business is part of your Google profile, and it has everything from your website to your address and phone number. Google My Business also features posts that last for seven days. This is great for products, events, guides, whitepapers and so much more. We like to add UTM tracking to the URLs we add into our Google My Business posts, as it helps us track just how successful they are. Googe My Business is also beneficial for your local SEO strategy, and with Christmas just around the corner, that’s something you should be getting sorted…
5. Ensure you have Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, are web pages made specifically for mobile browsing. Instead of the usual mobile-optimised sites, AMPs are much faster at loading. This is something that is hugely important when you consider that more and more people are spending time on their phones, with Google saying 40% of searchers will abandon a web page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. So, the quicker the loading time on your site, the better the user experience. Christmas is the time of giving, so give your consumers the user experience they want. Don’t forget to check out the AMP Project for more information about Accelerated Mobile Pages.
6. Optimise your Site for Voice Search
Voice Search is becoming a new force within Digital Marketing, as mobile devices become more advanced and widely used across the world. While not perfect, voice understanding will replace voice recognition as superior technology. Just look at Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Alexa, which are both increasing in popularity across many developed markets. You want to make sure that conversational phrases and colloquial terms are being included with your keyword research and content. For example, if you’re an interior design company, you could create content surrounding ‘mince pie recipes’ or ‘how to make a mince pie’. Voice search requires a little creativity, and it’s more important than ever before to make sure it’s on your list in the run-up to Christmas 2017.
7. Score a Google Answer Box
Research shows that Answer Boxes on Google SERPs receive 32.1% of clicks, so gaining one is highly valuable for your business. Google’s Featured Snippets work on the same premise of voice search – you need to know the sort of questions people are asking about the product/services you sell and create content on your website that will answer these queries and questions. Securing Featured Snippet builds trust for the consumer and will help your site’s visibility. As we mentioned earlier, they also receive a higher click-through rate, which is exactly what you need in the build-up to Christmas. Find out how to appear in Google’s Answer Boxes here.
8. Plan your Cross-Channel Marketing Campaign
The world accesses information and searches in more ways than ever. Think about it, on the average day how many devices do you use? How many social media platforms do you browse through? How many adverts do you see? Multiple will be the answer for many of these. A proper cross-channel marketing strategy promotes consistency across each platform for your brand and means that you are targeting your customers wherever they are. That is why it is also important to monitor your customer’s actions and movement, so you know exactly what should be targeted and when making your products and services stand out in the run-up to Christmas.
9. Ensure your Site is Using Schema Markup
Having schema markup on your site allows users to see more information on SERPs, and tells search engines what your data means, rather than just what it is. The competition for Featured Snippets is hard, and you’ll want to stand out from every other Christmas Digital Marketing Strategy. Schema Markup, quality content and concise keyword research will help you become that flamingo in a flock of pigeons. If you have a certain event or products that you want to push, schema markup is vital for achieving this. Incorporating schema markup into your site is all about code, so for a more detailed look, click here.
10. Utilise Google Search Trends
Staying current and looking at current trends is something that will really help you in the build-up to the Christmas period. Obviously, specific search terms are more popular at certain times of the year, and you’ll always see a peak of terms and phrases at Christmas. Google Trends can help you see certain trends at specific times of the year, helping you tailor your Digital Marketing campaign accordingly. You could choose to target high volume phrases where the competition is hard or go for lower volume phrases where the competition won’t be as strong (you may be losing out on valuable traffic…) Looking at what people have been talking about and being creative in applying that to your business is important, as it shows that you know your customers. Take a look here at some ways in which to utilise search trends for Google.
If you need any help sorting out your SEO for Christmas, or indeed all year round, get in contact.