Christmas is a magical time of the year, with good food, loved ones, and the potential for unprecedented levels of traffic for online businesses. Australians make more Christmas-related searches than they do for any other retail event. The National Retail Association reported that 2020 was the country’s biggest Christmas period yet, with shoppers spending $55 billion over November and December. Those figures are only estimated to grow, with industry experts predicting that 2021 will be even bigger again. So, how can you leverage consumers’ willingness to spend over Christmas for your own business? Why with search engine optimisation (SEO), of course! Search Marketing Experts, one of Brisbane’s leading SEO agencies, is here with some tips and tricks to help small businesses make the most of the holiday season.
Why Is Small Business Search Engine Optimisation Important Over Christmas?
SEO is valuable 365 days of the year, but small businesses need to step up their game to leverage traffic and maximise conversions over the holiday period.
- Consumers want to find small businesses. Since the beginning of the pandemic, shoppers have shown a tendency to engage in ‘supportive spending’, where they choose to buy from local small businesses rather than larger retail chains. On the whole, consumers are becoming far more discerning about where they spend their money, and there has been a 20,000% increase in searches for ‘support local businesses’. 61% of Australian consumers stated that they believe shopping at local retailers is essential to support their community, so small businesses need to use SEO strategies to help consumers find them online.
- More Australians are shopping online. 2.1 million households participated in online shopping in 2020, and $5.4 billion went toward digital sales over the Christmas period. In fact, 90% of Australians across all ages search online for their Christmas shopping before making purchases in-store, using information such as availability, price comparisons, and reviews to make their final decisions without having to step foot into a brick and mortar store. Search engine optimisation helps small businesses make their way to the top of a Google search organically. So when consumers do their online research, they’ll be front of mind and in a better position to secure conversions.
- Holiday competition is fierce. It can be difficult to compete in a digital landscape at the best of times, but when there’s the added pressure of holiday spending on top, things get a little crazy. It’s good for small businesses to start their Christmas SEO strategies early to give them a competitive advantage when buying sprees kick-off.
- It’ll give your business an advantage post-Christmas. So many businesses consider the months leading up to Christmas that the few weeks after the busy season are forgotten. However, the savvy business owners consider things like Back-To-School sales and summer sales throughout Christmas. So when other businesses scramble after the holidays, they have the advantage of weeks of SEO work up their sleeves.
7 Tips For Improve Your Search Engine Optimisation This Christmas
If you really want to make this Christmas season your most profitable yet, the Search Marketing Experts have a few tips and tricks to help you get your SEO on the right track.
- Make sure your online information is up-to-date. As we mentioned earlier, 90% of shoppers will look online before coming into your store to buy Christmas gifts. If your trading hours are wrong or your online store is showing an item as available, but you’ve sold out in-store, you’re going to lose customers very quickly, and your SEO is going to take a hit. Make sure you go through your website to remove unavailable items and optimise your Google My Business information.
- Do an analytics review of your website. Your historical data is one of the most important tools you have, and most of your SEO decisions and strategies can be drawn from this information. Go back to your previous Christmas period and see how people found your site. What they did once on your website and which products/gifts sold particularly well? This information will give you a solid foundation to start building your SEO campaign for the next Christmas period.
- Start early. We can’t emphasise enough that you need to start your SEO campaign early. Great SEO doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen over a week either. It can often take weeks or months to see really positive results from organic search engine optimisation. So the earlier you start, the better your campaign will be. If you’re worried that early Christmas campaigns might put consumers off, think again. 1 in 5 Australians start thinking about Christmas shopping as early as March, and by November, 35% have already started shopping, and 1 in 10 have finished altogether. So to get the best results, you need to start planning SEO in June/July and implementing your campaign around August/September.
- Target Christmas search terms. There comes a time during the busy season when consumers are sick of thinking of gift ideas, so they turn to their trusty search engine. “cool presents for teenagers”, “gifts for mums”, and “popular christmas present for kids” are all things panicked shoppers will be plugging into their smartphones in an attempt to wrap up their Christmas shopping (pun intended). If you do your research and target these keywords early, you’ll have access to a group of consumers in the midst of the ‘buy’ phase of their consumer journey.
