Holiday planning is expected to take place earlier than ever. What does this mean? Online stores must be prepared for an historic holiday season. It is crucial that your brand reaches your audience before the competition. This will ensure that your product is the first choice for your customers when they are ready to buy.
In the past, holiday shoppers started planning in September. However, Pinterest users began to save and search for holidays in April. Only April saw 77% more holiday pins than the previous year.
2021 is already a record-breaking year, and consumers are eager for the warmth of the holiday season. We will show you how to prepare for the holiday season that is yet to come.
Search Engine Optimization – July – Oct
SEO is focused on long-term strategies to rank high for relevant keywords. There is no secret to instantly doubling your organic search traffic. However, it is possible to prepare now for optimizing keywords that are relevant all year and especially for holiday search traffic.
To be the best holiday SEO expert, there are three things that you need to do from July to October.
- Monitor and optimize page speed
- Find Holiday Keywords
- For specific keywords, create Cyber Monday and Black Friday landing pages
Improve site speed
No matter the season, optimizing site speed can bring you a lot of benefits. Google indicated that a site’s speed was one of the most important indicators they use to determine if your page should rank for specific search queries.
Google search bots will flag sites that are slow loading, slow bounce rates, poorly designed forms and images that do not load as a warning sign that they are not trustworthy and will not offer a positive experience.
An audit is the first step in improving site speed. It focuses on:
- Website loading speed for desktop and mobile versions of your website.
- Score for mobile-friendliness
- Duplicate Content
- Website Indexing Issues
- Broken URLs
- Pages without SSL Certificate
- Orphaned pages
These factors all contribute to the user’s experience on your website. Google places user experience first; Google’s RankBrain considers all interactions on pages when determining your pages ranking.
How do you assess site performance?
- Enter the URL that you wish to analyze. After scanning the page, the system will produce a report that will identify any problems in your code and provide recommendations for development.
- Google Mobile Friendly Testing Tool:This tool gives you a unique score for your mobile-friendliness. You’ll receive suggestions that you can use in order to improve the user experience on your site.
- Screaming Frog This tool lets you dig into the content of your website. This tool will help you identify broken links, canonical errors, and other issues. This tool is useful for technical SEO audits.
- Index Coverage – Google Search Console: This tool will give you a report of any indexing issues that Google has detected.
Identify Holiday Relevant Keywords
When it comes to holiday optimizations, keyword research is crucial. You will reap greater rewards if you focus your budget and effort on transaction-focused keywords. This research will also help you identify keywords that are highly competitive and difficult to rank for.
If you are looking for holiday-relevant keywords, the best place to begin is to review historical data from previous years. This list can be accessed via your Google Search Console. This allows you to identify keywords that are interesting and shows you which items were searched most often during the time period.
Once you have identified the keywords, you can use them to load into Google Keyword Planner to generate similar searches queries. This will help you to increase your optimization efforts.
After you have created your lists, you need to choose keywords that are relevant to your business. A keyword that is too competitive might be “camping gear”. This will make you compete against large chain stores, Amazon result pages, and carousel ads.
Focusing on keywords that are purchase-intent is a more strategic move. You should focus on keywords with high search volumes, low competition and high relevance to you business. One example might be “Lightweight Tent”. Optimizing for this keyword can generate more revenue than optimizing with the main keyword “camping gear”.
When building these keywords, a good rule of thumb is to ask “What’s the user’s intent when they search for this word?” This will help you determine if it is a purchase consideration keyword or research keyword.
Create Black Friday and Cyber Monday Landing Pages
Your website’s ranking for these search queries can be increased by creating landing pages that are focused on Cyber Monday and Black Friday search queries.
You will probably have a list with potential holiday keywords that you can optimize using the research from previous steps. End users often combine keywords such as “Brand Name” + Product + Deal.
Google Trends can help you identify the most popular combinations among your customers. This information can help you decide if it is worth creating a Black Friday or Cyber Monday page for each product you want to highlight.
This is the best time to create landing pages. Don’t wait until November to create these landing pages. You can create pages in advance to give yourself plenty of time to optimize them and search engines the time they need for ranking your site.
A recurring URL is a good choice for your landing page. Think /collections/black-friday/, not /collections/black-friday-2021. If you plan to run Black Friday/CyberMonday promotions each year, it will be more beneficial for SEO to use the same page every year. This is also a recommendation from Google. It is very easy. You can delete pages that date back to the past and add 301 redirects to the new page.
Once your page is created, you can add the page to your site’s XML web sitemap and navigation. This is crucial because site crawlers will be able to locate your pages and index them by adding the web page to their sitemap.
July-October – CRO Testing
To prepare for the holiday season, it is important to run several conversion rate optimization testing between July and October. You can optimize elements on your website or advertisements to maximize conversions.
