Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cyber Monday Three SEO Tips For Optimized Sites

Last year, 127 million people shopped online on Cyber Monday (source), the consumer "holiday" that now rivals Black Friday. In fact, the distinction between Cyber Monday and Black Friday has essentially collapsed, for consumers, at least, who now view the Thanksgiving weekend (which also includes Small Business Saturday) as one long shopping event.

Even Thanksgiving, the sacred family holiday, is part of the action. Last year, both Thanksgiving and Black Friday broke online sales records, of $1.33 Billion and $2.4 Billion respectively (source). On Thanksgiving Day last year, "mobile traffic accounted for 52.1 percent of all online traffic – the first time mobile devices have outpaced their PC counterparts for online browsing" (source), a trend that likely threatened many dinnertime discussions.

Whatever your personal thoughts about America's relentless consumerism, and how it has now invaded Turkey Day, it is clear that certain online retailers stand to benefit greatly from the upcoming holiday weekend. Of course, who benefits (and who does not) will be determined by traffic. Who will attract the most attention?

For any online business, the distinction between success and failure is not necessarily about the quality of a given product; instead, success is more often defined by effective marketing, not simply SEO, but content marketing, email campaigns, social media campaigns, and more. A day like Cyber Monday makes this distinction all the more evident. If you want to succeed, you need to attract more attention than your competitor.

Perhaps this distinction is obvious. We venture to say, however, that too many retailers (both online and brick-and-mortar) spend too much time on product development to the detriment of marketing. And too many online retailers ignore SEO in favor of PPC campaigns that yield little results.

For two years now we've offered SEO tips for Cyber Monday. In offering these tips, we have also submitted a basic truth: good Cyber Monday SEO is simply good SEO. In other words, a thoughtful, consistent SEO campaign performed over months and years will prove beneficial for your site on any given day, especially Cyber Monday.

If you have yet to perform basic SEO for your site, we suggest reading our first Cyber Monday article:

Organic SEO: Five Tips for a Successful Cyber Monday and Beyond 

If you want to get a little more advanced, read last year's Cyber Monday article:

Organic SEO: Five More Tips for a Successful Cyber Monday & Beyond

Ah, the wonder of window shopping--today a great deal of our gifts are purchased online.

If you do perform consistent SEO,  and your site is established and competitive in its industry, you can improve your clicks (and hopefully your sales) by performing a few small SEO tweaks. This is SEO for established brands.

1. Create a Gift Guide

This advice is akin to our previous advice to "create a unique Cyber Monday landing page." Creating a new page on a well-optimized site can attract immediate attention. This is the advantage of an ongoing SEO campaign. (New page on a site that has not been optimized will likely not attract much attention).

A gift guide collates your best products into a unique landing page that you can easily promote on social media. If your guide is stylish and savvy, you will attract increased shares and likes. If you have the budget, this is the place to use new product photos, models, or savvy art work and design.

2. Create a Thoughtful Social Media Campaign

Again, if you're already practicing SEO, you likely have a good social media following. Take advantage of your followers by crafting a unique and thoughtful social media campaign. Start early by promoting your best products. Be consistent in your message from the beginning of your campaign to Cyber Monday. Share your gift guide.

On the day itself, schedule time to interact with your customers. Be responsive to immediate questions and concerns. If possible, answer all and any queries on your Facebook page or Twitter profile. By showing yourself to be responsive to your customer's needs, you create a relationship that might extend beyond the day.

If you're on Pinterest, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of great design or marketing collateral.

3. Update Your Popular Pages

A well optimized site should enjoy a variety of popular pages. Take advantage of the existing traffic by updating these pages for holiday-specific keywords (change the keywords after the holidays). For your most popular pages, you might even create Cyber Monday-specific header and title tags to attract a specific audience. Just make sure to give the search engines time to "crawl" the new content. If you're already a trusted site, this should happen relatively quickly.

Cyber Monday Marketing with Stepman's PC 

If you're looking for an SEO company that understands how to effectively promote websites for specific seasonal shopping days--such as Cyber Monday, Christmas, or Valentines'--we suggest contacting our sponsor, Stepman's PC: 215-900-9398 Stepman's PC combines traditional marketing methods and organic SEO--with an emphasis on natural website optimization--to design thoughtful, inspiring, and effective SEO campaigns that can attract your ideal customer.