The most wonderful time of the year is on its way. While consumers are gearing up to shop ‘til they drop, businesses are frantically rushing to optimize their online offerings for holiday shoppers. In the growing world of ecommerce, it has become increasingly important to optimize websites to target, engage, and convert customers.
Unfortunately, the fourth quarter is often the time when procrastination comes back to haunt you. Did you leave your holiday optimization to the last minute? Our SEO Manager, Christina Galownia, shares her tips for giving your site a quick SEO update to boost engagement during the holiday season.
1. Update your local citations
This includes Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, et cetera. “Make sure your address is correct and pinned in the right spot on the map – people will be using this to get directions to your business,” Christina told us. It’s also important to make sure your business hours are up to date with your holiday hours listed, as applicable. Don’t forget to make sure your phone number and website URL are correct. Mobile visitors are likely to click to call your store directly from the online citation.
2. Make your site crawlable
Is your robots.txt file blocking Google from crawling your site? If so, this needs to be corrected ASAP. Google web crawlers look at webpages and follow the links included on each page with the intent of operating as a user would. The data they collect is sent to Google’s servers and indexed to determine rankings. This sounds intimidating but making your site crawlable can be an easy fix. Essentially, just make sure your code doesn’t look like this:
3. Partner with local charities
Other than the obvious benefits of helping people in need, partnering with local charities has the potential to bring increased traffic to your site. The partnership could be as simple as offering your business as a drop-off site for holiday items and spreading the word through your marketing and social media strategies. “This could help organically build links to your site as other sites reference locations for drop-offs,” Christina said.
4. Alter title tags and meta descriptions for holiday needs
Ask yourself how your business can tailor its website content to specific holiday needs and update your title tags and meta descriptions around the new holiday spin. Christina provided us with an example:
Title Tag: Best Custom Coffee Mugs for Christmas 2017 | The Mugs Company
Meta Description: Make a statement this Christmas with a custom coffee mug from The Mugs Company. We’re your one-stop-shop, with free gift-wrapping available in store!
Remember to click the ‘Fetch as Google’ tool in Google Search Console and ‘Submit to Index’ to ensure it will be pushed out quickly. This is a good practice for all time-sensitive web pages. Christina suggested taking this one step further by setting a calendar reminder for one or two days after Christmas to change out the title tags and meta descriptions for the next applicable holiday. After all, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day are optimizable as well.
5. Make sure your site is HTTPS
“This is important for both user experience and SEO, since Google recently released that they will be showing a security warning when Chrome users visit a non-HTTPS site,” Christina said. If your site is not an HTTPS site, contact your webmaster and get it changed ASAP.
Bonus SEO Tip:
Look at your site on a mobile device. Is your holiday language visible? Can visitors easily navigate through the website? Are your calls-to-action eye-catching? “Remember that shoppers will be browsing on their mobile devices while they’re out and about: price comparing, mapping out their next stop, or shopping online,” Christina said. Leaving a good impression on mobile is key.
Looking for more marketing tips for the holidays? Our team has compiled a Comprehensive Guide to Holiday Marketing with tips for content marketing, social media, email, paid search, landing pages, video, and influencer marketing – essentially, your entire digital marketing portfolio. Download the guide and help your business flourish this holiday season.