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The holiday season is just around the corner, and consumers are readying themselves for a brisk shopping drive. It’s also the time of the year when businesses compete head-to-head with other in order to lure as many people as possible.

So, what’s your idea to woo your consumers and make historic sales this holiday season?

Plan your marketing for the holidays

It’s the perfect time to overhaul your SEO strategy, include holiday-specific elements in your optimization process, and implement techniques that will drive more traffic to your website. In fact, by not preparing your online store and not engaging in the right manner with your consumers, you might lose a great deal of opportunity in terms of increased sales. Thus the coming season is a rare opportunity to create a greater impact on your holiday visitors.

Here are some of the highly actionable tips for improved traffic and better conversion this holiday season:

Refurbish Your Website Architecture

Since online presence is very important for e-commerce businesses, your website’s architecture matters a lot. The architecture basically determines how your website and the server communicate with each other. It ensures you meet your business goals while delivering a great experience for your users. It’s one of your topmost priorities to make sure that all the web pages on your site are uniform in terms of contributing toward the overall search engine optimization. As a result, your e-commerce website will have an improved performance. In general, the overall site architecture includes web hosting, applications installed on the hosting server, add-ons, plugins, and extensions that are crucial for the proper functioning of the site.

During holiday season shopping, traffic to various e-commerce sites rises precipitously that can easily unmanageable. Such a situation can also lead to the crashing of the site. So to avoid something like that happening to your site, you need to manage security, support, bandwidth, and speed of the servers. This is where a powerful web hosting service like Hostpresto can effectively manage all the features of your site and prevent it from crashing due to traffic overload.

In other words, the architecture holds a key in improving your search engine rankings.

Sitelinks are hyperlinks to website subpages that appear under certain Google listings in order to help users navigate the site. They make the navigation process easy by placing important links within the search results. Being easy shortcuts, sitelinks streamline the user interface and get users to the pages they want to visit. Also, sitelinks help your site become more visible because of an increased space for your ads, which means higher click-through rates (CTR).

The following figure shows the relevant sitelinks:

Social Triggers search snippet with sitelinks

Use Correct Internal Linking Structure

Because search engines rank individual pages in SERPs, rather than websites as a whole, internal linking is an essential part of your SEO strategy. Since your e-commerce website must have hundreds of pages, all of which also need to get traffic apart from the home page. This is where internal linking comes into play.

For example, linking your homepage to a product page means some of the link juice is transferred from the homepage to that product page. You can also link blogs or informative contents to the relevant product page.

The following figure shows an optimized linking structure:

Internal linking optimized for search

Use Breadcrumb Navigation

This is yet another good strategy used to direct users to various important pages on your e-commerce website. It is also known as the secondary navigation since it shouldn’t use your main website navigational structure. Its main advantage is it makes it easier for search engines to crawl through your website and help users to navigate.

Breadcrumb navigation on product page

The above image is a product category based-breadcrumb which helps to identify the path and where you are in the hierarchy of the website.

Make it a Mobile-Friendly Site

More and more people are using smartphones and tablets for online shopping purposes, which is why your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices. According to Statista, as of January 2018, total mobile e-commerce sales were $1.8 trillion. It is expected to reach $3.56 in 2021. Another study suggests 30% of consumers tend to abandon a transaction if the website is not optimized for a mobile device.

These statistics clearly prove the essence of a mobile-friendly website. In fact, Google rewards websites that are mobile-responsive by allowing them to rank better in search results. Moreover, holidays are the time when users spend more time on their smartphones – chatting, browsing, and shopping.

Why make your website mobile friendly

To make your site mobile-friendly, you need to have a responsive design. A responsive web page is the one that detects and identifies a user’s screen size, which means the layout changes accordingly. Responsive design allows you to successfully boost the user experience of your e-commerce site. In this way, you can provide an omnichannel or a unified shopping experience.

Include Accurate Local Business Listings

With the beginning of holiday season, your local consumers will also start making their lists and searching for the items at nearby locations. Maintaining consistent and accurate references to your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) is absolutely vital to ranking in local search resutls.

It’s time to check out the old listings and correct them if they contain former business address or old telephone numbers or previous contact info.

Optimize local business listings

The logic is simple – due to inaccurate contact details, your customers won’t reach you and your business will be hampered. Plus, it reflects how badly you are prepared and it will look unprofessional on your part. Therefore, your location data management must have accurate NAP information, as well as physical directions to the store.

