Fruit mince pies and tinsel are upon us, which means Christmas gift shopping! During the biggest spending period of the year, businesses need to be found quickly and easily through effective search engine optimisation strategies (SEO). Read on for four actionable SEO ideas to help you maximise your sales this season.
Last year, Aussies spent $50 billion during the pre-Christmas period.
SEO is a well-defined series of steps website owners can take to increase the chances that search engines will find their websites. Remember, in order for customers to find your business when they search online, search engines must find it first.
4 SEO ideas to help you prepare
To prepare your website for the upcoming holiday shopping spree, just follow these steps.
Make sure it’s mobile.
Get found with Google My Business.
Use targeted ads for holiday promos.
Get in the holiday spirit.
Let’s look at each of the SEO ideas in more detail.
1. Make sure it’s mobile
Australians are shopping — and paying — more with smartphones, according to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey. Which is why it’s important your website is easy to open and use on any device, from desktop to mobile.
Mobile’s influence on shopping behaviour has been on the rise since the arrival of smartphones.
Thanks to our phones, most of our lives are managed on the go — from paying the bills and booking flights to shopping for that perfect gift for him or her.
More than half of all Google searches are done on mobile devices. And Google has adapted their algorithms accordingly.
So it’s important to have a website that has a mobile-first philosophy when it comes to design and functionality. Not only should your site look great on the latest smartphone, but be easy-to-use on any mobile device, including tablets. Use Google’s tool to quickly see how mobile-friendly your site is.
Almost three-quarters of consumers will switch from a poorly-designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing easier.
A few tips to ensure mobile customers can use your site with ease:
- Allow purchases to be made with a guest account, asking only for critical information such as name, delivery address, etc.
- Pare content down to the essentials, displaying only the cues necessary for the user to perform each page’s key task. Offer details via links.
- Ensure the layout is easy to navigate and offers a clear path to purchase and checkout.
- Include a search function, tagging and categorising products/pages for easy discovery.
- Make sure it loads quickly on mobile devices and that text and images fit the mobile screen.
- Keep pop-ups to a minimum.
For more best practices on website design for smaller screens, read this.
Editor’s note: Websites built with GoDaddy Website Builder automatically adjust to suit the visitor’s screen size. So your website looks and works beautifully on any device.
2. Get found with Google My Business
With more than half of Google searches carried out on mobile, it’s important to sign up with Google My Business (GMB). This free tool puts your business name, address and phone number on Google Maps.
This listing has so many benefits — such as letting people know your hours of operation, your menu and directions to your store. Recently, Google has added some features to help business owners with local SEO:
This handy tool allows businesses to share updates about deals, promotions or events — perfect in the lead-up to Christmas! This information appears directly on the search engine results page, which means you are communicating with your customers before they have even reach your website.
People can ask questions about your product or service, and you or a member of the public can answer. This is a great way to interact with your customers. However, note that because it is public, you’ll need to check your listing regularly to ensure there’s no spam or questions left unanswered. This could reflect poorly on your business.
Unlike Google Q&A, these messages are private and do not appear on your listing. Messages are sent to you as the owner for you to respond directly to the customer. Find more details on the compatible apps here.
This tool works with a host of scheduling partners to offer appointments and reservations through your GMB account.
3. Use targeted ads for holiday promos
The holidays are your one annual opportunity to get in front of a huge number of new customers. If you can create an experience designed specifically for their needs and wants, you’ll pump up your conversion rates (i.e. the number of leads that turn into sales).
A quick way to get yourself in front of people is with holiday shopping promos. This entails a few things:
Special landing pages
These pages are relatively easy and cost-effective to set up. They have one goal: to present a holiday promotion to customers and get them to say yes. Some examples:
- A gift ideas landing page to make the gift-giver’s shopping experience easier.
- A daily holiday surprise landing page for each of your product and/or services.
- Landing pages for a series of 1-hour flash sales each day leading up to your delivery deadline. The great thing about flash sales is that they create a sense of urgency, prompting indecisive browsers to purchase before the offer expires.
Promote these landing pages through your social media channels and email subscription list.
Facebook and Google Ads (optional)
Social media is a critical component of any SEO campaign, and advertising on social media such as Facebook is an effective way to get your promotion in front of the people who are most likely to buy from you.
For Google Ads, ensure it’s a holiday-specific campaign. It might sound obvious, but many advertisers forget to include profitable holiday keywords such as “gifts,” “gift ideas” and “Christmas” in their ads in the lead-up to the holiday.
Need a little help choosing keywords? Get step-by-step how-tos here.
4. Get in the holiday spirit
The holidays are a wonderful and festive time of year. Why not go the extra mile and present your customers with a reason to get into the mood in your retail space — whether that’s an online store or shopfront, or both?
A few easy ideas:
- Update your packaging, adding a free gift to every purchase.
- Offer gift-wrapping
- Decorate your storefront, whether virtual or actual.
- Create social media posts and promotional emails that are holiday-themed.
Bricks-and-mortar store owners can even have their staff dress in holiday gear. It’s a perfectly excusable time to go all out.
Over to you with 4 easy SEO ideas
Remember, this is a crazy time of year, and every shopper will be looking for speed and convenience so they can check items off their shopping list. But once the SEO ideas above are implemented, you should see a steady increase of web traffic and sales (digital or IRL).
Then go have that nice cold beverage, knowing that your website is optimised for SEO and ready to go.