SEO Question: When should I focus my SEO efforts on Christmas related keywords?

Image from SXC.hu

Another great search related question has come in which is:

“When should I target Christmas related terms with SEO?”

In my honest opinion you should start to target these as early as possible – I’d normally advise around July/August time.

Typically there are a few things you should do:

1. Past orders and best sellers

Firstly, I’d review how the past year went in terms of Christmas sales and see which your biggest sellers were. From that, check Analytics (or whatever statistics package you are using) to see how customers found your Christmas products via the search engines and then work on these keywords again, especially if the product is timeless.

2. Keywords, keywords, keywords

If you have new products or even if you don’t, research and anticipate what customers may be searching for. Maybe do a small amount of customer research and ask how they may search for the products. You may find with new products, especially to the market place, that there will be little keyword data.

3. Xmas Adwords campaign

If you’re struggling with keyword ideas, Adwords could be a quick alternative, especially over the holiday season. Whilst this way maybe more expensive than SEO, you will have this data for the following year which can then be built into an SEO campaign.

4. Blog about Xmas gifts early

If you look at the big superstores in London, they start to advertise Xmas very early and you should do the same with blogging. Start writing articles around August time and try and do at least once a month – also share these on social sites like Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc. Not only will this help the overall campaign but may also generate a few extra sales from those well organised Xmas shoppers.

5. Design tweaks

Whilst this doesn’t directly affect SEO, I’d always recommend adding a Christmas feel to a site. From my conversion rate optimisation (CRO) experience, customers buy more when a season is expressed through a design - remember customers buy with emotion.

So, is it to late?

Simple answer, no! Whilst this post may be a little late in terms of what I’d advise, I recommend that you look for the long tail search terms. Typically, these can be easier to achieve from a search point-of-view and can generate good order volumes because they are very targeted.

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