The holidays are a beautiful time for SEOs and marketers. Especially for those in ecommerce and affiliate marketing. It’s that time of year when people spend tons of money to buy gifts for friends, family, and loved ones. And going a bit over budget is pretty common. In fact, in 2019, American consumers planned to spend around $942 on just Christmas gifts alone. Now, you could easily go and spend your ad dollars during the holidays to boost sales. But CPC and CPMs are usually much higher during this time which will dig into your profits. Or you can implement some dead-simple SEO strategies to drive organic traffic to your site holiday after holiday after holiday. So in this tutorial, I’m going to cover some simple SEO tips you can implement for the holidays that’ll help you rank your pages higher at arguably the busiest seasons of the year.
It’s important to note a couple things about doing SEO for the holidays and this will help us set realistic expectations for the SEO tips I’m about to share with you.
#1. SEO takes time. So you need to actually plan and implement your strategy in advance.
For example, a lot of ecommerce sites will begin promoting the next holiday soon after one passes.
#2. Holiday-related queries are seasonal – obviously. But what may not be obvious to some is that many of these queries are freshness-dependent. And that means, these pages need to be updated.
And we’ll go deeper into this for some of the SEO tips. Alright, so let’s get started with the first holiday SEO tip and that’s to add internal links on high-authority pages to your holiday pages. So for a lot of sites, the home page is going to be your most linked-to page. And with backlinks comes authority. So by linking out to these holiday pages and posts, you’re effectively passing PageRank to URLs that could use it during that time of the year.
But you shouldn’t stop at your homepage. You should also look for other relevant pages on your site. To do this, go to Google and search for site:yourdomain.com and then the name of the holiday. And this will show you pages on your site that mention the holiday name.
Now, you don’t necessarily need to use the holiday name. If there’s a specific product or type of product you’re promoting over the holidays, then you can run different searches for those. So I’ll just change the holiday name to the name of a product I want to promote and run the search. Then it’s just a matter of visiting the pages and adding relevant links if possible. Now, again, just because you do it, it doesn’t mean that things are going to change instantly.
Consider doing it around 1-2 months in advance if possible or after the previous holiday season. And this will give Google and other search engine crawlers time to crawl those pages and discover the new links. Alright, the next tip is to find seasonal topics and create pages for them.
Now, while there are some businesses that actually see a decrease in revenue during the holidays, most consumer based businesses have seasonal pages they should be creating. Let’s take a not so obvious profession as an example, like dentists.
You might think that this profession doesn’t have much to do with any holidays because it’s an essential service and if you can afford it or you’re insured, you’ll probably go. But did you know that there’s a huge spike in Halloween dental-related queries every single year? And there’s actually even more searches for Christmas dental queries. In fact, both of these queries have hundreds of monthly searches in the United States where search intent is mostly based around dental tips and ideas.
And a key thing to note is that search volumes in SEO tools are based on 12 month averages. Meaning, there’s going to be way more searches that happen in that 1-2 month period, than for the rest of the year, making those months potentially very high traffic. So to find keyword ideas for these pages, you’ll need to start with a list of seed keywords. So I’d start by listing out the different products and/or services you sell. For example, if you had an ecommerce store that sold consumer electronics, you might add in things like air fryer, headphones, laptop etc. Next, you’ll need to run these keywords through a keyword research tool.
And I’m using Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer. So I’ll just paste in this list of keywords and run the search. Next, I’ll head over to the Matching terms report. Now, to narrow in on relevant queries, I’ll hit the Include box and paste in a list of holidays. I’ll also hit the Any word tab and apply the filter.
And now you’ll see a list of relevant keywords to your products and services along with their metrics. Now, relevant keywords to holidays don’t have to include the actual name of the holiday. It can be related to the person that people are buying for. Mother’s day and Father’s day are the most obvious examples. For example, if we use “golf” as our seed and go back to the Matching terms report, we can hit the Include box and type in phrases like “for mom” and “for dad. ” Again, I’ll choose the Any word tab and hit Apply.
And as you can see, we found out that “golf gifts for dad” seems to be a pretty popular query. Now, if I click on that keyword, you can actually see the trend of searches. And as you can see there are some noticeable spikes every year. One around June, which is around Father’s day, and one in December which is Christmas time.
Now, if you’re able to find some good holiday topics for your website, you’ll need to create pages for them. So you’ll have to do things like see if you can match searcher intent and analyze your chances of ranking for that keyword. And we have a full SEO course that teaches you how to do this so I’ll link that up in the description. And this brings us nicely to the next tip, which is to update your seasonal content to make it evergreen. An oxymoron, but hear me out.
It’s obvious why holidays are seasonal. And as I showed you before, there are usually huge spikes in search volume during the holiday season. But holidays like Valentines day, Mothers’ and Father’s day, Black Friday, and Christmas are always going to be big shopping seasons for the foreseeable future. And from an SEO perspective, search intent is unlikely to change much. So rather than creating new pages every year and deleting the previous year’s, create an evergreen page, keep it alive in the off season, and update it around a month or two before the holiday to give it time to rank.
In this way, you’ll retain the link equity, continue to build authority to that one page and hopefully appear at the top of Google for your query every year. And this is what both TechRadar, a content site, and Best Buy, an ecommerce site, have been doing on Black Friday every single year. And as a result, they get a ton of organic traffic throughout the holiday season. Now, if you’ve already created seasonal pages for previous years, it’s probably worth redirecting them to your evergreen page. For example, Indy Star created a video games Black Friday deals page in 2017.
And they created another one in 20201. Now, if I take these URLs and toss them into Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool, you can see the number of referring domains to the pages and see whether they’re worth redirecting to your evergreen page. Alright, the next tip is to improve click through rate or CTR. Now, whether CTR is a ranking signal or not, more clicks equals more visitors. And for commercial queries, especially during the holidays, that probably means a lot more sales.
Now, in order to improve your CTR in the SERPs, you have to test it because each SERP is going to be different. So one way to do this would be to test title and description combinations with search ads. But seeing as holidays only run for a short period of time, it might be tough to find a winning combination. So instead, you can use a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to see how your competitor’s paid ads have performed in search.
To do this, just take the ad URL from a competitor and search for it in Site Explorer.
Then head on over to the ads report. And you’ll see things like the actual ad copy, which you can use for inspiration, keyword metrics, and the percentage of paid traffic generated by a given ad. There are obviously tons of ways to experiment with title tags so if you want to learn more about that, then I recommend watching our video on how to write a title tag to improve CTR. These are just a few low-hanging tips to get more organic traffic during the holidays.