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The Marketing Edge – Three simple SEO strategies for the holiday season

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Fall is officially here, and for many retailers, this heralds the beginning of the 2017 holiday season. According to Fortune Magazine, Americans spent $8.4 billion dollars on Halloween alone in 2016, but even that was just a drop in the bucket compared to more than $1 trillion dollars spent on the most celebrated holidays in America – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.

If you’re hoping to increase your revenue online this year, it’s time to get your SEO up to speed. The competition is fierce—think about it, during the holiday season you’ll be in direct competition with giant retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart. In 2016, it was reported that Amazon’s catalog of products included more than 368 million products.

When it comes to SEO, your best bet is to hire a professional to take care of your front-end and back-end SEO. However, if you wish to do so on your own, here are three simple SEO strategies to get you started:

Create, verify, and optimize your Google My Business Profile

If you have a brick-and-mortar presence, it’s essential that you have a profile on Google My Business. Will you be open for extended hours during the holiday shopping season?  Make sure to let your customers know!  Most people tend to check hours of operations before heading out.

Evaluate your content

Review your content and how you stack against the competition. You must begin with a very tedious task, but a very important one–take a look at your sitemap and check every single page. Is the content up to date? Is it attractive? Are the displayed images the best photos you have? Are you making it easy (obvious) for the customer to order the product or contact you for more information? 

Next, compare your website with your three biggest competitors. Search for products you know your competitors also offer, and look at your website ranking position on search engine results pages (SERPS). If your competitors are showing up on the top of page one, and your website is only being served on page two (or worse)—consider hiring a professional to help you rank higher.

Optimize your page titles, page descriptions, and ALT tags

In an ideal scenario, you’ll have a separate page for each product. This tactic will help your customers find what they’re looking for faster and more easily. Your main keyword should be the name of the product. Therefore, your page title could potentially also be the name of the product being showcased. Make sure your page descriptions are no longer than 160 characters, and clearly describe the content of the page.

If you can afford to advertise during the holiday season, consider Facebook, Google, and Bing. Facebook advertising fees are much lower than Google and Bing and you can share your budget with Instagram, which works very well for small businesses.

Stay on top of your competition and get your holiday season game up to speed by following these three simple SEO strategies.

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