There’s been lots of talk in SEO news circles that retailers looking for last minute holiday sales tactics are out of luck. However, what has not been so prominent on the SEO news sites is that there are several proven methods to not only tweak your on-page SEO for the upcoming holidays but to benefit from these improvements.
Given the timing, our best opportunity is to focus on the low hanging fruit and easy wins, which usually means going back to the fundamentals. This article isn’t some secret link-building sauce, as those take lots of time to generate measurable results. Instead, this strategy concentrates on dotting your “i” s and crossing your “t” s so that you can yield effective outcomes rather quickly.
In all honesty, these techniques – in isolation – will not move the needle enough to ‘toprank’ your holiday inspired landing pages. In fact, they may not even get you to the first page at all. However, these strategies are much more likely to help you rank your geographic and long-tail search terms.
Nonetheless, it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that this is a last-minute effort. As such, just know that there’s a certain element of risk involved but again the good SEO news is that we’re not talking about just one tactic but several. Hence, the risk is spread across multiple digital marketing tactics.
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Google My Business
It almost goes without saying that Google My Business will factor heavily into any efforts to improve one’s local SEO presence. Indeed, whether Google Maps, Google+ Local, or Google My Business, Google has long been a key player in the quest for local search dominance.
While it’s well-established that Google My Business is essential for brick and mortar businesses what is not as widely understood is that it offers tremendous advantages for many types of service businesses. Particularly, there are two main benefits that you can derive from enhancing your Google My Business profile.
- Local Authority. It improves your local web presence by telling Google that you are a bona fide company; this is even truer when you verify your listing using Google’s postcard verification. This tells Google that you possess a physical presence and are indeed a legitimate business concern.
More importantly, your Google My Business profile produces a knowledge graph that includes information from your Google My Business listing. Hence, when prospects search for products that you offer, your local information would stand out against competitors that lack a Google My Business presence.
Doing an appropriate Google My Business page usually takes no more than a few hours of work. However, it’s well worth the effort. The way it works is that after you complete your local profile, Google sends a physical postcard to your company. Upon receiving you locate the code and share the code with Google to confirm receipt and ‘verify’ your business location. Upon requesting a verification postcard, it should only take a few days to receive the postcard.
If you have not yet validated your Google My Business listing, you can do so at https://www.google.com/business/.
- Optimize Your Meta Titles and Description Text. While they don’t directly improve rankings, titles do have an indirect impact on searches. Namely, they help increase your click-through rate. Primarily, they optimize your result by improving its visual appeal and speaking to the intent of the user.
So make time to review your titles and descriptions to make sure they are optimized for SEO and higher click-through rates. Doing so is a matter of ensuring that your titles and descriptions fall below maximum character accounts; it is generally 55 characters for titles and 150 characters for description tags.
Establish the Right Focus Keywords
It is true that selecting the best focus keywords for your holiday SEO campaigns is about racking up easy wins, one after the next. However, collectively it is about dominating entire business categories.
Building a search term list is about using basic keyword research to identify your most relevant search terms. By considering characteristics such as search volume, competition, suggested PPC prices, etc. you can eliminate unfavorable terms. By virtue of you reading this, it’s clear that you’re looking for a last-minute strategy to boost your pages to the top of holiday searches.
With just weeks before the season ends, if you’re not ranking for the broader search term “shoes,” that’s okay. Why? Because if you play your cards right, you may still be able to rank for “men’s shoes Atlanta,” or perhaps even “shoes Atlanta.”
Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you have a carefully crafted master keyword list and local SEO strategy, the next step is building keyword rich content around these two pillars. Upon doing so, you can also use social media and guest blogging to direct traffic and backlinks to your organic landing pages.
Working these strategies in tandem should be sufficient to generate the holiday sales that you seek. It may not be glamorous; however, you should find these tactics well-worth the effort.