Michael Briggs, VP of Search Strategies at Website Publicity, recently delivered a fantastic webinar with HubSpot on Pumping Up Q4 Sales: Prepare Now for Holiday Sales and Don't Be Left In The Cold. I found his webinar amazing and want to share some of his insights into keyword research and implementation with my own commentary.
Michael reminds us that it is important to begin researching holiday longtail keyword strategies and to implement a holiday themed keyword content strategy to ensure quality search rankings come the busiest time of the year in November and December. Every eCommerce store owner knows that the holiday season brings a spike in sales, but not all may realize that the holiday rush is becoming a bit shorter and a bit later with every passing year. This means that every single one of your channels, especially search, should be properly optimized to ensure maximum holiday sales. Start preparing your holiday longtail keyword research now by following these 4 steps.
1. Analyze keywords that drove success last year. Check both your organic and pay per click results to build a list of successful keywords that drove the most traffic and sales from the 2010 holiday season. Rank the keywords that drove the most sales separately from those that drove the most traffic only. Different strategies will be needed for each category. Double down on the keywords that generated the most revenue with PPC and focus on improving both your ad copy and pricing for the keywords that only drove traffic.
2. Build a list of holiday themed keywords. Now that you have your list of top performing keywords, it is time to search for holiday themed keywords. Google AdWord Keyword Tool is a great free tool to begin with. Search for words like "gifts, Christmas gifts, gifts for mom/dad, cool gifts, ect." in association with your targeted keywords. For example, a seller of fishing gear would want to build a list that includes keywords like "golf gifts, Christmas golf gifts, golf gifts for mom/dad, cool golf gifts, ect." Be sure to build a large list of at least 100+ keywords. This should be easy because of the holiday themed variations.
3. Develop targeted SEO and PPC strategies. Keyword strategies for pay per click and organic search will be different. Eliminate non-relevant and currently successful keywords from your organic search strategy. You are already ranking well for these keywords, so instead focus your SEO strategy on both new keywords and keywords that have low performing rankings. Your pay per click efforts should target your entire list minus non-relevant keywords. The result of your list should look something like this:
4. Implement holiday themed keyword content. Search engine optimization is made successful through great content utilizing keyword research. Great content created with keyword rich page title and content on the page coupled with social media engagement will be the most successful. See the example below to model after.
SEO takes time to see results and PPC can be very expensive with and without optimized campaigns. It is very important to have a holiday themed keyword strategy that you start implementing now to be see the results in November and December. Happy selling!