It may feel a little strange reading about the festive period when we’ve just enjoyed a weekend ‘hotter than Ibiza’, but the peak shopping season is fast approaching, and with 30% planning to complete their holiday shopping by the end of October, now is the time to start prepping.
To help you nail your SEO ahead of this crucial final quarter, we’ve put together some essential tips and considerations to focus on during the coming weeks.
- Capitalise on seasonal demand
With consumers searching for holiday-centric products, building out relevant, seasonal product landing pages and weaving relevant, season-specific keywords into your titles, descriptions, copy and meta data can help increase your relevance and authority for these queries.
Searches are becoming far more detailed, and helping consumers find products that meet their specific needs is crucial. Instead of just “Christmas gifts,” focus on phrases like “Christmas gifts for beauty lovers” or “eco-friendly Xmas presents” to target longer-tail queries.
- Enhance User Experience (UX)
Load times can make or break a user’s experience; in fact, sites that load in 1 second have a 2.5x higher conversion rate than sites that load in 5 seconds. To boost page speed, think about optimising your images, implementing lazy-loading and tidying up your code.
With a significant shift to mobile shopping, and Google indicating that the ‘last batch’ of sites moved over to mobile-first indexing in May 2023, enhancing your user’s experience on mobile devices is now more important than ever. Every decision you make should be with mobile in mind.
- Streamline site navigation
A clear site structure isn’t just user-friendly, it also helps search engines index your site more effectively. Facilitate site navigation for both users and search engines by tidying up your top navigation menu and featuring seasonal pages. This will help users more easily find products they are looking for, but also pass authority to these pages, helping them rank more favourably in search results. Updating banner links on product listing pages is also a great way of more prominently featuring seasonal pages, again facilitating the pass to purchase and distrusting equity across the site.
- Leverage Content Marketing
Craft content focussed on the holiday season, such as gift guides, seasonal recipes, or DIY festive décor. This can help you build relevance and authority for more informational, longer-tail queries, while at the same time promoting your key products by tactically placing links to your key products, which offers clear avenue for users to follow.
- Use social proof and product imagery to your advantage
Product imagery plays a key part in the path to purchase – ensure that your product images are crisp, of high quality, and illustrate the product from various angles; but, as outlined above, this shouldn’t be at the price of increased load times, so compress images while maintaining quality.
Customer ratings and reviews also strongly guide purchase decisions, with 93% of consumers indicating that reviews affect their shopping choices. If you’ve not already done so, promoting customer reviews, and making them a prominent feature on your product pages is worth considering as a way of increasing conversion rate.
- Don’t forget about your brick-and-mortar stores
While the needle is certainly shifting towards digital, the high street isn’t dead just yet. If you have physical stores, keeping your Google My Business listing up-to-date with festive hours and any promotions can help increase store footfall.
- Enhance your sites appearance in search results
Structured data markup helps search engines easily understand information on your pages and enables them to appear as rich snippets in search results. Not only does this allow you to take up more valuable result real estate, with information such as product prices, availability, and ratings appearing on the search result page itself, but it further entices customers to click through to the site.
The importance of peak season cannot be overstated, especially as more people are shopping frugally and carefully considering purchases due to the rising cost of living. By laying the foundations and optimising well ahead of time, you’re putting your site in the best possible position to capitalise on the increased demand in the run up to Black Friday and Christmas.
 Source: Google
 Source: Portent
 Source: Dixa