skip to Main Content
Top 5 List - Last minute Holiday SEO Check

Top 5 List: Last-Minute Holiday SEO Check


The holidays are all about lists, right? If you’re a retailer, you’ve probably completed everything on your holiday readiness list – merchandising, marketing and content prep, along with technology tests and tune-ups for top performance. Peak season planning typically begins in June and concludes by October. The good news is that there are still steps smart retailers can take to drive holiday traffic – and yes, it’s going to be up this year.

A healthy economy and strong consumer confidence are expected to drive up holiday retail sales around the world. The National Retail Federation predicts that U.S., sales will increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over last year for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion. The forecast compares with an average annual increase of 3.9 percent over the past five years. According to Shopify, global sales on Black Friday alone are expected to rise more than 15%.

The good news is that it’s not too late to get in on this action. Set up your site for success with these five last-minute holiday SEO checks.

1. Start your SEO check by updating or redirecting last year’s holiday content
Fill in the search box with holiday (and other terms you may have used in the past) to find legacy pages that are still indexed.

  • If you are reusing these URLs, you are in great shape.
  • If you will not have 2018 content at these URLs, set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the most relevant new page.

2. Plan your 2018 holiday keyword strategy
Keyword trends change over time along with your content. Keyword databases and your site analytics are great sources for identifying visitor search habits for gifting and holidays. Be sure to mine and apply this data.

3. Optimize holiday landing pages
No holiday SEO check is complete without ensuring that your holiday landing pages have URLs, titles, descriptions, headlines, content, and links geared to your customer’s search habits. Other pages on your site may also need an update if you’ve added merchandise that is giftable or holiday-related.

4. Differentiate holiday products from everyday products
If you’ve added a gift set, bundle, or travel kit of your more popular products, differentiate these product detail pages from the core product. Leverage terms related to gifting (i.e., gift set) in the title, description and copy to ensure the product pages do not compete against each other. Consider cross-linking them so that people landing on one can easily find the other.

5. To complete your SEO check, socialize your holiday pages
New pages are difficult to rank in organic search. Include your holiday pages in your holiday editorial calendar to drive social traffic, shares and likes to these pages. Consider having influencers link to key content pages like gift guides or dedicated pages with seasonal content.

Take these quick and easy steps today to optimize your site for the holidays and increase visibility among shoppers who are – yes, making their lists and checking them twice.

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton is the director of Organic Search and Content at LiveArea. As leader of the global search team, she is responsible for innovation and best practices of the LiveArea Search team. Lisa serves as the subject matter expert for global search marketing and content marketing topics. Prior to joining PFS, Lisa served as a director of Organic Search at WPP’s GroupM Search group. Previously, Lisa held agency positions at Vizion Interactive and served as president of a consulting agency, SEO Gateway.