Preparing your website for the holidays

Black Friday is just around the corner! If you’re an online retailer, a big slice of your profits probably depend on trade at this time of year, so it’s really important to capitalise on the busy pre-Christmas period. Here we’ll share a few holiday season SEO tips, to help you make the most of this crucial time for your business.

Promote your products online

Black Friday is on 23rd November this year, with Cyber Monday following on the 26th. You’ll be up against a lot competition from other retailers offering amazing bargains during this time, so you’ll need to get everything ready on your website, and start your publicity drive well ahead of time.

For publicity, a good strategy is to approach magazines and blogs geared towards your target audience, and try to get your products featured in their Christmas gift guides. Not only is this great PR, being mentioned on other high-quality websites will improve your search rankings, too – even if they don’t link back to your site.

Don’t forget to create your own seasonal gift guide, offering inspiration to shoppers. Sharing this on social media is a great way to generate interest and boost traffic to your website.

Include structured data

Product pages on your website need to be well-optimised for search engines. As well as including lots of rich content with relevant keywords, you should also incorporate structured data markup into your website, with details about your products. This is special code that gives extra information about your merchandise to search engines like Google and Bing, such as the price, its average star rating, and whether or not the product is in stock.

Search engines love this kind of rich data. With a bit of luck, snippets of this information may even appear in your search results, making you much more visible on the page (and making people much more likely to click through to your site.)

Keep it speedy (and mobile-friendly)

Another Christmas SEO tip is to check the speed of your site. This really can make a difference to your search rankings, as slow sites are a big turn-off for Google. Making sure everything loads quickly will also make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for, and fast. During this busy period in particular, people are easily distracted. You’ll want to make sure they can get what they need and check out quickly, or they might abandon the transaction halfway through.

Google’s algorithms now prioritise mobile sites, so it’s vital for your site to work well on mobile devices, or your search performance may suffer. If you haven’t tested this for a while, it’s worth checking that it’s well-optimised for smartphones and tablets, with everything functioning as it should. Of course, usability is important, too; just like you, customers are short of time in the run-up to Christmas, and they’ll be making all sorts of purchases on their smartphones, often while juggling several other tasks at once.

Want to boost your search engine rankings and increase sales? Read more about our SEO services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

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