7 Essential Holiday SEO Tips

Attention online retailers: it might seem too early to begin preparing your website for the holidays, but it’s important to keep in mind that people start their holiday shopping online sooner than they do at brick-and-mortar stores because of the time it takes to receive items in the mail. Even if they don’t actually plan to buy something online, people like to use the internet to compare prices, read reviews, and look for special deals and promotions. You can monetize this kind of behavior if you present these prospects with the right content at the right time.

Now is a great time to start improving your site’s SEO, so it attracts more natural search traffic when the holidays finally roll around. Outlined here are 7 essential holiday SEO tips that will help you maximize sales this upcoming holiday season.

1. Promote specific items as good holiday gifts

Many prospects use the search engines to get ideas about what gifts to give to their friends and loved ones. Increase the chances that your products will show up when people search for gift ideas by describing each of your products as good gifts for men, women, children, moms, dads, travelers, etc. in tags and descriptions.

2. Offer a free shipping deal for holiday shoppers

Entice potential customers by offering them free shipping on all orders. Many shoppers search online for retailers that offer free shipping, so optimizing your site for the keyword, “free shipping,” will help you generate more traffic and sales.

3. Write About gift ideas on your blog

Publish gift idea lists on your blog that promote your products, so you can help your customers select appropriate gifts while encouraging them to purchase something from your store. Articles with titles like, “Top 10 Gifts for Her in 2011” and “5 Gifts for the Traveler in the Your Life” tend to get a lot of traction in social media.

4. Ask Prominent Bloggers to review your holiday gift items

Get valuable backlinks and promote your products to potential buyers by requesting prominent bloggers to review your holiday gift items.

5. Refresh your XML sitemap

If you’re like many online retailers, you probably carry certain items only during the holidays. Make sure that those holiday gift items are included in your XML sitemap by refreshing it. Another option would be to set up a special holiday XML sitemap.

6. Optimize Images

An oft-overlooked SEO technique is to optimize website images by adding captions and alt text to them. If you optimize your images for relevant keywords, you may be able to attract more traffic and sales via image search since many people search for pictures of the products they’re thinking of purchasing.

7. Improve your website’s mobile shopping experience

Mobile commerce is expanding significantly. In 2010, there was a 300% increase in shopping-related searches during the holiday season. To take advantage of mobile commerce’s growth, optimize your website for mobile search and create a mobile version of your ecommerce site.

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