Starting your SEO strategy for Christmas 2012? You should be…
As the 1st of December is finally here, and the Christmas spirit is spreading around the Creare SEO department in the form of Bing Crosby and gold tinsel, it’s certainly time to think about Christmas SEO strategies… for 2012 that is. If your Christmas strategy for 2011 isn’t well under way by now then I’m afraid you’ve missed the boat. Or maybe you’ve recently launched your e-commerce site and you’re only just starting to create your overall SEO strategy. Christmas next year might seem like a long way off, but follow my tips and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle when the time comes next year.
Choosing keywords – grab the data while you can!
This is one of the main inspirations for this post, since Google stopped reporting keywords in Analytics for signed-in users, there have been various posts reporting that the update has affected 9% – 23% of visits. Without that percentage of data, you might find it more difficult to track exactly which keywords are driving you sales this winter. Plus if Google have their way, this percentage will only increase as more and more people sign into the various Google products. So ensure you have Google Analytics installed on your website and grab all the data you can get this year, it’s more valuable than you think.
As for new e-commerce sites, you might not even gain organic traffic from your top Christmas keywords this year, so the easiest way to discover which keywords have higher levels of traffic and whether they’re likely to convert , is to do pay-per-click advertising. Gaining traffic almost instantly through PPC campaigns will not only allow you to see which keywords have the most potential, but should also generate you some sales. Set yourself a PPC budget and treat it as research which could save you money in the long term – there’s a lot to be said for choosing the right keywords at the start of an SEO campaign and sticking with them. You don’t want to spend months building up your rankings to discover that those keywords have a lower conversion rate than alternatives would.
Landing pages – test now, reap the rewards later
A key ingredient in gaining organic rankings is content, and that content sits on the landing pages that you want to rank, the pages you will then be driving traffic to. So not only do you want to ensure you have original, relevant content for SEO, you also want to make sure your landing pages will convert that organic traffic into sales. Monitor and evaluate the combined conversion rates of your landing pages and the keywords they’re optimised for. Christmas is a good time to do this as more people are shopping online and you should get more figures to improve the statistical relevance of your findings. If any of your top landing pages have a lower conversion rate than your site’s average – spend the next 11 months improving these so you can increase your return during the festive season in 2012.
Link building – find the festive freshness
Carry out competitor research this year – monitor which sites are ranking for the keywords you think you’re likely to target next year and see what links they have using the those terms as anchor text. With Google’s recent algorithm update placing importance on freshness, perform some searches this month with your target and related keywords – you might just find some news sites that you can approach to gain some coverage and traffic this year, all whilst starting to create seasonal links to help your rankings for Christmas next year.
Let us know your thoughts – do you have any seasonal research tips? Do you too get driven crazy by the sound of Wizzard’s one hit wonder?