Holiday SEO Guide – 2018 Edition

Megan Davis

October is done and over with and before we know it the holidays will be right on our doorsteps. There are so many things you can do to prep for the holiday season – turkeys, lights, trees, elves on shelves – but have you thought about your SEO?

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here is your 2018 Holiday SEO Guide:

Update your Google My Business listing:

Google lets you add special hours for a handful of important dates in the coming months:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day
Special holiday hours specification for Google my Business

Adding special hours will give your customers a heads up about when they can contact you, any extended hours you may have and any time you may be out of the office. This is an optional feature on your GMB listing, but without setting specific hours, Google will warn users that your normal hours may not be correct on these specific holidays- leaving these possible conversions up in the air.

Why leave it up to chance when you can give customers exactly what they’re looking for?

While adding these special hours, the rest of your profile could probably use a good look-over. Your NAP (name, address & phone number) should be correct, down to every punctuation. Add updated photos of the interior and exterior of your business, reply at any reviews you may have forgotten about and ensure that your business description is unique and high quality.

Earlier this year, Google released an awesome feature that allows businesses to add specific services they offer. For more information on this, check out Kevin Getch’s blog post: Google My Business Secretly Rolls Out “Services”.

Google my Business Services Webfor Example

Ready to get to work?

We decided to make this easy for you. Here’s your 2018 Holiday SEO checklist!

Google My Business Posts:

Similar to a Facebook post, Google my Business now allows users – big and small – to share content directly with users from the SERPs. Content can include text, images, event information, special deals and product details- which makes it a great announcement platform for the holidays.

Share your Black Friday sales, your Holiday cheers and your New Year’s resolutions directly to the customer. It is important to note that these posts expire after 7 days, so mark your calendar, plan accordingly and start posting!

Schedule social posts:

With the holiday craze – extended business hours, emergency appointments, long line and last minute shopping, posting on Facebook may be one of the things that have slipped through the cracks – but not this year!

Using tools like Hootsuite or Crowdfire will help you make the most of your social platforms during the holiday season. These scheduling tools let you plan what you are going to post in advance and will automatically post to your profiles on a predetermined schedule.

Hootsuite Logo
Crowdfire Logo

Start and finish your holiday posting calendar in just a few hours!

Here are a few guidelines that I like to follow when setting up a social media schedules:

  1. Stay relevant – Something that is news today, may not be news in a few weeks. When scheduling social posts in advance, take note of the date and make sure your content will still catch your user’s eye and will still provide them with value.
  2. Set goals – most businesses want their social media platforms to be a place where they can grow relationships and build awareness. Knowing what you want to get out of your social posts will help determine the type of content you should post.
  3. Have a purpose – different platforms have different audiences (LinkedIn is more business focused, Instagram is image heavy with high engagement, etc.) and different audiences want different content. Knowing exactly what each audience wants and will engage with is nearly impossible – don’t be afraid to test different types of content. Watch how much people are engaging and continue to learn about your audience – while always providing them with value.

Content is king queen:

Content is supreme during every season and with SEO activity buzzing during the next couple of months, your content should be focused and ready to provide value.

If you are struggling to come up with content topics, take off your writer’s cap. When you are shopping or researching gift ideas, what types of things are you searching for? Get into the mindset of your users and write content that appeals to the searcher’s intent.

 

Search Query: Search Volume: (per month)
what to get dad for christmas 6,600
christmas gifts for mom 49,500
thanksgiving hostess gifts 1,600

Whether you are a b2b business, brick, and mortar or e-commerce, content creation should prioritize user intent and identify problems that your ideal customers will be looking to solve.

Mobile Optimization:

I could write a long-form piece on mobile optimization alone – but for now, here is the TL;DR version.

Follow these best practices for mobile devices and get your site on the right track for the holiday mobile web-surfers.

  • Make sure you are mobile-friendly: the easiest way to go about this is running a simple test through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tester. Fingers crossed your site is responsive and easy to navigate on a mobile device. If not, please call us, you need help 🙂
Mobile Friendly Test from Google
  • Boost your mobile page speed: there are so many things you can do to ensure your site is loading fast, but to keep it simple, test, fix and test again. Use tools like Dare Boost to find out what your speed is and what is causing any slowdowns. Then, make a simple to do list. Need to optimize images? Great. Need to leverage browser caching? Sweet! Now you know what needs to get done and you can start optimizing.

Plan for 2019:

Google offers so many free tools that you can leverage in 2019. Here is list of tools that will have a big impact on your SEO and help you hit the ground running:

Ready to get to work?

Don’t forget to grab your 2018 Holiday SEO checklist.

Follow this guide to boost your SEO and provide yourself with a stable foundation for the new year.

Here’s to friends, family, holiday cheer and increased organic traffic. 🍻🎄

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