It's October and holiday marketing campaigns are about to start in earnest. As was mentioned in the article last week, using internet marketing to compliment a traditional advertising campaign can increase holiday sales. There are also ways that SEO specifically can help retailers make a greater impact on holiday shoppers. But since it takes time for any changes made for the sake of SEO to show an effect, now is the time to start on any holiday SEO marketing plans. Here are four holiday SEO tips that business owners can start working on now.

1. Create Holiday Themed Content for Website


Though most websites make cosmetic changes to their sites for the holidays, this tip is more about the written content on the site. During the holidays, people are searching for different kinds of information than at other times in the year. Writing SEO friendly content that provides that kind of information will lead to more traffic to the site. For example, a golf supplies retailer would be better served by blog posts about the perfect gift for golfers, than they would be by more mundane posts about golf topics. People won't be searching for "perfect golf gift" in greater numbers than usual until mid November and early December. But in order for a post to rank highly when those searches do happen, then it's best to start publishing the posts now so search algorithms can crawl the pages.

2. Use PPC Ads to Target Holiday-Related Queries


Similar to the previous point, marketers need to modify their SEO PPC ads to target holiday related searches. Though the target demographic for a product hasn't changed, during the holidays, the target buyer does. To continue the previous analogy, the golf clubs are still for the avid golfer, but the target buyer has become the wife or child who doesn't play golf. Changing PPC ads to account for this shift can let retailers capture a larger audience than they would if they left their ads unchanged. Just as "best golf gift" would make a good post, it's also a good keyword phrase to target for PPC ads during the holidays.

3. Increase Emphasis on Local Shopping or Free Shipping Options


One of the reasons the holidays get so hectic is that everyone in the country has the same deadline. It leads to product shortages, shipping delays and so on. SEO marketers can use this to their advantage by making it clear on the website when features such as in-store pickup, free shipping, guaranteed shipping, and the like are available. A recent Eyeview study found that found that more than half (52 percent) of shoppers will research potential purchases online before going to stores. Retailers that use their websites to show product availability or offer site-to-store shipping can market themselves to consumers looking for those features. As Christmas gets nearer, guaranteed by Christmas shipping becomes very important, but marketers need to get that information on the site as soon as possible to enjoy the SEO benefit in time for Christmas.

4. Add More SEO Friendly Images and Reviews


Images and reviews are another place where marketers can insert more holiday SEO terms into their site. While a brand should never write their own reviews, they should search the reviews they have on hand for any that say things like "best gift ever" or "the perfect gift for a grandmother". Not only will this increase the likelihood of the product page showing up in searches for those terms, it also helps when people search for the product and reviews show up in the results. It's more than a little helpful if a gift shopper who's wondering if an item is a good gift sees a review that says it's the perfect gift. For images, brand should include holiday themed imagery and include images with names that include words like "gift", "holidays", etc. The alt-text for images is used for search algorithms, so marketers can use it to their advantage. For example, an image with several golf products with a holiday-themed background can be titled "best holiday golf gifts for dad". It's just another way to legitimately get those keywords onto the website.

As was mentioned before, SEO changes take time to affect search result pages, so business owners and marketers shouldn't wait. Adding more holiday-themed, SEO-friendly content can have a tremendous effect on website traffic and overall sales.

For some more SEO tips business owners can use, read this article with some simple local SEO strategies.