You’re right. It’s too late to start ranking for the keyword, “gifts.” Thank the SEO Gods, you can still make a difference with some last-minute SEO – which, when you think about it, is a lot like last-minute holiday shopping: sometimes, you can get really, really lucky.
1. Exploit the freshness factor: update old articles and add holiday themes.
For your holiday marketing, it’s all about giving your readers what they want before they even know it. Update pre-existing content to be holiday- and user-friendly; turn a list of your favorite kitchen appliances into “The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For the Baker,” or a tech article into “The Perfect Gift for the Techie in Your Life.”
If you’re an e-commerce site, this not only gives you a chance to showcase your products and bring in sales, but also helps you rank higher by tapping into the fresh factor.
2. Season your meta descriptions: add holiday terms to your metadata.
Adjust any meta descriptions or title tags in any older posts or landing pages so that they’re optimized to increase CTR (click-through rate) this holiday season. For example, Etsy’s landing page for “gifts” includes the words “this holiday season” in its meta description. These three little words can make a difference for your marketing.
3. Get Pinterested.
65% of shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift, which means, you need to step up your social game as much as possible this holiday season. It’s probably not worth trying to beat Katy Perry’s “still-more-than-Obama’s” number of Twitter followers, but it is worth dusting off those ol’ Pinterest boards you’ve barely touched all year. 47.7% of shoppers use Pinterest for “gift inspiration,” which means your Pinned content could make a critical difference in the early stage of the buyer’s journey.
4. Detox your site.
You’re thinking: “Why would I pay or take the time to do a site audit if nothing has gone wrong since Penguin or Panda or this extremely large site change I recently implemented?” Two words: Murphy’s Law.
Whether or not your site’s running smoothly, it’s always wise to perform a site health audit before the holidays. This is your chance to fix any back-end technical problems but also tend to the little things: scan your site’s analytics and log files, fix your 404 errors and broken links, and make sure all live files are accounted for. After all, it’s the Internet, and the last thing the Internet wants to see is a broken link.
Before you spend next Friday night clicking through every single link on your site, try downloading a broken link checker (Chrome plugin) to automatically scan your site for 404s and 403s. See more tips on clearing up site redirects from SEER Interactive’s Founder Wil Reynolds in this webinar (scrub to 8:00).
5. Watch those rankings.
During the holidays, it’s especially important to catch any ranking drop and address it immediately. Think about your rankings like you do your Instagram likes – check, refresh, check, refresh (everyone does it).
Using a tool like the Daily Performance Manager in Searchlight — which immediately notifies you of any ranking drops or surges — can be a huge advantage over your competitors this holiday season.
Time it Takes to Check Rankings: 2 Minutes
Have any more last-minute SEO tips to offer before the holiday season? Comment below to let us know.