The holiday season brings a surge of searches around gifts, events, recipes and more. Savvy marketers can capture this traffic spike with targeted SEO strategies.
Below are nine ways to optimize your website for the holidays and make the most of this high-traffic period.
1. Capitalize on seasonal topics
Using tools like Google Trends and Semrush, look for trending keywords related to the holidays. You can use this data to write new content to capture this target audience.
Things like gift guides are always popular, but if you are working on a website that isn’t product-based, there are still plenty of opportunities.
Here are a few examples:
- For a local business, you could compile a guide of events in the area.
- An ADHD coach might write a blog post about how to get through the holidays and offer coping mechanisms.
- A bank or financial advisor could talk about budgeting for gifts and create a savings calculator on the website.
- A personal trainer could write some recipes for healthier versions of holiday treats, or talk about how to stay active over the holiday period.
Whatever the type of business, there is always a way to weave in a connection to the year-end holidays and create content around those topics.
2. Refresh and update existing content
Revisit your top-performing content from prior years and refresh or rewrite it with current information, new keywords and relevant links. This approach saves you time and leverages the existing SEO value of your content.
You can also add a Christmas twist to existing pages. This is especially useful for an e-commerce website. Create dedicated categories for Christmas to make it easy for users to navigate to seasonal items.
Update product descriptions and titles and, if possible, images. This will help those individual products to rank for those all-important searches from potential customers.
Direct people from a holiday-based blog post or content page directly to relevant product pages to help users navigate to the right place and strengthen the importance of those products with internal linking.
Dig deeper: Your guide to seasonal content marketing
3. Optimize for mobile users
During the holidays, there’s a significant increase in mobile searches as people are on the go or sitting on the sofa watching this year’s Christmas film.
Ensure your website and content are fully optimized for mobile, especially if you have added additional holiday-related content. This includes faster load times, responsive design and easy navigation to improve user experience.
You want it to be quick and easy for people to find what they need and then take action. People often make more impulse decisions during this time of year.
Lots of us feel overwhelmed and pressured with just how much there is to do, so ensuring that the mobile experience for users is good is even more critical than usual.
4. Utilize structured data for rich snippets
Implement structured data to enhance your content’s appearance in search results. Rich snippets can feature holiday-specific details like event dates, product reviews and special offers.
They aren’t necessarily helpful for rankings, but Google will often pull some of this additional information into the SERPs. This gives searchers more helpful information and helps make your listings stand out and look more attractive, leading to an improvement in click-through rates on your website.
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5. Optimize for local search
Make sure to update your Google Business Profile and other local listings with business hours during the holiday period. You can also add any special events you are holding or any promotions related to the holiday period.
Optimizing for local search queries can drive both online and in-person traffic to physical business locations during the holidays. This can help you dominate the SERPs with your website, business listings and ads. Seeing your business more than once within the search results increases visibility, trust and clicks.
Dig deeper: 5 top tips to boost your local SEO efforts
6. Improve website performance
Website speed and performance are crucial for SEO, and with all this lovely traffic coming to the website, you need to ensure that it can manage a sudden influx.
For seasonal businesses, this can mean a large surge in increased holiday traffic, and as such, it’s important to ensure your site can handle it without compromising on speed.
The line between SEO and developer can sometimes be a little blurred when it comes to site performance, so make sure that the team is working together and testing as many scenarios as you can, as much as possible, before the Christmas period.
Where ecommerce is concerned, ensuring the website can manage increased transactions is also important. You must have offline processes in place just in case something goes wrong.
7. Engage with seasonal link building
Reach out to other websites for holiday-themed guest posts or collaborations. For example, if you are a product-based business, look for websites featuring your products in a gift guide they are putting together.
Seasonal link building can expand your reach and improve your site’s authority. Focus on quality over quantity to ensure these links benefit your SEO efforts by offering to write blog posts and articles yourself.
It’s also a good time to try and leverage digital public relations. Are there online magazines or newspapers interested in featuring the business? Seek out inspiring stories to share rather than sales pitches.
Think about the benefits to their audience before pitching. There is always at least one good story in every business. PR is a great way to get backlinks from holiday-related articles. Just be mindful that these links are not often permanent.
8. Monitor traffic patterns
Keep a close eye on your analytics throughout the holiday season. Work out which strategies are working and where there’s room for improvement. Understanding real-time data allows you to adjust swiftly, capitalizing on what resonates best with your audience.
The holiday season can be a frantic time for some businesses, and it can be easy to neglect to keep an eye on what is happening on the website. Making these small improvements can help improve conversions immediately before the window of opportunity has gone (for another year at least).
9. Plan ahead for post-holiday SEO
Don’t let your SEO efforts drop as soon as the holidays are over. Plan a post-holiday strategy to maintain momentum. Many businesses may take a moment to regroup and leverage this space so that performance continues into the following year.
This could include adding content that helps with New Year’s resolutions or advice on using holiday gifts, recycling waste and preparing for the inevitable January blues. Again, plan for content that is very closely related to the services or products of the business.
Steps must also be in place to remove holiday elements from your product descriptions and categories, non-specific content and remove any special banners or graphics from the website and update any listings.
Think of it as putting the Christmas decorations away, ready to bring them out again next year.
Unwrap greater visibility and traffic for the holidays
The holiday season brings a surge of seasonal search queries and online shopping traffic. You can make the most of this critical period by:
- Optimizing your website for relevant seasonal keywords.
- Enhancing site performance.
- Leveraging structured data.
- Monitoring analytics.
Don’t let your efforts drop off once the holidays end – sustain momentum with post-holiday content and site updates.
With strategic planning and execution, you can gift your website significant visibility and conversions this Christmas.
Dig deeper: How to create a successful holiday season SEO strategy
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.