It’s the busiest time of year. Most enterprise eCommerce businesses will tell you, it’s the most important. The festive season is the Superbowl of eCommerce. Neglecting your organic SEO strategy in the lead-up to Christmas is like failing to train for the Superbowl.
In the US alone, online sales in the two-month lead-up to Christmas equated to $US204 billion in 2021. This figure was up by a staggering 8.6% from the previous year.
Data from 2020 showed that Australian consumers spent $AU55 billion in online shopping during the same period.
Consumers spend big in November and December, making it prime time for eCommerce customer acquisition and conversion.
Big site eCommerce stores will begin strategising for this period well in advance to give themselves the best shot at capitalising on the busiest time of year.
But too often, these strategies focus solely on paid channels such as Google and social ads. They neglect their organic strategy because “it takes too long to rank” or they “can’t measure the ROI of organic spend”.
Neglecting your organic SEO strategy in the lead-up to Christmas is like failing to train for the Superbowl.
1. Target the “Christmas long tail”
There are indeed some very Christmas-specific keywords that you can make work for or against you.
But the common pitfall is spending a lot of money bidding on Christmas keywords and then sending a user to a generic landing page. Or worse, your homepage!
You can make these seasonal keywords work for you if you land the users on tailored landing pages with exact-match content. All your vegan hampers, all your gift ideas for him/her/mum/dad that look more expensive.
But before you send your dev team a bunch of Jira tickets to get these landing pages built and launched, consult Google Ads Keyword Planner for actual search volumes for the individual keywords. Also, check last year’s search term report for volumes and past performance.
2. It’s never too early to start preparing your Christmas SEO strategy
Just like Christmas decorations start to make an appearance on supermarket shelves as the last season draws to a close (I know, crazy right?), so should your Christmas SEO strategy.
By the time you determine your ideal keywords list with the optimal cost per click to maximise sales for your target ROI, it’s Boxing Day.
That’s why retailers should be prepared to optimise against a moving target as user searches fluctuate in the lead-up to Christmas while most of your competitors are making constant budget and CPC changes.
The best preparation for any Christmas user search behaviour and competitor bid changes is to look at last year’s performance in the lead-up. If you have two or more years of seasonal data, even better.
Overlay as many years of data as possible, consider both numbers of days to Christmas and day-of-the-week and build a model for expected traffic, CPC, revenue and ROI to inform your campaign optimisation, budget and revenue run-rate for this year’s festive season.
3. The best Christmas SEO campaigns are your “always on”, long tail campaigns
As with the Superbowl, if you haven’t come prepared, how can you expect to win?
Your “always on” search campaigns throughout the year give you all the data you need to decide where to spend your extra Christmas SEO budget for the best ROI.
You learn the categories that work well, keywords with high ROI, and keyword variations that are broadly related but don’t convert into sales.
And the more long tail keywords you actively target (key phrases of three or more words where users search for something specific), the better informed you are on actual user search behaviour and your site’s performance for all the different variations of keywords that describe your products.
4. Use your Christmas shipping information as an “urgency message”
One of the few marketing “tricks” proven effective on search landing pages is the urgency message.
A straightforward and credible way of creating urgency is by showing the expected delivery date – Amazon is a genius at doing this.
In a Christmas context, it’s valuable and effective to tell your customers when they can last order to receive their products in time before Christmas.
You can further tailor this by user location and different shipping speeds by state, metro vs. regional, and shipping options (standard, express or courier).
Of course, this works not only for Christmas but all year round.
5. Christmas SEO––Don’t reinvent the wheel
If you have built Christmas-specific landing pages that rank for SEO, don’t build a new one every year.
Keep the URL and update the content. Data history like backlinks, traffic and usability stats for a specific URL is highly important for SEO ranking. By creating new URLs each year, you lose all history and the pages’ past performance credit with Google.
If you have pages that refer to the current year, like “Top Christmas gifts 2019”, you obviously need a new URL every year. In that case, make sure to add a 301 redirect from your 2018 version (and older versions) to the most recent one. While 301 redirects don’t pass on all “link juice”, “SEO history” for Google, they do pass on around ~90% of it, and nobody will miss the page or content for “Best Christmas gifts 2009”.
Make this Christmas count for your business
Remember that the ultimate goal in search is the same as in-store: customer experience.
If a user asks for “Christmas gifts for dad under $50”, take them by the hand and lead them to the relevant product section, don’t just point them in the general direction.
How can Longtail UX help with your Christmas SEO strategy?
The LUX Customer Acquisition Platform lets you launch thousands of hyper-relevant landing pages with minimal set-up time required from your developer team.
Once integrated, we help you keep those pages optimised with ease. No more pestering your tech team or waiting in months’ or years’ long priority queues.
Smart Pages are built for enterprise eCommerce, connecting people to products they love in one click.
Want to see what the LUX Customer Acquisition Platform looks like plugged into your site? Book your custom demo.