You’ve probably noticed that online retailers are preparing for the holiday season earlier each year. The merchants themselves are bursting with the nervous energy of kids waiting to open their holiday gifts, and the phrase "Too soon?" takes on whole other meaning that pits go-getters against procrastinators. If you haven’t quite reached that level of excitement, you have a little time but as they say, luck favors the prepared. 

Here are some things you can put on your holiday to-do list to make sure your e-commerce website is in good shape and maintains some visibility in search results.

SEO

SEO is never ending and is something that continuously shifts as algorithms and ranking signals change. The holiday season is a time of the year where SEO could be tailored for common phrases and keywords people use when shopping for gifts, decorations, activities, and other items. It’s always good to put yourself in the shopper’s mindset to figure out what terms they will be using to look for your products or goods.

Since it’s a busy time of the year, people tend to always be on the move as they get closer to the holidays. Because of this, they do a lot of mobile searches. Mobile searches are commonly searched for through voice search or long tail keywords, which are more conversational. Optimizing your content for voice search could give your page an extra boost. Adding fresh content to your website is the easiest way to get Google to recrawl your website and could potentially rank your site a bit higher.

Another area you can optimize is your meta descriptions and utilizing structured data on your product pages. Meta descriptions are known to help with click-through rates, so if you have a holiday-optimized description versus a generic one, you could drive more traffic to your website because it’s specifically tailored to the season. Adding structured data will help your products show up for rich snippets in the search results, which can also give your products additional visibility above competitors.

Marketing

When it comes to web marketing during the holidays, it’s all about the hype and lead-up to the actual day. It’s key to start gaining momentum early to get your audience excited about your promotions. Social media is a great place to market your products. Pinterest is a popular platform people use to get ideas from recipes to holiday gifts. It’s commonly used as a search engine to inspire ideas or get tips. Shopping campaigns are another good way to get your products to show up in search results. That’s why it’s important to make sure your shopping feed has no errors and is ready to go early on.

If you have a small marketing budget, Google My Business is an area where you can leverage some free marketing. Utilize the free posts that are available to you and call out any special promotions or announcements you want people to know about. This can help increase the click-through rate to the website for people who are searching for your brand or company directly in search.

Retargeting campaigns should definitely be on your list of campaigns. You’ll have the opportunity to show your ads to people who visited your website but didn’t make a purchase. People tend to be pickier with their purchases early in the holiday season but as they get closer, their options will be limited. What better way to remind them to purchase before items are sold out than with a remarketing ad?

Website Performance/Speed

Ecommerce websites focused on consumer goods typically peak in traffic during the holiday season, so make sure to check your website speed and performance for desktop and mobile.

Images and videos are important but if you’re going to add more assets to your website, make sure they are fully optimized because they can slow it down. Shoppers tend to bounce a lot faster during the holidays, and you want your website to load quickly to retain those shoppers. Google recommends loading your website in under 3 seconds to avoid high bounce rates but since it’s a heavy traffic season, you may be better off aiming for your site to load in under 2 seconds.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test are good places to start. These tools will scan your site and give you recommendations on where to optimize to help speed up your website performance.

Conclusion

As we get closer to the holidays, it’s important that your website be in tip-top shape to take advantage of all the traffic coming to your site. Paid advertising can help get your products in front of shoppers using the right keywords, and SEO can get you that extra lift in search results if done correctly.

Here at New Target, we have a team of marketing experts who can help you create an e-commerce strategy for the holidays in order to maximize sales. If you also need help with website performance and speed optimization, we have a dedicated team of UX professionals that can get your site running at optimal rates. For questions about how we can help you this holiday season, please fill out our form with a couple of details about your business.

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, CA, New Target provides digital strategy, web design, web development, data integration, application hosting, and online marketing for prominent national associationscorporations, and government agencies.

 

 

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