Are you ready for the holidays? Get some final, last-minute SEO and SEM strategies in place to make the most of the 2021 holiday season.
It happens every year – the holidays sneak up on us.
Whether you end up scrambling to find the right gift for someone or rushing to ensure the perfect products you sell end up in front of shoppers, you need to make the most of the time you have available.
So, if you haven’t started your shopping yet, get started.
And if you haven’t already deployed your holiday marketing strategies, it’s time to prioritize and get to work.
After all, the holidays basically kick off on November 26. This means that by then you need to have your strategies in place so you can fine-tune, test, and focus on fulfilling the orders.
January is the time to start planning big keyword strategies for the holidays that year.
SEO takes time. If you need to develop backlinks and create content to secure rankings, it’s likely time to start SEO planning and strategizing for the 2022 season by now.
That doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
There are strategies (including organic) that can still help you make the most of this year, even with mere weeks left until the holiday kick-off.
Here are five top tactics to help you make the most of the 2021 holiday season.
This is a gift from Google to business owners who are active with their Google My Business listings. Brodie Clark first spotted a change in local search results that includes offers in map results.
Latest in Local SEO: get your Offer Posts ready – Google is now testing giving them more exposure in Search
Now showing an ‘offer’ symbol + label in the map pack/local finder (new), with the listing showing all offers together (normal).
Timeline updated: https://t.co/j6IUtkSa1z pic.twitter.com/HUoOWXV76F
— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) September 30, 2021
There are a number of great reasons to add offer posts in Google My Business but until this change, a lot of the benefit revolved around branded queries.
Now, the posts will trigger additional information in your map result, which is especially important for local SEO.
It’s likely to assist in ranking by boosting relevancy for terms in the offers, as well as improving clickthrough rates.
This feature was only recently deployed, and as such it’s likely that a lot of your competitors won’t have caught on to it yet.
I might suggest setting start dates for closer to Black Friday, so it’s not triggered in advance – no need to tip your hand on the tactic just yet.
To set these up, just head over to Google My Business, create a post, and select:
And create your offer.
If you offer a Black Friday or other holiday sale, make the page evergreen.
What I mean by this is that if you have regular holiday sales, you want to always host the current one at the same URL as previous.
There are a few different ways to handle this, depending on how many holidays you need to host landing pages for.
You can host all sales at the same URL (ex – domain.com/sales/), different sales as different URLs (ex – domain.com/black-friday/), etc.
To get an idea of the simplest benefit let’s look at Amazon’s Black Friday page:
They host it at the same URL each year and now benefit from that. When their next sale starts, they’ll have a strong and relevant page.
As noted above, you can have a page for each holiday or just one page that focuses on the dominant one for your business.
If you want to keep your past offers online for whatever reason, you can simply move them to a new sub-page.
For example, if you were Amazon you could host last year’s at:
There may be queries you want but can’t have. Queries that are just too far outside your weight class (time to get started for 2022, right?).
For some of these queries, you’ll do well to focus on SERP features and think outside the box on how to target them.
For example, ranking for “cod vanguard” is going to put you up against the game developers, and “buy cod vanguard” pits you against sites like Microsoft and Playstation.
You might do okay with local results if you can beat out sites like Best Buy.
Or, you can target lesser-focused-on areas of the search results.
Create videos. Focus on Twitter and Google News. Every query is different.
Think about how people are refining their queries and target those.
If you’re focusing on an area like the example above, think about who your audience is and make what they want.
For example, it’s the holidays and a lot of the videos about this game are just trailers and playthroughs.
That’s fine for now but come late November and December, it’ll be parents who are looking to purchase the game as a gift. A video focused on the rating with examples of how it got that and who it’s appropriate for might be a better focus.
After all, you’re not trying to win over the person who wants the gift – they already want it.
You’re trying to provide content and context for the gift-giver.
Extra Tip: For a scenario like this where you might actually be letting the person know they don’t want to give the game to their 8-year-old, you may want to create a page on your site to direct them to. This is where you can review some of the popular games by this criteria and offer them suggestions, as well as link to the page where they can buy the game.
As we noted with the addition of the offers functionality above, Google seems to be dishing up some handy tools for marketers this holiday season.
Another new feature takes a tactic I’ve talked about previously – paying attention to terms that trend for the holidays – and makes it even easier.
Until recently, you had to look at your keyword data to extrapolate this information:
While you will still want to do this, Google is now showing people how individual queries are trending over the past 3 months:
You can still look back, and I recommend using Google Trends as well, but it’s great to be able to see what’s going on right now.
Budgets might be tight, but it really does take money to make money.
When people think of Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising, they generally think in terms of search ads, which can get pricey.
If you’re on a budget, there’s still a place for you in ads via the Display Network. Namely: remarketing.
There are two angles you can take on this (and I recommend both, if you can manage it).
The first is simple remarketing. You put your ads in front of people who have been to your site.
Better yet, focus your ads on the section of the site they’ve been to (I mean, I was looking for COD Vanguard, not a new dishwasher, Walmart!).
It’s low cost and a great way to push out your holiday messaging to people who have been to your site.
Get started now so you can get your audiences building.
Additionally, one of the unsung heroes of remarketing in my opinion is Customer Lists. Upload your customer lists to Google and remarket to them. You can also expand on this list by remarketing to people similar to those in your lists/audiences.
Use this in combination with your email campaigns to make sure your holiday messaging reaches your audience at multiple touchpoints.
Like traditional remarketing, it’s generally pretty affordable because you’re getting in front of people who are already familiar with you, with your holiday offering.
The information above is meant to be used in conjunction with other strategies you’re hopefully deploying and reading about here at Search Engine Journal.
It’s the time right now to get everything in order, as there’s a lot to do, and you’ll need time to test these strategies and merge them with others.
And remember, as soon as the holidays are over, it’ll be time to get started planning for 2022.
After all, every strategy is amplified by the success of others. You’ll know more and have the momentum to start grabbing bigger terms and work with bigger audiences.
Featured Image: Jemastock/Shutterstock
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Dave Davies co-founded Beanstalk Internet Marketing with his wife Mary in 2004. He is the Lead SEO for Weights & … [Read full bio]
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