You’re already involved with an SEO firm that’s supposed to be helping your company’s digital presence—why should you invest in digital marketing even more so? Shouldn’t what you’re doing right now be enough?
It should be enough—but it isn’t.
Think about it: have you had a phenomenal time with sales lately? Maybe people are putting in more orders than they did the rest of the year—but then again, you shouldn’t be too happy if there’s a sales hike during the holiday season. Sales surges ought to be expected during the holiday season—it’s normal.
The rest of the year is not the right metric for comparison in this case—what are the profits you made last year during the holiday season. Your markup—and your goal—for this year should be a margin that’s significantly higher than last year’s holiday sales.
And boosting your SEO is one way of doing it.
The Pandemic and eCommerce
Bizarre as it is that a global pandemic has earned Ecommerce all its respect, facts are facts: the shift to eCommerce has been almost absolute in 2020.
Online orders surged for many countries—at least for those countries for which we have the data—in Europe, North America, and Pan-Asia. Google Trends stats show us a clear hike in consumer interest in the term “online delivery” in 2020 compared to previous years.
Surveys have shown us that COVID has changed the fabric of online shopping forever. Overall, U.S. retailers saw an increase of up to 68% in their sales in April 2020. As far as online retail orders go, we saw a 146% growth overall.
If anything, 2020 has been a good year for Ecommerce—which means it’s been a good year for any business that has invested in professional SEO and PPC campaigns. There is, however, a good reason for you to turn that SEO stint up a notch, starting with. . .
Higher Web Traffic
We’ve already talked about how online sales went up in 2020—and one of the reasons behind that is increased internet usage during the pandemic. Not only did the virus change the way we shopped, but it also changed the way people use the internet. Generally, there was an increase in overall internet usage worldwide—for a plethora of reasons. After all, people were practicing social and physical distancing, which paved the way for increased internet usage.
Bear in mind that even online conversion rates increased by 8.8% in 2020—this tells you all you need to know about increased internet usage. People who had never considered going online before all found themselves facing screens and routing up their WiFi devices—because the year called for it. For businesses big and small, this opened up a diverse range of possibilities.
In particular, Mobile users increased in great numbers when it came to online internet usage—with more than 4 billion global mobile users being online in 2020. The higher the web traffic, the better your sales prospects, right?
Not exactly—and this is why boosting your SEO should be an important part of the holiday season.
With higher web traffic, you’re also looking at a higher proliferation of similar businesses and companies offering products and services that rival yours. Higher web traffic also does not guarantee your page a greater number of visitors—all of that is still very much dependent on how well you’ve invested in SEO.
As we mentioned, the digital space is highly saturated with businesses that are offering products and services similar to yours. With such a condensed market, how are you ensuring that the SERPs—often the same ones for thousands of businesses out there—are crawling, indexing, and displaying your pages as the top results instead of one of your rivals?
It can be hard to get ahead of the digital world’s competition if all five hundred of you are selling the same thing. Your keywords, target audience, perhaps even market strategies will be very similar, if not the same.
Boosting your SEO game can ensure that you’re going the extra mile in your goal to reach out to a wider audience and that you’re expanding your digital horizons in the best way possible.
Online sales have been known to surge during the holiday season—Is that even a secret that people tend to shop more during the holiday season? Whether it’s a product that you’re offering or a service, people are likelier to reach out for multiple reasons.
One of these reasons is the understanding that everything’s on sale during the holiday season—even if it isn’t on sale, you might expect an upsurge in shopping from your prospective customers.
There’s also the fact that people are home for the holidays—many have taken offs from works and have more time on their hands. Several people use this time to shop around and stock up—which could lead them to your product and service if you have given your SEO campaign a boost.
Preparing for the Shipageddon: 2020 Holiday Season Sales
According to Business Insider, online sales went ballistic this year from November to December—this is instead of the fact that online sales had been all the rage for almost the entire year since most people were confined to their homes. This year, online sales saw a 35.8% rise—whereas in-store sales are expected to drop by 4.7% by the time this year is over.
In fact, analysts and market-watchers expect the trend to mushroom to such an extent by the end of the year that a “shipageddon” is expected. What’s a shipageddon? It’s basically shipping Armageddon—when the orders placed will eventually overwhelm producers and manufacturers’ shipping capacity. So if you’re wising up on boosting your SEO and not taking due care of your warehousing and freight operations, this is your cue. Marketers expect the shipageddon to end in delivery delays—and that’s a recipe for disaster in terms of customer satisfaction.
In-Person Retail Sales Can Increase
We’ve talked about online sales at length, but E-commerce isn’t the only mode of profit you’re looking at if you invest in holiday SEO. Your in-person sales—especially in a city like New York—can also undergo a considerable hike if your business gets much foot traffic when the holiday season comes around. You’ll want to make sure your listings, local SEO, email marketing, etc., are all on point to entice your customer base. It’s also far easier to provide useful information to your target audience via on-page SEO—helping them streamline their shopping experience to the point where all they have to do is pay your store a physical visit.
