With Christmas countdown truly underway, Jordan Moxham takes a closer look at digital marketing opportunities in the lead up to the festive season and offers her top tips for engaging with the online Christmas shopper.

In the world of SEO, Christmas cheer begins straight out of our summer months in September. This is when searches begin to increase amongst those eager Christmas consumers. However, not everyone is this organised and if you’re on Santa’s SEO naughty list, don’t worry. We’ve got our SEO Christmas list full of last minute Christmas tips and advice to help you get your share of the SEO Christmas cake.

1. Make Sure You’ve Got a Cracker of a Site

Scan your site to ensure that there are no major crawl issues, such as important pages returning 404 error codes or an indirect redirect. There’s no easier way to put off a potential Christmas shopper than returning an error page or taking them to another page irrelevant to their search.

In the rare chance that your user does land on an error page – customise it! Create an error page that can spread some Christmas cheer and keep your shopper on your site. This can include Christmas offers, a countdown to Christmas or gift ideas – providing your shopper with an easy way back into the site to find the Christmas gift they’re after.

2. Let your Site Structure be the Star on the Top of the Tree

To pass more PageRank strength into your last minute seasonal pages, placing links in your navigation will help to increase visibility on your Christmas collection. And also make it much easier for your Christmas shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for.

It’s always worth considering the effect that this can have on other pages within your navigation though. As adding more pages for a short period of time to your navigation means that less strength will be passed to your existing pages.

What does this mean? You’re likely to see fluctuations in rankings and organic visibility on pages that may have previously been stable throughout the year, as the strength to these pages will be diluted by adding more pages to your navigation.

3. Deck the Halls with Christmas Content

It might be too late to create individual landing pages for your Christmas collections, but a great alternative is to create a Christmas landing page that includes links to all of your products that are suitable for the Christmas period.

At such a late stage, it may be a challenge to gain much organic visibility across high searched for Christmas keywords. However, including variations and targeting long-tail terms could help to increase your visibility in the search results.

Even at Christmas, Google favours those sites that regularly update their site with fresh, relevant content. And what is more relevant than Christmas blogs at Christmas? Get a Blog Creation Calendar in place for the run up to Christmas that promotes your seasonal offering as well as the key products you want to promote over the Christmas period.

4. Christmas – ’tis the Season to Share and be Jolly!

It’s important to create a well wrapped digital marketing Christmas present by sharing your Christmas offers through your social channels, and integrating SEO and paid search strategies to maximise on this last minute potential.

If you know your seasonal promotional calendar in advance you’ll be in a great position to share your Christmas offers and gift ideas through your key social channels while also tailoring your ads to be specific to the offer relevant to that day or week, rather than just a generic Christmas message.

Integrating your strategies will also allow you to reach out to those last minute shoppers with quick delivery dates, Christmas giveaways and competitions, plus offers that are specific.

It’s also important to effectively manage your paid search budgets to ensure that you’re pushing during big sales and key times when users will more than likely be Christmas shopping. Dates for the diary include Black Friday and Cyber Monday – and even post-Christmas sales.

5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town – He Let us Know via Mobile

With research suggesting that 40% of online sales in the UK take place on a mobile or tablet device and 42% of internet page views in the UK come from mobiles or tablets – it’s important to consider multi-device targeting in your Christmas campaigns.

Make sure that your Christmas shoppers can easily view, research and purchase products off your site regardless of whether they’re on a desktop computer, tablet or mobile. This level of usability will make for happy shoppers who may even remember your site beyond the Christmas period…

With your website, organic and paid search campaigns now fully optimised to deliver on Christmas cheer, all that’s left is to remember to leave out a mince pie on 24 December.

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About the author:

Jordan Moxham is a Digital Account Manager at ClickThrough Marketing. Since graduating in 2014 with a degree in English Language, she has spent all her time sinking her teeth into the world of SEO. Jordan manages a variety of client accounts, and specifically works with ClickThrough’s Web Development team to ensure that all web builds are built according to SEO best practice.