You can also use tools like BrightLocal or TribeLocal to create and track your local citations, spot NAP issues, and find new high-quality citation sites. You will be able to make the entire process of filtering local listings in directories easy, quick and efficient.

Clam Your Google My Business Page

Your Google My Business (GMB) page is a great way to boost your visibility in local search results. Google relies heavily on the information about a business on GMB to rank search results with local intent:

  • Location
  • Hours
  • Customer reviews
  • Products and/or services offered

Google also has a list of holidays for which it supports special hours, so you can add them in GMB.

Extended business hours on your GMB page will help make your business more findable when people search outside of normal business hours and positively affect your revenues.

GMB data in Knowledge Panel

This is how you can optimize your Google My Business and local directory listings:

  • Log in to your Google My Business account, select the location that you want to set special hours for.

  • Add your business hours and special holiday hours to your listings. It will ensure that customers will know when you are open.

  • Add photos of your business and provide answers to common questions and requests.

  • Feed the address, phone numbers, and website of your business so that customers can find you.

  • Describe what your business has to offer and include important keywords in your description.

Incorporate Holiday-Centric Pay-Per-Click Advertising

It shouldn’t surprise you – many people start for searching Christmas gifts as early as October. It is observed that the holiday season begins after Halloween, which is when traffic levels start to shoot up. This is the appropriate time when you have to start marketing your campaigns, too. It will make sure you are in your customers’ mind before they start their shopping spree.

According to a recent stat, during holidays, ad impressions increase 50% and direct traffic goes up by 150%. The increased holiday traffic leads to more clicks and better buyer intent, resulting in massive PPC spending around this time of the year.

Holiday-themed PPC ads

If you are thinking about running PPC holiday advertisements, you need to modify your campaigns to incorporate holiday-centric keywords.

Make the content attractive so that people feel like clicking on the ads to find out what you have to offer. Use specific numbers like percent off and explicit prices in dollar amounts. You can also use ad extensions to make your advertisements stand out from the rest.

You can make your e-commerce transaction process user-friendly by adding extensions like Magento Order Management to the site, which will enhance the order process and help users manage multiple orders relatively easily.

Leverage Social Media

Without the creative use of social media strategy in the holiday season, your SEO efforts might fall short. Social media platforms are very handy to boost organic traffic generation. Popular platforms like Facebook and YouTube are extremely effective in terms of sending traffic to your website while Instagram and Pinterest are visually impactful and can help users browse pictures for ideas.

Using appropriate trending holiday-themed hashtags on social media platforms will give your brand much needed boost in online visibility to drive sales. Plus, your audience will expect your business to be not only present on social media, but active as well.

You can attract potential customers with unique and special offers, attractive coupons and better customer support through these social media channels. Just make sure you are there to answer their queries or address their concerns.

If you want to send the best messaging and content through social media posts, it is important to fully understand your target audience. Their needs, choices, buying habits, and product preferences can provide you with valuable insights so that you can personalize their shopping experience. In fact, online shoppers are 40% more likely to make purchase when retailers give a personalized touch.

You can use certain built-in social media tools in order to get access to the key customer data. For example, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics can get your information regarding what content your audience likes and responds to. Google Analytics will you give a little bit more in-depth research about your audience on your website and their preferences.

Create Holiday-Centric Landing Pages

At a time when businesses are busy in sprucing up their storefronts, your smartly optimized landing pages can give you an edge for your digital storefront.

Just consider this: During the shopping rush if a consumer has to choose between a busy homepage and a targeted page that highlights exact customer needs, whom will he/she choose?

A well-optimized landing page will make all the difference.

Avoid these top landing page mistakes to maximize traffic and conversions!

You need to make good use of holiday-themed content, which will help you build authority and drive sales. A good example of high-quality content, especially for landing pages is Frac.tl’s sales-driven customized content for specific objectives.

In Summary

The holidays are upon us, and businesses and consumers are gearing up in their own ways for this big season.

If your website and business already have a solid SEO foundation, a few tweaks and adjustments based on these tips will keep you ahead of your competitors and at the top of the search results.

If you’re just getting started for the holidays, these holiday SEO tips are a great place to start while you build out your larger digital marketing and SEO campaigns. And if you’re just getting started now, check out this guide to last-minute holiday SEO to jump-start your efforts.