Monday, September 30, 2013

Planning SEO for the Holiday - with humanity

http://info.exactsource.com/Portals/165494/images/holiday%20job%20search.jpgSearch Engine Watch online offers a set of solid tips that may be of value to those new to the Internet and marketing.

 First off, people search for holiday bargains, deals and gifts. And secondly, if you want to get in front of those holiday shoppers, you should have specific pages for them to find in the search engine.

 You're going to need a plan around the holiday calendar - early October for Haloween promotions, early November for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, the last day you can offer free shipping for holiday delivery, post holiday cleanup sales and more.


Now, you know when you're going to offer what - but how to get it in front of the shopper? Use the right keywords. Drill into Google Keywords - Google Trends and Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool are invaluable sourcing for brainstorming keyword lists and uncovering potential new target terms for holiday 2013 optimization. Find terms that will help educate shoppers about your offers and promotions. Be darn sure that the keywords you're including on your page are reflected in the page content. If you're offering 'secret santa' gifts in your keywords, you should have relevant, targeted content about secret santa gifts you offer. The big search engines will penalize you if you're spammy in your keywords, using words unrelated to your page content. Your customers will also punish you, dropping you from their consideration and mindshare if they click through and find no related content.


Beyond your keywords, you should make sure your page titles, Open Graph titles and body text all reflect the search terms you're keying in on for the holiday season. Don't be a dweeb though; this is overkill and reflects poorly on the site. Keyword loading may get search hits, but between the typos (foe?) and the spammy title, you're not going to be generating any long term or quality customers.
http://cms.searchenginewatch.com/IMG/072/270072/google-serp-meta-info-modcloth-gifts-category.jpg?1379011039

Search engines take some time to crawl and index your pages; pre-publishing landing pages with some good textual descriptions and hints about what's coming is handy to give the crawlers something to latch onto. Use social sharing too, so your visitors can share the sweet upcoming deal with their networks.

Most importantly though; remember not to burn your goodwill and customer sentiment on oneshot marketing efforts. Seth Godin phrases it best: "In the connection economy, though, the thoughtful, patient, mature and modern approach wins out. Because connection is built on trust and generosity, not on snark and short-term wins." It takes years to build a reputation and high search engine rank. And a couple thoughtless decisions to ruin it.
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