- Utilise your internal links. Once shoppers are on your site, you need to make sure they don’t bounce. Keep consumers shopping by directing them to the next product or piece of content on your site. Use internal links to refer shoppers to other products relevant to their search and use phrases such as “If you like this, you might also like…” or “Customers who bought this also bought…”.
- Optimise your content. If you have a blog or landing pages about Christmas that did really well last year, you can optimise that content and use it again this year! However, don’t just copy, paste, and repost. There are a few things you need to do to make sure it’s fresh and optimised.
- Remove old information. Any outdated information and statistics need to be replaced with more current data.
- Update your titles and headings. Go through and think of new titles and headings to make your content look fresh and enticing.
- Add new media. Nothing makes consumers click away faster than outdated memes or broken links. So change up the images, videos, GIFs, and infographics by adding new ones.
- Add any new information you have collected. Whether it’s new products or changes in your industry, make sure to expand on what you wrote last year and add any updates.
- Improve your CTA. Use the data you collected last year and use it to improve your call to action.
- Check your loading speeds and servers. The holiday season attracts a lot of traffic. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas Eve; all these events bring a lot more shoppers to online stores, so make sure your site is ready to handle it. Firstly, make sure your servers are prepared to handle an influx of customers. The last thing you need is for your site to crash or lag, causing customers to bounce. The next thing you need to do is ensure your site is completely optimised and running as quickly as possible. Google takes responsiveness and load times very seriously when ranking sites. Make sure all your images are the right size and resolve all your error 404s, lost landing pages, broken links, and 301 redirects.
Small Business SEO Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs
As one of Brisbane’s leading SEO agencies, the team at Search Marketing Experts have had the privilege of working with countless small businesses to skyrocket their SEO strategies. However, we have come across businesses doing some big no-nos that actually negatively impact their SEO rather than improve it. So if you’re doing any of the following things, stop right now and give the experts a call.
- Avoid keyword stuffing. We get it; words like ‘holiday sale’, ‘christmas presents’, and ‘gift ideas’ are all great for SEO, but keyword stuffing is not. If you overuse your keywords to the point where your content is unreadable, or it sounds like a robot wrote it, Google will know, and it will penalise you for it. By all means, use those terms if they are part of your SEO strategy. However, make sure you create content that is relevant and interesting to your customers.
- Don’t be a Scrooge to your customers. Christmas is a time of giving, and it’s great for your SEO if you give a little back to your shoppers. Offering something as simple as 10% or free shipping will do wonders for your Google ranking.
- Remember; there will come a time after Christmas. It’s easy to get swept up in the holidays. When you run a small business, your life just revolves around sales and customers during the Christmas season. However, December 25th will pass, so you need to have your SEO strategy for the post-holiday season ready to go. Don’t forget that many people have time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. They spend a lot more time on their computers and phones, so you have an excellent opportunity to create some targeted ads for summer sales, optimise for a Back-To-School campaign, or do some remarketing to consumers who may be more inclined to buy now that the stress of Christmas is over.
- Don’t try to advertise everything! While you may sell a range of different products and services, you’ll know which ones sell better over Christmas. Focus your advertising and SEO campaign efforts on targeting these products and a few profitable items. If you’re not sure which of your products to focus on, look at your analytics from last year and see what sold particularly well. You can also do a bit of research to see if there are any trends you can leverage.
- Don’t worry about your Christmas campaign after the holidays. Once Christmas is over, many businesses wonder what to do with their landing pages and holiday content. The answer is simple; don’t do anything. After the holidays, searches for Christmas-related content plummets, so it’s unlikely people will be looking for your seasonal landing pages. Leave them there until next year, when you can tweak your content and use it again!
- Don’t attempt your campaign alone. If SEO is all a bit foreign to you, don’t try to run your own campaign. If you watch a few tutorials, you might have some success, but why settle when you have the experts at your fingertips? The team at Search Marketing Experts know SEO inside and out. We’re here to help you develop a Christmas campaign that will see you have your best season yet.
Contact The Team at Search Market Experts If You Need Help With Your Search Engine Optimisation This Christmas.
You don’t want your customers to have to search too hard for you this Christmas. So make sure your search engine optimisation strategy is ready to go. If you’re ready to catapult your business into the stratosphere and nail your SEO in time for the holiday season, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at Search Marketing Experts.