While I’ve been involved in SEO for a while it still surprises me quite how unfamiliar many people are with the concept of Search Engine Marketing.
My Mum, for example, while she might not have been familiar with SEM she certainly is affected by its outcome. She, like many others will be doing a large proportion of her Christmas shopping online, the BBC reported last year how as much as £7bn will be spent online in the run up to the festive period, while the credit crunch is sure to have an effect the trend definitely is away from the uber busy town centres to shopping from the comfort of your sofa.
But how can search marketers take advantage of this?
Like most people, a lot of where those billions are spent will be decided by what appears on the search engines results pages and the search for the gift for the difficult friend or relative, provides a unique opportunity for websites small or large:
The run up to Christmas and New Year provides the perfect opportunity to create rich content that’s relevant and topical. From the simplest of ideas, like providing a helpful gift guide, to more complex campaigns with a wide variety of valuable editorial, it’s the ideal chance to use the holidays as a springboard for new ideas on your site.
The internet is a linked together place and you should work with those around you. The links between sites help people navigate around the web. These links are double-y useful; firstly someone can click on that link and go straight to your site. Secondly search engines like Google look at the links from other websites you have, so they can determine how popular your site is and how high on results your site should appear.
This works both ways, if there’s a relevant website or company your readers might be interested in you should point them in that direction. You might be a butcher and it might be worth having a link to your local Wine Merchant after a customer has ordered a turkey, these links are useful to you and your customers.
Keep an eye on what everyone else is up to. It’s always good to monitor your competitors online, they might be doing a special seasonal offer that you might be able to match, or they might be stocking some new items that you were not aware of.
If you are not selling gifts it does not have to stop you taking advantage of the festive season. If you’re a travel agent you can focus on special Christmas getaways or hot trips abroad away from a chilly December. It’s worth bearing in mind the affect the time of year can have on your marketing campaign all year round; many websites will see seasonal changes in their visitors. If you’re a recruiter January might be the ideal time to ramp up your online presence in the New Year for those wanting a fresh start in a new job.
When thinking about your sites search engine strategy remember to think like a searcher. It’s unlikely you’ll find a gift for your loved ones by typing only gift into the search box. Gift for sporty teenage girl, is far more likely to yield a suitable present. If you are using pay per click adverts be sure think about these longer more accurate search phrases.
The Christmas period offers plenty of chances to try new things online, its worth having a try if just to get away from the cold and the busy shops!
Also if you enjoyed this post you might also like these posts from last year about SEM during the holiday period…