Bear in mind that many of your repeat customers—especially those who shop exclusively during the holiday season—might not even know if you’re open or not. Visible, accurate, clear local SEO can help translate that information to them—which will eventually bring them to your in-person retail stores.
Brush Up on Your B2B Goals
You might think that B2B and holidays don’t really go all that well together because the search volume decreases noticeably. But while B2B businesses don’t really do much business during the holidays, the people behind those businesses are still tinkering around behind the screens. Many executives and salespeople are always scrambling for new leads, catching up on market research, combing the internet, and responding to emails on their time off. Basically, they’re cooped up in their homes using the internet a lot.
If your B2B business were to catch their attention while they were scrolling and surfing during the holiday season, you’ve found yourself a great new business partner.
The idea here is to solidify visibility to the point where any stakeholders who might be surfing the internet for anything remotely related to your business will pop up on your website. Of course, good SEO is the only way of ensuring this plan goes through.
This one’s for businesses that have been waiting for the New Year actually to invest in SEO—and we understand. Hiring SEO professionals aren’t always the cheapest thing globally. It can take up serious funds if you’re also investing in PPC and social media marketing campaigns (which you should, ideally, be doing). Many companies, therefore, keep putting off their SEO investment until next year—but we’re suggesting that you tweak that timeline a little bit. Instead of starting in January 2021, we’d suggest you go ahead with as early as November 2020—to cash in on the many opportunities offered by the holiday season.
Always remember that SEO isn’t something you get done with the flick of a magical wand. It takes days of research, audits, data collection and analysis, keyword research, concept and content creation, content and video development, web design and development, and so much more. These are tasks you need to plan for—and what better than utilizing the holiday season to boost your SEO by preparing for the next year to come?
Like other businesses out there, if you plan on giving your business goals a major boost next year, you might want to start with the new year. Use the holiday season to plan and improve your SEO campaign to start the New Year with new zeal and new goals. This will get the customers as excited as you, which promises a higher conversion rate.
Holiday Targeting 101
Now that we’ve listed down all the major reasons why you ought to be considering an SEO rehaul during the holiday question, there’s the question of what to do and how to go about it.
When holiday targeting is done right, you end up with better rankings and greater sales. And while some people might tell you it’s too late to begin holiday targeting, we’re here to tell you that you can still salvage the situation.
Start Early—Or Not
Ideally, you start early. Your holiday campaigns—such as those for Thanksgiving and Christmas—should be done and decided as far back as in September. This gives you ample time to inform your customers (through newsletters, email marketing, social media, etc.) and make any changes you might need along the way.
If you had to have something like a whole new site rolled out or needed specific changes made to the website for Christmas time, yes, in that case, it’s too late. But otherwise, you can still tap into the holiday fever and target aggressively for the New Year to ensure you aren’t letting any opportunities slide.
Just remember that you’re trying to do three things here:
- Improve your SERP rankings by manipulating the search engine
- Improving your CTR
- Bagging sales
Jump on All the Bandwagons You Can Find
Trends can be fairly beneficial in constricted and specific time frames such as holidays. You have a short window of time to make the most sales possible, and you can do so by targeting all the trends in the market relevant to you.
For instance, we all know that people are looking for gifts to buy for their friends this time of the year. Among the “most popular gift ideas of 2020,” you’ll find things like 3-in-1 chargers, moon lamps, back massagers, and so on. These, for instance, are the Google Trends stats for “PS5”:
You can see that interest in the PS5 increased in late November and has continued to subsist—and you can say that it’s probably because it was released around the same time. But you can also assume—and make an educated guess, if you’re using cookies and performing data analysis on your web visitors—that many people are looking at PS5 to check whether or not they can buy it for their friends and significant others for Christmas.
So how does the PS5 open a window of opportunity for you?
The PS5 doesn’t, but trends do. Whether it’s matcha or pumpkin spice (that shoots up during October, though), get on that bandwagon. If you sell similar or relevant products—such as other video games—you might have the opportunity to market your products to an audience very willing to buy them. You can also target holiday-specific keywords to ensure your web pages are getting higher traffic than usual.
Rehash Old Content
One of the book’s lesser-known tricks is taking the holiday opportunity to upgrade and re-post your old content. You must have heard—if you like keeping up with SEO tips and tricks—about the necessity of repurposing old content that either did not get much traction or got a bad rep. Making improvements and modifications in that content based on your recent SEP audits and consumer behavior analysis can provide you with gripping new content that you didn’t have to write from scratch. Since SEO firms and content development platforms are, around the holiday season, pretty booked with their engagements, re-purposing your old content is a hack you can use to create more valuable content by putting in less effort.
About the Author
The author is an SEO expert for Search Berg, specializing in link building services for New York businesses. They believe that the holiday season can really turn things around for businesses that make changes to their SEO campaigns and invest in more creative advertising gigs this time of the year.