These are some of the tests you should consider:
You might consider testing your CTA (call to action) if you are seeing high traffic to your website but not seeing strong conversion rates. CTAs are any invitations that encourage your visitor to take an action (e.g. Download a whitepaper or ebook, demo, purchase, and so on. ).
When optimizing your CTA, there are three things you should pay attention to.
Copy Optimization for CTA
CTAs tend to be very specific and to the point. For example, “Click Here”, “Download Now” or “Purchase.” However, if your CTAs are too general, you might want to experiment with personalized copy.
A second trick is to frame your CTA’s in a direct connection to a benefit. You can also test your CTA copy if you are a dental software provider and offer a free ebook on how to migrate to new software.
You may initially consider “Download Now” to run a test and then do a second test using a customized copy of “Seamless Software Migration!”
A combination of copy that suggests the customer is missing something if they don’t download your resource will usually perform better than general instruction.
CTA Visual Optimization
Optimizing copy is an important step, but it is equally important that your CTA be seen. You can test colors and animations to see which combinations are most effective in attracting customers. To draw more attention to your links, you might want to experiment with more stylized buttons and forms.
CTA Placement Optimization
While copy and color are important, the location of your CTA can be equally important. If there is only one place for customers to buy, product pages are not able to convert at all stages of the customer’s buying journey.
While you don’t want to overwhelm your users with multiple CTA’s, you should work to find the right balance between overwhelming them and making it easy for them to make a decision.
Your headlines can be optimized in a way that goes beyond CTA’s. While CTAs are a great way to encourage people to buy or demo your products and your headlines can attract new prospects and increase sales revenue, they can also be used to help you attract potential customers.
Your click-through rates can be greatly affected by adding numbers to your headline. People want to know what they will get before they commit. If you tell them that you have 10 industry secrets, people will be more inclined to click and read. This is because they know what they can expect from their time.
To entice users to click, numbers can also be represented as a year. People love to read and compare the best and worst of the trade every year.
A study found that headlines of approximately 7 words are ideal for optimal performance. They aren’t too long, but they provide enough information for a click.
Opt for Simplicity
Simple headlines make headlines stand out. They are easy to read and tell you exactly what you need.
Instead of using incentive headlines, choose a headline that is informative and straight to the point.
You can test many headline variations to find the right message to attract users to click through to your site.
Maximize Social Proof
You can also test different social proof statements at various locations on your website to determine if they are optimized for CRO.
Social proof statements include:
- Review of Product
- Total number of customers
- Total number of products sold
Social proof is a way to build trust and confidence with your online customers by showing them that your product has been used and enjoyed by a large number of satisfied customers. Because it is important to establish trust from the beginning, as eliminating fears and overcoming objections will help you build loyal and profitable customers.
Consider testing your homepage’s conversion rates using your current homepage design as a control, and another homepage with additional social proof edits to be your variation.
Include social proof as a variation
- Add a collection of testimonials from customers
- Products with outstanding reviews
- You can include statements such as “100,000.00 moisturizers sold last year!” or “Trusted and trusted by more than 100,000 happy customers.”
- Include a video that highlights a customer’s positive experience
September-November – Dialing in Paid Media Campaigns
September 1-18 – Testing and Building New Google and Paid Social Media Ads
Companies new to paid social, or those that haven’t run large campaigns in the past should take the time and test the data collected from a month’s worth of ads.
You can identify which platforms are the most effective for your brand’s advertising by testing various platforms during the month you collect data.
Net MarketShare reports that Google is the dominant search engine with more than 72% users around the world.
Google Ads allows you to target specific audiences with keyword targeting when it comes to advertising. Google ads also have a high rate of return on investment. Google’s Economic Impact Report shows that advertisers earn approximately $2 per $1.
A variety of Ad Types for Testing
- Search Network Campaign
- Display Network Campaign
- Shopping Campaign
- Video Campaign
Google Merchant Center
Make sure you are logged into your Merchant Center account to optimize your data feed. Google allows you not only to pay for shopping ads but also offers free listings on Google that showcase your product.
According to Google’s research 78% of U.S. holiday shoppers said they would shop at stores offering free shipping. You can highlight shipping options and return windows in your Merchant Center data feed. To help your business stand out in Google Ads or organic listings, customers will love to see “Get It by Dec 24” and “Free Returns until Jan 31”.
Facebook advertising has unbeatable targeting options. You can target your audience with Facebook advertising by targeting your Facebook pixel data.
57% say that social media has an influence on their shopping behavior while 44% of those 57% said Facebook was the most important platform.
