Believe it or not, it won’t be long until the holidays are here. To avoid last minute headaches, now is the time to start thinking, planning, and even implementing website changes to get ready for the holiday season. Many of these changes will help to improve the overall user experience; however, some may also have benefits from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective.
If your site has internal pages that are of particular importance this season, create awareness of those pages by modifying how users can navigate to them. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-organize your entire site. Instead you could feature links or images on your homepage that lead to your popular holiday products, featured items, etc.
We all love things that are free. Consider offering free shipping, free gift wrapping, or a free gift with purchase. Feature these types of offerings on the site as well as in relevant title and description tags. The title and description tags are typically the text that is used to populate the clickable link and snippet of text on the search engine results pages. When incentives are included, you increase the likelihood that someone will click through to your site instead of a competitor’s site.
Make sure your contact information is prominent. This sounds obvious, but it’s especially critical during the peak shopping season. If someone has an issue during the checkout process, the last thing that you want them to do is leave the site frustrated. Make sure you prominently feature your contact information, especially a customer service number, so that you can help to make the shopping experience as easy as possible.
Don’t forget about gift certificates. If you offer gift certificates, these can be a good item to feature on the homepage for those who are unsure of what to purchase as a gift.
It’s also important to think about the things that you can do off-site. Participate where your audience is currently spending time on the Internet. This may be Facebook, Twitter, or within the blogosphere. Comment on blogs, especially blogs that are well-known within your industry. This could open up opportunities to generate conversations about your products or services. It may also enable you to get in front of a new audience that you haven’t yet tapped into. Social media channels can also be a great tool to monitor what people are saying about your products or brand.
Build additional pages to enable you to target popular search terms, such as keywords with the word “gifts”. The search volume for “gifts” alone spikes around the holiday season, so take advantage of this opportunity where possible.