Can you believe that the holiday shopping season is right around the corner? While most of us can agree that this year was pretty unheard of, the increase in online shoppers is definitely a good thing for retail brands. More people are forgoing the trip to the local mall in exchange for hitting up the search engines, which makes it an ideal time to ensure you’re ranking where you want to be.
As we embark on what is bound to be an absolutely epic shopping season, here are a few last-minute eCommerce search engine optimization (SEO) tips and techniques to help you prepare.
1. Catch Shopper Attention with Free Google and Bing Product Listings
One of the first things you need to do to improve your eCommerce SEO is to add your products to Google. The search engine giant gave us all a gift a few months ago by making these listings free, so taking advantage of them is really a no-brainer as we head into prime online shopping season. As a special bonus, Bing followed suit and started offering the same thing in August.
The goal here is to add as many of your products as possible. This means that when someone searches for what you’re selling, they’ll see your items come up in this list with photos and the ability to purchase right away. As more people start to shop online, this is an essential tactic that your brand needs to utilize.
2. Incorporate Product Schema to Your Listings
On the technical side, you’ll want to ensure you incorporate schema markup in your product pages. This helps Google add little bits of data to your listings when they show up in searches, such as the cost of the item, buyer ratings, reviews, and more. Furthermore, including schema can also get your items on the coveted popular products carousel, which is visible to those searching on mobile.
Why is this important? These extra bits of information signal to potential shoppers browsing through search engine listings that you carry the product and have it available for sale. Using this technique, you can easily catch their attention and gently lead them to your website over a competitor that might not use schema markups.
3. Deck the Halls with Evergreen Content
Most eCommerce SEO experts will tell you that evergreen content is the cornerstone of organic marketing success. While you should be creating relevant articles and blog posts all year long, don’t forget that you can alter them slightly for seasonal use during the holidays.
How do you do this? Well, let’s take a beauty guide for a cosmetics company, for example. Edit the content to reflect the items being purchased as gifts, such as a holiday gift guide for people buying gifts for women over forty. By taking the same information and slightly changing the audience, you can build more content for your website and improve your search ranking.
4. Create Special Category Pages for Themed Products
Another tactic for holiday shopping that our eCommerce strategists recommend is creating special category pages for themed products. For example, using the same cosmetic company idea mentioned above, create a category page with lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes that are the perfect addition to a holiday party outfit.
Once published, you can drive traffic to these special categories through eCommerce email marketing and social media. Try to be creative and choose themes that really speak to your target customer or anyone who might buy a gift for your normal target market.
5. Publish Gift Guides Targeted to the Shopper
The holiday season is a little unique in that you’re not always targeting your BigCommerce or Shopify SEO strategies towards the person who will ultimately use your product. Instead, most shoppers are buying items for someone else, which means you need to be mindful of your content tactics.
In this case, publishing gift guides that help individuals find gifts for loved ones can be incredibly useful. Think angles like the best kitchen gadgets for the foodie in your life or top skincare products to pamper your mom. The more of these guides you can create, the more there is for Google to use when someone is searching for that perfect item to stick under the tree.
6. Watch Out for Errors and Issues
Finally, you need to watch out for errors and issues with your online store and product listings. While this is something that you should always do, it is especially crucial around the holiday shopping season when you’re expecting an influx of customers.
Take a bit of time to go through all of the Shopify and BigCommerce SEO basics to ensure you’re following all of the best practices, like having appropriate alt tags and checking for broken links. Doing a thorough audit is a good way to keep anything from falling through the cracks that could potentially hurt your search engine rank.
Wrap Up: Holiday Shopping SEO
Of course, many of these eCommerce SEO tips are ideas that you really should implement all year long. By having the right amount of content, keeping your Google product listings updated, and watching out for errors, you can ensure your sales are as sweet as can be outside the normal holiday shopping season.
Need someone to help you achieve the perfect recipe for retail marketing? CAKE is here to help deck the halls from before Black Friday and beyond. Please contact our team of eCommerce marketing strategists for details.