Optimizing Ecommerce Store with SEO for the Holidays

Eric Pong
optimizing ecommerce seo- Floship

Statistics show that, during the 2016 holiday shopping season, customers spent $63.1 billion on desktop computers, while spending via mobile devices reached $17.12 billion.
So, what do these astonishing figures tell us? The popularity of online shopping is rising at an astonishing pace.
Therefore, to improve your rankings in the SERPs, drive more traffic to your site, and grab a larger share of sales this year, you need to optimize your ecommerce website on time.
Here are a few tactics that will help you take your seasonal SEO efforts to a whole new level.

1.    Keep Track of the Right KPIs

To align your SEO strategy with your customers’ needs, you first need to invest in your ecommerce analytics and keep track of relevant KPIs.
Only this way will you be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your website and take the right action on time. Now, there is a wide range of tools you may use to measure the overall performance of your site.
However, using them all would be ridiculous. Instead, you should take your SEO reports and analytics to a whole new level by using reporting tools that integrate with all those platforms and allow you to keep track of only those metrics that make sense to you.
Some of the most important metrics you should monitor and improve are:

  • Page loading time
  • On-site search terms
  • The conversion rate
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Gross margin
  • The cart abandonment rate

2.    Optimize your Pages for Holiday Keywords

During the holiday shopping season, your customers’ search patterns will change significantly.
Parallel with them, Google’s search results will also change. This is exactly why you need to target those phrases that are most commonly used during the holidays, like “best,” “gift,” “deals,” or “cheap.”
Once you choose the right holiday keywords, you need to optimize the most important elements of your web pages for them.

  • Title tags. First, add a keyword to the first 65 characters of your headline to ensure that Google won’t remove it in the SERPs. Also, make sure that your title is relevant, organic, and concise.
  • Given the fact that your URL explains what your web page is about, it is one of its first elements Google will crawl. To optimize your URLs, you should include the most relevant keywords, make them easily readable, and avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Meta descriptions should include focus keywords, as well as a compelling call-to-action that will enhance your click-through rate. Most importantly, SEO-friendly meta descriptions are concise (up to 160 characters) and to-the-point. Namely, their purpose is to give your readers as much information about your page as possible.

SEO optimize your pages for holiday keywords

3.    Improve your Website Speed

As the holidays are approaching fast, ecommerce businesses should run tests to see whether their site is fast enough to meet the expectations of their customers.
Page load time is not just one of Google’s most significant ranking factors, but also the backbone of your users’ experience. Some recent studies show that 40% of visitors would abandon a webpage that takes more than 3 seconds to load, while 79% of them would never come back to a poorly optimized website.
If you translate these statistics into actual money, you will see that, if your site makes $100.000 per day, just 1 second page delay may cost you $2.5 million in lost sales.
That’s something you want to avoid, right? Here are a few ultimate techniques that will help you boost your website speed:

  • Invest in a CDN to make the delivery of static content faster.
  • Reduce the use of third-party services, like social media plug-ins.
  • Minify JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
  • Use asynchronous scripts to let your most vital website data load first and skip slow-loading elements.
  • Resize your images.
  • Use browser caching.

4.    Optimize your Site for Mobile Buyers

Researches show that 51% of users make purchases via mobile, while 90% of them use their phones while shopping to compare prices and search for product reviews.
So, if you want to get the most of your sales this holiday season, you need to provide your mobile shoppers with an outstanding user experience. Here is how.

  • Take advantage of the Accelerated Mobile Pages In layman’s terms, to boost mobile users’ experience, Google has eliminated all elements that make regular web pages load slowly, such as cookies or third-party JavaScript. Consequently, they created AMPs, lightweight web pages that are designed to deliver faster user experience.
  • Offer a secure mobile checkout with payment services like Apple Pay or PayPal.
  • Improve your image zoom features like double tap or pinch.
  • Integrate a touch-optimized keyboard to reduce the number of typos during the checkout.
  • Use static images for your mobile homepage.

5.    Create Holiday-Inspired Content

When creating your content during the holiday season, always remember that the majority of online customers start their holiday shopping without having an idea of what to buy.
This is an amazing opportunity for you to convince them that your products or services are exactly what they were looking for. One of the most effective ways to do so is to create a relevant, highly engaging, and holiday-themed content that will evoke nostalgia in your customers and lead them towards all stages of the sales funnel towards making a purchase.
Now, depending on your niche and your brand’s content strategy, there is a plethora of holiday-themed content you may consider using, including DIY tips, holiday recipe posts, eBooks, video chats, personalized video greetings, a round-up of your top-performing posts, a predictions video or article, and customer testimonials and social proof.
Finally, you can also create amazing gift guides that will not only increase your revenue, but also boost your brand’s authority. Gift guides are immensely powerful customer conversion boosters, used by numerous famous brands like Walmart, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, and Urban Outfitters.

To Wrap it Up

With the holiday shopping season arriving earlier every year, you need to start whipping your ecommerce website on time. Hopefully, the SEO tactics listed above will help you do so effortlessly.
However, you shouldn’t forget that, no matter how hectic this time of year may seem to you right now, the real work begins in January. So, once the holidays are over, you should focus on tracking the major 2018 digital marketing trends and tailoring your SEO strategy to them.

Nate Vickery
Nate Vickery is a business consultant and an online author mostly focused on covering marketing and MarTech related trends and practices for startups and SMBs. He is the executive editor at Bizzmark Blog and a contributor at The Next Web.

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