A variety of Ad Types for Testing
- Video ads for Product Showcase
- Video ads for brand awareness
- Ad for a Single Image Photo
- Carousel Ad
- Dynamic product ads
September 21-25 – Launch new campaigns
Once you have completed multiple advertising testing, you will need to quickly create new optimized campaigns to move them through the learning phase.
The learning phase is the time that an ad delivery system captures and optimizes delivery to your target audience based on data from your pixel. Your ad set will be exploring the best route to deliver your advertisement, the best person to deliver it to, and the best location to display the ad. This is when you create your first ad, or make major edits to existing ad sets.
After the learning phase is completed, stabilized ad sets will typically stabilize their performance after receiving 50 optimizations or in less than a week.
Your Black Friday/CyberMonday success depends on your ads passing the learning stage. An optimized ad set prior to the event is more likely to produce a holiday ad campaign that is stable.
September 28-October 2 – End Black Friday Discounts and Creative
Discuss with your team details about the deal that you are going to run. Make sure to clearly note the products and services you will be discounting and how long. To ensure that your customers receive a consistent message, communicate the deal to your content team, ad specialists, and influencers.
October 5 – 9 – Strategy Creation
Once you have agreed with your marketing agency in Miami or internal team on the final deal, you need to create your overall campaign strategy. The document should include information about who you intend to target and how you plan on communicating with them (e.g. Email drip campaigns, brand awareness campaigns and influencers are all examples of these types of campaigns. () and the expected results that you expect to achieve from your campaign efforts.
Creative Build, October 12-15
Once the deal has been discussed with your team, your experts should begin creating ad copy and creative. You will be able to fine-tune your message if you start building and designing your campaign sooner than later.
Make sure your copywriters are working with ad specialists to create resources that complement one another. It will be easier to build brand awareness before the sales event if your strategy is more coherent.
October 19-30 – Ad Budget Finalization
Your team must be able to understand their budget from the beginning. This will enable them to review their accounts and decide which campaigns they can run, as well as set daily budgets in order to get the best bang for their buck. You can always add or subtract budget over time, but it is important to have your team ready so you can prioritize the most successful campaigns.
November 2-6 – Upload Campaigns
Once the ads are designed and budgeted, your team will upload the campaigns to their respective ad platforms. Although it may seem early, uploading the campaigns early and reviewing the targeting settings before the big day will help ensure that all settings are correct.
November 9-13 – Stakeholder Review and Approval
Once your ads are updated and reviewed by your social media team, it is time to share the final settings with key stakeholders. The ad design and targeting settings will be shared with clients by digital marketing agencies in new york for final approval. Internal marketing teams will also receive approval from the upper management.
November 16 – 18 – Updates & Finalization
This Black Friday marketing timeline should ensure that you have minimal stress in the week before and after Black Friday. The strategy should be pulled out by your team and finalized.
October – November – Warm up Old and Current Customers with Email Marketing
Cyber Monday and Black Friday are the peak days for ecommerce shops. It is important to plan ahead so that you can meet your revenue targets. It is important to begin sending information to your email contacts about upcoming deals in late September or early October.
We all know that Cyber Monday and Black Friday lead to an abundance of emails in our inboxes. It is important to be different from the rest.
We have some Black Friday email examples that will help you to prime your audience and maximize your revenue-generating times.
Simple and straightforward emails can make a big difference. When they open your email, the reader will want to know what it means for them. Your conversion rates will improve if you clearly communicate your call to actions and benefits.
Include your offer in the subject line of your email and make the call-to-action the first thing that your end user sees.
Your business can stand out from the rest by sending a quirky email that includes movement. Your end will stand out with a clear CTA at its top and movement that draws attention to the offer.
A free gift can sometimes tip customers to buy or increase their average order values. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales can boost your daily sales volume, but giving away a gift can encourage your customers to spend more.
Best-Selling Product Giveaway
Hosting a giveaway of your most popular product can be a great way to get your customers excited. You can create excitement in your audience and encourage more people to interact with your brand by hosting contests.
It is important that you highlight the offer at the top of your email, and then follow up with a detailed description below.
Display Your Best Sellers
Your audience will be impressed by both a promotion and a reminder about your top-sellers. It’s a great idea to pair your most loved products with a fantastic deal. Your customers will be able plan ahead and choose the items they want to purchase from your website. They will be more likely to buy their dream shoes if they are on sale.
Digital channels are becoming more popular for holiday shopping. It’s important that your business doesn’t fall by the wayside. You can position your business as the best place to shop for holiday shopping by taking time and following our digital marketing Black Friday timeline.
Do you need help in preparing your Q4 campaign? Book a consultation today to see how we can help your business. If you are not ready, but still curious about what makes a Kobe Digital client a good one, take a look at our ideal customer description.