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I hate to mention the C word in September but as the high street shops are stocking p on mince pies it is a time that online businesses should also be thinking about their Christmas marketing strategies and SEO.
Marketing strategies should tie in with your SEO
SEO is changing and as part of this we feel that SEO strategies are going to be less about the creation of regular links on a month by month basis but big campaign boosts using links and good content to promote offers and promotions etc. These campaigns won’t give you those lovely link graphs showing natural growth but you will get genuine links supported with strategic link building and these spikes in links will be more genuine as the content on your site or the promotion will tie up with the increase of links.
A good marketing strategy takes time to plan and implement and as with all things SEO things don’t happen overnight so we always recommend giving yourself plenty of time when starting a campaign.
Christmas is one of the most popular times of year for anyone selling a product so you should really be thinking about any offers you are doing for Christmas, how you are going to market your products, which online marketing methods you are going to use and if these are going to be supported with any offline marketing.
Communication between client and SEO is key to creating a good online marketing campaign.
SEO Keywords and compelling content
Choosing your keywords for your Christmas campaign is very important at this stage in planning your marketing. You nee
d to look at keywords that will appeal to your target audience or drive converting traffic to your website and products.
Try to ignore industry jargon and look at the keywords that your customers use, try to choose keywords that are not unachievable or too generic to convert, such as ‘Christmas’, Christmas is far too generic for most sites to use as it will encompass searches from people wanting to know about the Christmas story, Christmas decorations, Christmas presents, Christmas traditions and much more. If you are selling Christmas decorations, look at variations of this, such as red christmas decorations, cheap christmas decorations. More generic keywords will get the traffic but the results are competitive and may not be worth the investment unless your website can convert. Specific keywords will have a much higher conversion rate and be easier to get better results for, remember 3 months is not long in terms of getting SEO results (unless you have been putting the ground work in every year).
Not every business will be promoting Christmas items at Christmas, but your products may be sought after at Christmas, do you sell gifts, or toys? Home improvements usually see a boost as people get there house ready for increased visitors, electrical appliances usually see a surge in sales around Christmas. If this is what you need to promote then you need to look at ways to set yourself apart, using keywords such as cheap, exclusive, designer, can create more specific long tail variations and qualify the traffic as you get it to land on specific pages increasing conversions.
At Christmas your content needs to be more focused around what your visitors are looking for, what is there frame of mind like at this time? Looking at the psychology of your target audiences can help you make the buying process easier for them. Are they looking for something cheap (i.e did they land on your page using the qualifying keyword ‘cheap) if so they may want to see the price first and perhaps a discount you may want examples of how you have the cheapest price for this product, if you offer free delivery this may be an important factor. If the qualifying keyword was bespoke, or designer, you may want to add reviews and make details more obvious, make it exclusive all these are ways in which you can use what you already have to appeal to the visitor and encourage them to buy.
The time of year people are buying can also make a difference to how they will receive your content and Christmas is a prime occasion to get your content working for you. People are often in a rush to buy things around Christmas time so make sure all the important information they need to make a sales decision is evident. Display it nicely and include your USP’s and any testimonials so people know their budget is in safe hands and you will actually deliver.
Landing pages are often a key element in your SEO campaign, once you have the right keywords make sure you optimise the landing pages to be relevant for this, your content should be optimised for search engines as well as conversions and to compliment this you can do some link building to help reinforce the relevance.
Designing your landing pages is also an important part of a SEO campaign, the design should incorporate your best selling features and you should have good clear, appealing images selling the product. If you are selling a service then compliment the page and break it up with headings and images. For Christmas campaigns you can use temporary design templates that may promote special offers, or just give you pages and website that chrismassy feel.
Don’t rely on SEO
Recent algorithm changes have seen companies go bust because their entire business model was based on SEO, this means that if for any reason your SEO falls short then your business crumbles. You never know what changes Google will throw into the mix and quite often well deserving websites are not getting the positions they deserve. Although if you stick by Google guidelines and focus on good content you should be safe it is never a good idea to just have one source of new business.
Online Marketing supports SEO
The way that SEO is changing means that building your online presence through other forms of online marketing will contribute to your SEO, look at other ways you can market yourself on the search engines, like Google shopping, Google images etc. Have you tried social media? Using social media can send valuable traffic to your website this additional exposure and loyalty can increase your number of links and bookmarks as well as converting directly to sales. Get a double placement in the search engines with a more targeted PPC ad, this gives you more control over the ads to sell your usp’s and get higher click through rates.
Reward Loyal Customers
It takes a lot more time and resources marketing yourself to a new customer, but your exisiting customers or loyal social media followers already trust you, they know you can deliver and therefore are a much easier sell. They can also recommend you to a friend, use your database of customers and fans to sell discounts codes, refer a friend offers, freebies and competitions. At Christmas everyone wants a discount so why not wish your customers a Merry Christmas with Christmas eCard or a email newsletter with a special offer or dicsount code.
Don’t forget Offline Marketing
As an online marketing company you may be surprised to know we love offline marketing! If you have a small budget then you can get excellent return on investment from online marketing, however if you have the budget for print ads, radio ads, or even TV; then this can by coupled with an online marketing campaign to get excellent results and result in a lot of inbound links and brand exposure.