What are some tricks for a successful SEO

7 tips for a successful SEO Christmas strategy

Search engines are the starting point for millions of online searches for the right Christmas gifts for family and friends. Using the following seven tips, I would like to show you how online companies can find the right SEO strategy to get the most out of the Christmas business.

1. Research for gaps and optimization potential

Did you know that "Christmas present for women" is googled ten times as often in Germany as "Christmas present for men"? Men are therefore much more likely to seek advice on Christmas gifts than women. This is not entirely surprising - but it is essential for planning the right SEO strategy for the holiday season. Therefore, it is extremely important to research the most searched, most relevant and most valuable keywords for the fourth quarter before the peak. There are four basic areas of keyword analysis and optimization:

  1. Researching the most important Christmas keywords in your own online industry: This analysis gives a good overview of which gaps and potentials your website still has - and whether you are already mapping all relevant Christmas keywords with corresponding detail or category pages.
  2. Creation of new URLs: As a result of the initial search for keywords, you may have discovered gaps - keywords with a Christmas theme that are relevant to your industry, but are not yet served by you. In addition, there will be new keywords every season, which will be determined by new shopping trends, new brands and new products. With the data obtained, you can now create new URLs with the corresponding content.
  3. Researching your own Christmas performance: Analyze which of your specific Christmas URLs are already performing very well - and which pages can still be optimized.
  4. Optimization of existing URLs: After doing the research, you will know which of your product, category and sales pages you can improve with the latest content in order to optimally serve the current Christmas season and customer demand.

2. Create top-of-funnel content

Create or optimize your product and category pages as well as Christmas sales pages not only for search queries with transaction intent, but also make sure that you also integrate informative content. Because the vast majority of search queries in the sales funnel - around 80 percent - can be assigned to the awareness and consideration area. This means: users want informational content; Answers to questions. In this phase it is far from being about which online shop the purchase is made from, but about the initial research for product ideas.

As an example, we can again take the “Christmas presents for women” presented at the beginning. Users google and binge this term because they are looking for inspiration. Listings in particular - such as “10 best travel gifts for your wife” - help with the decision-making process and are an excellent match for the search intention. If you link such information pages to your product pages, you can try to use so-called conversion triggers to persuade users who first wanted to find out more to buy.

3.Create content for backlinks

A good strategy for an optimal Christmas balance is also to create seasonal content that is then picked up by publishers, blogs and via social media. A test of products and platforms, infographics with exciting facts, a top 10 of the latest, most popular or curious gift ideas or your own market research studies with data for your own industry can increase brand awareness and traffic - and above all generate backlinks.

Media coverage becomes more likely, the more exclusive the information, the larger the potential group of interested parties and the more precisely the content fits the current issues of the editorial team. Regardless of whether you get backlinks or "just" mentions: Any form of attention is good, can lead to more brand awareness, direct traffic and ultimately to better rankings.

4. Optimize for image search

According to Google, 50 percent of online shoppers say that images of products inspired their purchases - and shopping at Christmas can of course be a very visual experience. People are inspired by powerful images, and you can use that in your search strategy. Make sure that you are prioritizing high quality product photographs on your website and that they are optimized for Google Images for a top ranking in search results. In fact, Google has redesigned its image search feature to make it easier for users to search product images. In addition, product details, prices and ratings can now be displayed for products that ranked in image search results. To optimize for the Google image search, file names, image titles and alt attributes should be chosen as meaningful as possible and rich in relevant keywords. The images used should also be integrated into an XML sitemap.

5. Good internal linking

It doesn't always have to be backlinks: Internal links are a very good way of spreading the link juice on your own domain. Here, hard keyword anchor texts can - and should - be used; SEOs are free in the number and design of this powerful SEO instrument. However, those who do not link their content perfectly internally for the Christmas season or do not fully integrate the pages into the taxonomy of the website may lose the necessary momentum that the Christmas performance would otherwise pick up. This of course also includes updating the page navigation to include the Christmas URLs, as well as many relevant anchor text links to link the seasonal content. Internal links to the seasonal shopping urls are critical to success. The internal links not only help potential buyers who land on these pages to discover other content - and products - on the website more easily, they also help to better disseminate the link juice in order to achieve higher rankings with the entire website.

6. Don't forget social networks

Google may be very popular for a large part of the population for searching for Christmas offers, but social platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram themselves are also becoming the contact point for inspiration and search for gift ideas - especially when it comes to visual search. So make sure you post visually strong content on these platforms, use relevant hashtags, and get to know your users' surfing behavior better in order to promote the right content at the right time.

7. Start optimizing early

Ideally, the optimization for the Christmas season should be completed by late summer. It takes a certain amount of time before Google ranks revised pages higher or newly created content ranks in a top position. Experience shows that this can take a few months - the more competitive the keyword, the longer it takes. In addition, studies show that shopping habits in Germany change at Christmas; People start their Christmas shopping earlier and earlier. So it is all the more important to start early with the SEO and content strategy.

Conclusion

The time of the year with the highest turnover, also in online retail, has begun - and the preparations for online shops should ideally start as early as summer. If you haven't started yet, you should optimize your website for the Christmas business as soon as possible. In addition to extensive keyword research with the creation of new content and optimization of existing content, there are several good SEO strategies to profit from the Christmas business. The creation of top-of-funnel content as a conversion trigger can have a lot of effect; as well as the creation of content for product comparisons, results from own market research studies or listings for media attention and the generation of good backlinks. In addition, the SEO focus should be on good and optimized images for the Google image search and for the interaction rate in social networks, especially during this time, as well as an optimized internal linking of this seasonal content in the navigation structure, in home page teasers and by means of matching product groups .

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Björn Darko is a search engine optimizer, speaker and manager. He works as Director Digital Strategies Group at Searchmetrics GmbH and heads the consulting department there. Previously, as Head of SEO at the Swiss media company Ringier, he was responsible for the Blick Group's publications, and as Head of SEO, he was responsible for the further development of the largest Swiss online marketplace, ricardo.ch. He specializes in large and complex websites, with a focus on technical SEO and SEO strategy.