Surprisingly – Black Friday is no longer the biggest shopping day of the year but it is still very significant because it is a source of great business opportunities for both the physical and virtual market.
On the Black Friday 2016 – a total of 108 million consumers made purchases online. These purchases actually increased by 9 million compared to the 99 million purchases recorded in 2015, according to a survey. It stated further that in 2016, the average American consumer spent $289 on shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Americans consider Black Friday the official kick-off to the second half of the holiday season. It also marks the beginning of e-commerce sites to offer promotions and seasonal content. But this is not applied by every business there is in the market. An estimated 49% of marketers actually initiate their holiday marketing before Halloween. This implies that by Black Friday, the average consumer is already flooded with an overwhelming deluge of choices.
With that said, how can one average e-marketer make a difference amidst great competition?
As manager of an e-commerce site, you should review your SEO strategies asap. Try to reassess them and find out how they performed to achieve your marketing goals over the last quarter. Here are 10 proven SEO strategies you can incorporate within your holiday marketing campaign. They are intended to give momentum to your Black Friday sales.
1. The technical SEO fundamentals of your site are important. Review them.
The holiday season motivates every marketer to produce tons of marketing ideas and holiday offers. Before you formally announce your holiday sales offerings, you must first review your SEO fundamentals to make sure that your website is well-optimized for search engines to crawl, index and rank.
The items you need to review include:
- 404 error pages that need resolution
- Broken links/lost landing pages. Place 301 redirects on them
- Servers. Be sure they are able to accommodate high visitor traffic
- Page speeds. Make sure that they are optimized for shorter loading times
- Your holiday landing pages. Make sure that they are optimized
- Use “Black Friday” keywords to optimize your meta tags and meta descriptions
- Encourage visitors to act. Use persuasive calls to action (CTA)
- Provide landing pages with clear Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) information for users to easily locate or contact your business establishment
- Provide landing pages with working internal links to give your visitor additional options to interact with your website.
2. Strategize keywords
Make keyword research a part of your current Black Friday campaign. Do this with a quick analysis of the keywords you used last year.
Use Google Analytics to identify and confirm which pages performed the best in terms of traffic, conversions and keyword rank for your holiday marketing campaigns. Emulate these pages or use them as model for your upcoming marketing strategy.
Use the terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” – two of the most searched terms on Black Friday, in combination with your own keywords in order to form a friendlier organic search strategy. You may also include such terms as “gifts,” “deals,” and “delivery” as they are often associated with Black Friday. These terms should work for you especially if you incorporate them in long-tail keywords that carry brands, product specifications and special offers such as “discounts” or “coupons.”
If you sell products through major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, you should include product specifics like sizes, dimensions, etc. in every listing title. It can help to maximize conversions.
3. See the value of holiday landing pages
Landing pages play a great role in attracting visitors and encouraging them to see products you wish to promote using holiday themes. As such, they should be backed by keyword-optimized meta tags, engaging headlines, and well thought of ad copies.
Landing pages that are interesting or useful enough motivate businesses to build a link with them and rank them for specific Black Friday keywords. The CTA of these pages will lead visitors to your domain and eventually through your link funnel.
Engaging content like informative videos also provide benefits to dedicated landing pages.
4. Launch seasonal content early on
The early launching of your seasonal content can help consumers to make up their mind about purchasing your brand even before the actual Black Friday weekend purchasing time arrives. Start running promotions, and launch your Black Friday landing pages three to four weeks before the Thanksgiving weekend.
You can begin this strategy by creating seasonal content and making gift guides that aim to make people aware of your products. Give away valuable information that can help potential customers to make the best of this year’s holidays. Along this line, you also need to take note of the importance of your website’s mobile friendliness. As a matter of fact, smartphones consume 70% of holiday gift guide videos on the internet today.
Utilize Google Trends and BuzzSumo to lookup seasonal keywords and to get a good idea of content that are trending in your industry this time of year.
Use infographics, slides, and videos to capture the attention and interest of random visitors. These types of content are easily shareable. They might just help to create the possibility of your content to multiply or go viral as Black Friday comes closer.
Plan promotions and figure out marketing ideas early. This enables you to write and publish at the right time. If you are keen on saving time and effort, you can also update last year’s holiday landing pages and use it for the current year. Just be sure to apply the appropriate dates and prices to avoid confusion and losses.
5. Identify weak touchpoints and optimize them
Competition in almost every business and industry is getting tougher by the day. It’s always good to get your assets covered or your competitors will run away with your customers.
Things can go wrong. It is crucial for e-commerce site managers to evaluate their webpages and identify which of these are doing the least in terms of conversion and lead generation. Do this with Google Analytics to get the results you want. You can also use Google Adwords to map out or eliminate weak touchpoints.
