With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s essential that you take the time to optimize your landing pages to get your products or services in front of those holiday shoppers. If you want to rank your holiday landing pages, you still can, but you need to dive into the copy and technical SEO as soon as possible.
Online shopping has grown exponentially over the years, so much so that in 2018, the U.S. saw 258.9 million online shoppers. This number is expected to grow to 271.1 million in 2019, and more than 300 million by 2023. We are guessing you would like to jump on that and soon! We know we will be.
Harnessing SEO for the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it is not necessary or advisable to revamp all of your landing pages. You have worked hard to create brand awareness, authenticity, and loyalty with your consumers, so making significant changes at this time of year has the potential to introduce “bugs” or unusual user experiences that could turn customers away. Besides, holiday landing page copy doesn’t always mesh with your year round copy (unless you’re a seasonal business).
How can you improve on previous campaigns and the associated landing pages? Revisiting past holiday campaigns and analyzing data to understand what was effective and what may not have worked as well is a great place to start.
Modifications to existing pages, creating new pages with relevant terms, and exploring new linking opportunities are a few changes that you can make to your landing pages today, all of which will naturally boost your ranking on Google and drive traffic to your site.
Below are a few tips to get your landing pages in tip-top shape to make the most of the holiday cheer.
1. Research Last Year’s Landing Page Trends
Take a look at the goal(s) you set this time last year. Whether it was to increase online revenue, or to improve conversions, take note of what worked and what didn’t as you set this year’s objectives. Using data from previous holiday campaigns (particularly the months of September through the end of December) will show traffic fluctuations, landing pages that were frequently visited, and conversion rates.
Consumers are visual shoppers, and when they are in a hurry, a picture can be worth a thousand words! If using ads was part of previous campaigns, take a look at the CTR to determine which advertisements and offers visitors found relevant and which ones missed the mark.
Understand previous years’ bounce rate averages and what pages prompted a call-to-action. A low bounce rate is an objective, so realizing which pages succeeded in capturing and retaining targeted audiences should be the model.
Analyzing data allows planning opportunities for specific improvements, and with shoppers’ intent more defined during the holiday season, this data will prove to be invaluable.
Use analytic tools like those offered with AuthorityLabs to cultivate the information discussed above and to learn what trends are on the horizon for 2019. This will be your guide to revamping holiday keywords and phrases. Once you have identified the most effective terms that apply to your specific industry or niche, you can go about tailoring archived pages or create new content for holiday-specific landing pages.
2. Optimize Titles and Meta Descriptions
Adding holiday landing pages with specific titles and meta descriptions, making keyword modifications, adding holiday links on your homepage, and updating archived URLs while capitalizing on popular trends in your industry will encourage the search engines to surface these pages appropriately.
It is important to remember you are not only optimizing your title tags and meta descriptions to attract your target audience, but also the people who are shopping for your audience: parents, grandparents, siblings, bosses, etc. Use language to support this new demographic.
It is hard to compete with generic terms like “Christmas Gifts” or “Holiday Gifts.” Adding phrases like “Top 10,” “Staff Picks,” “Best 10,” and the year makes it current and relevant. “Best gifts for Mom,” “Top 10 gifts for the outdoor enthusiast,” “Top 10 vacation destinations of 2019,” are all simple examples.
3. Promote Landing Pages on Social Media
One of the best ways to be seen is to be in as many places at one time as you can. Cross-pollinate when possible! Websites, blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Doing so encourages the practice of internal linking. Depending on the platform, there are several types of social signals recognized:
- Brand Mentions
Social and local signals indicate popularity and traction, which Google uses to measure relevancy and site-wide authority. They can also improve page visibility and site credibility, as long as they are genuine.
4. Use Landing Page Functionality as a Measure
Let’s face it, when internet users are looking for answers to a problem, or they are looking for a particular product, they want the results, and they want them fast.
Landing page architecture is essential not only to the consumer but also to Google. For Google to not only recognize you but also consider your site worthy of higher placement in the SERPs, some functional characteristics need to be in place:
- The landing page needs to be well laid out with a thematic grouping of content. The homepage should be clean with limited topics and easy to navigate to subtopics.
- Inbound links or backlinks are an indication of trustworthiness and authority for Google. Authoritative referral sources are a big part of the SEO puzzle. Remember: quality over quantity.
- Page speed is always a big deal, particularly during the holidays, when people are moving fast to get a lot done, and when an excessive amount of people are trying to access the same pages. If your site takes too long to open (longer than 3 seconds), the visitor will be off to another location in a heartbeat.
- Domain security is creeping up the list of importance. Consumers want to know they have entered a secure site, and Google is making changes to ensure this. HTTPS represents a secure site which is directly indexed by Google. Encryption methods can also contribute to your ratings while keeping hackers and identity thieves at bay.
- Mobile-friendliness is “do or die” these days, with online shopping via smartphones accounting for roughly $117 billion in 2018 and expected to increase by 56 % by 2022. Google is pushing mobile UX to the forefront of SEO.
- There has been a voice search revolution! According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. If you are already on this train, optimize for voice search.
- Last but certainly not least, content, as we all know, remains king! Quality content that is easy to consume, containing relevant, comprehensive, and accurate information is a must. Websites featuring unique and valuable content (now favorable in 2000 words) will score strong ranking points this holiday season.
Staying ahead of the algorithm game and knowing how to prioritize SEO techniques and when to employ them can be daunting. Where you rank your landing pages during the holidays is largely dependent on how you have applied these techniques all year.
If you already have a strong SEO foundation, if you educate yourself regarding changes, and if you have the ability to adapt, higher dividends and rank will come your way.