How to Optimize Your Website for Holiday Shopping

November 17, 2023 michelledav

How to Optimize Your Website for Holiday Shopping

A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

Ho ho ho! Get ready, folks, because the holiday shopping season is about to unleash its festive fury! Published today (11/16/23), The National Retail Federation (NRF) just dropped some jaw-dropping projections for this year’s holiday shopping extravaganza, and it looks like we’re in for a record-breaking season.

Brace yourselves for a staggering 182 million shoppers during the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend alone, a massive leap from the 166.3 million we saw in 2022. Overall, the NRF expects holiday sales to soar by an impressive 3-4% compared to last year.

While consumers are gearing up to spend more, they’re also being mindful of rising prices. This means they may be buying fewer items, but they’re still willing to open their wallets. So, how can you ensure your business captures a slice of this festive spending spree?

The answer lies in optimizing your website for the holiday rush and keeping your finger on the pulse of emerging trends. Even if your brand doesn’t directly engage in holiday sales, staying relevant and competitive in the SEO game is crucial for long-term success.

So, let’s spread some holiday cheer and make this season one for the books! Get your website sparkling, your marketing jingle ready, and prepare to embrace the shopping frenzy that’s about to hit!

Make sure your website is fast and mobile-friendly. Shoppers want to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, so it’s important that your website loads quickly and is easy to navigate on mobile devices. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to test your website’s speed and performance on mobile and desktop devices but it is for developers so may be difficult for a beginner to navigate. SEMrush is another good tool, but it is not free. Another site that is free and a little easier to understand is Page Speed Insights.

Use relevant keywords throughout your website. When people are shopping for holiday gifts, they’re likely to be using specific keywords in their search queries. Make sure to use these keywords throughout your website, including in your product titles, descriptions, and blog posts. Don’t forget to include your meta titles and meta descriptions including alt text for all images. This will help people find your website when they search for the products and services they’re looking for. Finding keywords can be as simple as typing in what people are most likely searching for in the Google search bar. Google will automatically start showing you keywords and relevant phrases. Start with those and make sure your products are well described. Free tools to find keywords include Ubersuggest by Neil Patel and Google Search Console.

Optimize your website for local search. Many people shop for holiday gifts locally, so it’s important to make sure that your website is optimized for local search. This includes claiming your Google Business Profile listing and making sure that your social media and website display the correct address and contact information that are also prominently displayed. To enhance my client’s local listing I use SEMRush’s List Management tool. This tool corrects business data in all directories which results in maximum visibility since I’m able to add the correct information in one place and push it out to all directories on the web.

Create a holiday gift guide. Shoppers love being immersed in ideas that they can see working for their holiday gift list. A gift guide is a great way to help shoppers find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. You can create a gift guide for different categories of products, such as gifts for kids, gifts for adults, or gifts under $50. Be sure to include a variety of products in your gift guide, and to highlight your most popular and best-selling products. This is also a great way to easily create and reuse content on social along with having more to talk about in your personalized emails.

Offer holiday promotions and discounts. Shoppers are always looking for a good deal, so offering holiday promotions and discounts is a great way to attract customers and increase sales. You can offer discounts on specific products or offer free shipping or gift wrapping. “Holiday gifts” and “gift ideas” are a much-searched term so the more you use it everywhere and, in every channel, the more likely potential customers will find you. Promotions don’t have to be a dollar or percent off or tied to some sort of “deal”. Don’t miss out on participating in Black Friday, and Cyber Monday deals. Plus, make sure you are giving them a deal that will make them convert and come back for more after the holidays are over. A good experience goes a long way and will add to the lifetime value of your customers even if it costs you more to capture them. Don’t forget that a promotion doesn’t always have to be a coupon or deal. A promotion can be a free guide, eBook, or series of information.

Make it easy for shoppers to checkout. The checkout process should be as quick and easy as possible without glitches or taking them to another website. Make sure that your website is secure and that shoppers can check out with their preferred payment method. Scammers are abundant so there cannot be any quirks in the check-out process or customers may think you are not a valid merchant. If a customer can’t securely check out easily they will likely never return and worry about scams. People are also busy so if you don’t capture them right away, they will forget or move on to something else.

While the above will help you optimize your website for SEO during the holiday shopping season it is also important to take a look at your website and make sure the basics are up-to-date and searchable.

Some tips on how to keep your performance in tip-top shape for searches include:

  • Use high-quality images and videos of your products. This will help shoppers to visualize what they’re buying and make a purchase decision. Never use images that have been emailed, sent via a text message, or scraped from a social media platform. The quality of the original is decreased to fit in the platforms and be sent over email. Share your files using Google Shared Drive, DropBox, or another photo-sharing application. You want to keep the image integrity especially when you have to size them down.
  • Write clear and concise product and service descriptions. Make sure to highlight the key features and benefits of each product. If you haven’t already, research keywords and add all relevant keywords to your product or service description, meta titles, and meta descriptions.
  • Resize images to ensure they are under 2 MG and the optimal size for the space it is being entered in. You can Google recommended sizes plus programs like Canva and Adobe Photoshop offer ways to resize images quickly. I use Canva every single day. It is easy and you don’t have to be a graphic designer to figure it out. If you are used to Adobe Photoshop, it does lack some of the functions.

Attracting and maintaining a loyal customer base is harder than ever in our competitive market, especially with the ease of selling online and using large platforms like Amazon and Alibaba. After the holidays the best marketing idea is to thank your customers who purchased and allow them special perks for shopping after the holiday season. Discounts are always great but think about more personal and ways you can make them feel like part of the family.

If you are struggling with marketing ideas or need help building your brand with marketing strategy this holiday season contact me. I’m happy to help you create a plan that will grow your brand this holiday season!

  • SHARE:
, , , , , ,
// Defer ut-scriptlibrary.min.js function defer_ut_scriptlibrary() { echo ''; } add_action('wp_footer', 'defer_ut_scriptlibrary');