If you sell online, then you’ve likely either participated in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or are considering it in the plan for this year.
The demand was particularly high last year, as revealed in our Black Friday Early Analysis which showed Google’s data on search behaviour for category-specific Black Friday offers and brand specific Black Friday deals.
Not only can the Black Friday start to the Christmas shopping splurge, get sales off to the best possible start this year, but the campaign interaction value can deliver long term domain authority and retargeting opportunities that extend the return on investment across many years to come.
So from our experience of running over 350 digital marketing campaigns since 2011, here’s our 6 most effective eCommerce SEO strategies for Black Friday mastery:
1. Start planning now
June is the ideal time to start planning your Black Friday and Christmas SEO campaigns because you’ll need to start building up the authority of your top-selling seasonal pages at least 6 months before you want to be found on page 1 of Google.
Waiting until September to plan and October to create the pages, means you might not be able to start promoting them until November – then Black Friday will have come and gone before you’ve built any authority.
2. Create dedicated landing pages
The search engines love an exact match keyword, so use your own historical analytics data and Keyword Research Tools to find out specifically what everyone searched for previously. Think about keywords such as “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday”, “Cyber Weekend” and of course “Christmas” related terms. Then create your landing pages, with the main target keyword in the URL structure, the meta data, the main heading and the internal links pointing to that page.
You can put your pages live immediately and just not link to them from your main navigation until you’re ready to start promoting your offers nearer the time. It’s never too early to start getting your pages indexed in Google! Plus if you did create some Black Friday or Christmas landing pages last year, always use the same URLs again and then every year you’ll build upon the previous year’s work to propel your pages to the top of page 1.
3. Develop a jaw-dropping offer
If you really want to take advantage of Black Friday, then go for an amazing offer that none of your competitors are doing. If you’re stuck for inspiration, get ideas from other sectors and apply them to yours. It could be a discount, a free product or a bundle of products for one great price.
When thinking about any sales promotion, you need to make sure that the offer is financially viable. Ideally create an offer that is profitable, so that every time you sell the offer you’re making money and not making a loss. Product bundles are a great way to provide huge customer value, whilst keeping the average order also high enough for the total purchase to turn a profit.
4. Get extreme influence
By developing a jaw-dropping sales promotion, you also gain the major benefit of your offer being news in itself. The more unbelievable the offer, the more likely it could be picked up as a sector news story or even a national news story if you really get it right.
Of course, as with all digital PR campaigns, not only will the online buzz send a spike in traffic to your site but all those high domain authority links to your Black Friday landing page will help your site rank higher in search results for your Black Friday keyword targets and also pass on some of that goodness to the rest of the site to prop up all of your keyword rankings.
5. Promote to your biggest brand advocates
If your offer is all-that then your audience is going to love it too and once they hear about it, they can start sharing it on social media, deal sites and money saving forums (especially if you make it easy for them to share with share buttons and email to a friend functions).
To get the most out of your Black Friday and Christmas offers pages, get in touch with your most engaged customers to give them the heads up, so they are ready to pounce on the offer and start promoting on their social networks.
6. Announce across all your channels
Leave no channel out. Your own website, blog, email marketing and social media marketing, are all essential places to launch the offer with a link direct to the dedicated landing page or section.
If you’re already running an ongoing eCommerce SEO campaign, then you’ll likely have existing blogger, editor and journalist relationships you can share your Black Friday deals with. If you have a paid media budget, then also make sure you co-ordinate with your PPC and Social Advertising teams to promote your offer through your Google AdWords, Shopping, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and Retargeting campaigns.
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