Once you have identified the underperforming pages of your site, the next big step you need to do is optimize those pages with useful content and the appropriate keywords so that they can help bring leads to your sales funnel. Keep visitors mindful of your brand by posting content that answer users’ questions. These are the questions site visitors would probably ask before they decide to purchase your merchandise or service.
If you are able to bring middle pack content to the first page of search engine results, your traffic will have a potential to increase and your sales will improve especially if your keywords relate directly to the products you offer.
6. Don’t underestimate the power of reviews
There is an overflowing availability of Black Friday special offers and promotions. These will make people want to unravel the best promos in order to get the best deals in the market. They do this through online research and by reading customer feedback.
According to a BrightLocal survey, 92% of shoppers read reviews of products they intend to buy, with 68% saying that positive reviews help to convince them to trust a product or local business even more.
You can use customer testimonials and case studies on your landing pages. These can have a huge influence on potential customers’ buying decisions. Ideally, customer reviews are placed at the front page of your product’s landing pages. But you have to place them carefully on a spot that cannot disrupt good user experience.
Another strategic selling point would be to offer target customers a unique proposition value. Offers like these will get your brand ahead of competition.
- Competitive price
- Free delivery
- Free installation
Be sure to put proposition values on pages with fierce competition. Both online reviews and proposition value are intended to work for you. Online reviews work to earn customer trust. A proposition value, on the other hand, works to create an illusion of a rare opportunity potential buyers can’t afford to miss.
7. Make good use of your social media following
Social media may be the cheapest platform where you can promote or showcase your products or services and bring your message across to the right audience. They also allow you to share holiday-themed content that creates a sense of your brand’s awareness in the mind of your contacts.
According to a survey, 75% of Instagram users are likely to take action in response to a brand’s posting while 87% of Pinterest’s 125 million users in the U.S. say Pinterest has played a big role in their decision to buy a product.
Based on these findings, it would be easy to determine that using these platforms for product promotion can certainly increase brand awareness. You just need to use engaging images on every Pinterest pin or Instagram ad to keep your products above the competition.
You can also use social media platforms to solicit and feature user-generated content that show the beneficial uses of your product. But of course, you need to offer rewards to users who share their pleasant experience on your social media pages.
8. Leverage cross-channel marketing
All these strategies have the capability to stand alone but you may only achieve great results if you apply them altogether, including the use of alternative marketing platforms like Unbounce, Amazon and other big e-commerce sites.
One important element you shouldn’t fail to consider is the mobile optimization of your SEO campaigns. A survey conducted by Adobe Digital Insights finds that 64% of Black Friday purchases made online came from desktop computers. However, 55% of native site visits were made as a result of mobile searches.
This implies that you should recognize the importance of optimizing weak touchpoints for keywords that develop mobile traffic into conversions. Since mobile consumption is now an integrated part of every SEO campaign – you must be sure to apply Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for your ads.
Another marketing channel you should take into account for Black Friday is email marketing. It is not a very popular strategy as it is often associated to spamming, but some users of this marketing approach assert that email marketing has the potential to bring higher ROI than the other marketing channel. It can also serve as a fertile source of audience profiles that you can target with your product promotions come Black Friday.
9. Boost your online visibility with paid advertising
One way to drive visitors directly to your product landing pages is by using paid search and social advertising. You can have this campaign run a week prior to Black Friday to reach people who have already visited your site but chose to do more research instead.
Keep in mind that whatever will be the type of ads you’re going to run on social, you must make sure that your headline and images will stand out. Highlight value proposition in your headline and present it with captivating image that will certainly stand out from stock photos other brands may be using.
10. Build links
As a matter of improving the credibility, you should acquire links from Black Friday listings, retailers and local citations for your landing pages. It is a ranking factor that can really help to put your landing pages ahead of competition.
Links are important not just because they help to boost authority, but also because they play an important role in capturing leads and getting organic visits.
You can build links by establishing relationships with bloggers of the same niche and trade or news sites in your industry. Promote your Black Friday deals by partnering with influencers and other bloggers. They can help to facilitate some easy sales for you somehow.
11. Don’t Ignore Cyber Monday’s Sales Potentials
Our topic is supposed to be confined to Black Friday but we just can’t ignore Cyber Monday because it is just as important. Make the most of your Black Friday SEO campaign by inserting bits of Cyber Monday keywords. This events are just the beginning of a long holiday marketing season. Maximize your sales potentials by running campaigns all the way to Christmas.
The holidays are just around the corner, and Black Friday marks the beginning of an extended marketing season. If you operate an e-commerce site, you’re actually looking at a basketful of opportunities.
If you manage or operate a business website, you should not let this opportunity pass. Leverage the power of SEO to boost traffic, conversion, and sales.
Should you need resources to make these work, Muzeum Marketing is here to help you out. The things we do is certainly not just for your Black Friday and the other holidays ahead. We work to make your website work consistently through the years – for the success of your business.
Start your journey to success by giving us a call.