Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day, and all the other holiday shopping days are never too far away. truly. Black Friday is just over 90 days away at this writing.
If you have a client or business that relies on seasonal year-end holidays for revenue, there are a few reasons you should already be setting up your SEO campaigns for the holiday season:
- It may take eight weeks (or longer). Page indexingif it is indexed at all.
- Creating or updating relevant content may take time to write and approve.
- Consumers are becoming more intentional about their purchases and searches.
Preparing for the seasonal selling period, especially if you have technical improvements that you want or need to implement to remain competitive, should start in the first quarter of the year.
Starting in Q3 will be a sprint to the finish line, but it is He is maybe.
New pages can take some time to appear in the Google index, and we know that.
Logically, this also extends to pages that are bounced between live and 404’d or 302’d for extended periods of time.
This often happens with seasonal pages, if no one is advising you otherwise.
In those cases, the state of the page has changed, and it takes time for Google to resolve this. (Remember, Google said it would come back and Check out 404 pages regularly before deleting the page).
Although many pages get indexed in a week or less, we want to be conservative and assume the worst – eight weeks or more.
Indexing is also not ranking. Ranking in the top 10 can take a lot longer.
Indexing is also a new battleground for many websites with the Helpful content update And push Google for truly unique and useful content.
All the more reason to maintain the seasonal pages regularly and allow them to build up their authority over the years.
If you’re the kind of business that creates new pages annually for Black Friday or Christmas sales (I’m looking forward to you /christmas-2022/), please stop.
Create evergreen pages, redirect historical pages with links and permissions to the new evergreen page.
In an ideal world, you could keep these pages all year long, but sometimes that isn’t possible, often for legal or regulatory reasons.
To speed up the indexing process, you might get some internal links to seasonal pages before the season officially starts, which should help point to Google What are the important pages?.
This is usually easier if you work with merchandising or sales teams.
To help keep seasonal pages indexed (instead of running as a soft 404), here are some suggestions:
- Immediately after the seasonal sale ends, update the metadata to reflect this and include next year if appropriate.
- Include a placeholder message that allows customers to find sales or deals through copy such as “Our seasonal holiday sales may be over, so browse our current offerings,” with a link to our general sales page.
- Maintain all internal links to the page as you can.
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Seasonal sales content is not a single product listing page containing all the products on sale this year.
While it may seem obvious, sometimes the product or go-to-market team can miss the integration needed with the content teams to create seasonal buying guides, price comparison tools, social campaign integration, new seasonal visuals and more.
However, you should also review your product pages to ensure they are as compact and consumer-centric as possible. This could include:
- Ensure that the images are compressed. (With Shopify, automatic compression only works so far. If the original image was 5MB in size, you can still end up with a “compressed” 1MB image on the website.)
- Review the entities and topics on the page that have been covered using TF-IDF and similar tools, and cover any gaps.
- Include rich complementary media for all stages of the consumer journey: videos, images, and links to education-based content.
- Scheme markup for product pages, including reviews.
We also see such trends Searches “in the store”. It has tripled since the beginning of 2022, so we cannot ignore the cross-channel impacts and their importance.
In this case, the content is not purely content, but rather the technical improvement behind it. For example:
- Incorporate availability into the store or “click and collect” on the website.
- A solution for tracking and attributing online in-store purchases in your CRM or analytics platform.
These items take time to justify and move through the queue with developers and other stakeholders.
If these are the technical improvements you want to make and you’re only getting started now, it’s best to work on them as part of next year’s holiday season rather than this one.
The way we shop continues to change and evolve, with research becoming increasingly important:
In the month of May, some people know what to buy as holiday gifts at the end of the year.
If you’re a business that relies on Black Friday sales, it’s safe to assume that Black Friday shopping begins before, if not long before, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.
And it’s not just consumers who start early, looking at the news related to Black Friday in August 2023, we can see some interesting trends:
- Third party comparison/review sites like Tom’s Guide have just made their predictions for Black Friday.
- Media publications such as GQ similarly ran the “Best of” Black Friday article.
- Many retailers (Best Buy, Macy’s, Samsung) had “Black Friday in July” sales.
Winning a seasonal sale is much more than just posting a page when the promotion of the offer on the website begins a week or two before the sale.
Justify that prior work, and learn how to do it Stakeholder managementAnd understanding how much time you need to devote to some of these projects in order to complete them can be critical to having a successful Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Christmas sales period.
you want to:
- Give Google time to see your money page and search content supporting your business.
- Give your developers time to implement the technology improvements that have been established as best practices in the last 12 to 18 months.
- Work with go-to-market or other teams to align your promotion with current and expected consumer behaviors in your target market.
Whether we like to admit it or not, all of these things take time and may be put off doing other, more time-sensitive work.
So give yourself a little grace, keep track of all the work you put in and how long it takes, and report on your successes and what it took.
That way, when you do it again the following year, you and your stakeholders will have a clearer understanding of the effort required and the impact gained when building authority for seasonal peaks in your e-commerce business.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.