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Why SEO should top any ecommerce store owner’s Christmas list

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For anyone that doesn’t know, SEO stands for search engine optimisation. When done right, your site will be higher up in Google search rankings and help you to beat your competitors.

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Firstly, it’s important to bear in mind the often repeated mantra that content is king. This particularly applies for ecommerce store owners looking to improve their SEO. The key to generating effective SEO-friendly content, which Google will reward with high search rankings, is to make the content unique and relevant.

In the website content, the meta descriptions, page tags and titles should all be uniquely tailored to the products on the related page. Product descriptions themselves provide you with the perfect opportunity to be creative with your copy. These descriptions should be customer-centric and include keywords from your page title.

When populating your website with content, consider running a blog. An active, well maintained blog can be one of your strongest assets when tying your website to festive-themed searches leading up to and throughout the festive period. Beware that writing quality blog posts can be time consuming so make sure to write them in advance.

Blog strategically by dedicating blog posts to major promotions, best sellers, or product categories that you want to highlight. Not only will this keep your customers informed about the store’s offerings, it will also generate quality content for Google’s crawlers.

When optimising your website for this year’s Christmas period, take a look at the analytics data on your site’s performance across October, November and December last year. Using this data, you can begin to craft your SEO strategy. For example, analyse your top landing pages, try to work out what made them so popular and see if you can apply similar tactics to other pages. Also, identify your most popular product pages and consider running special offers on these pages to tempt your customers to make a purchase.

Supplementing your SEO with a Google AdWords campaign will further increase your site’s visibility in search results and it is a fast, relatively painless way to do so. As with SEO, the time to start considering a dedicated PPC campaign for the holidays is now.

When looking to maximise your Google AdWords Christmas campaign, identify the specific keywords which you know will appeal to your target customer. Then align them and the resulting landing pages with any overriding festive themes you may have in place. For example if you are bidding on the keywords ‘woolly’ and ‘jumper’ – consider using a tongue-in-cheek image of a festive jumper on the ad or landing page. Tweaking as the season progresses is also recommended. Keep an eye on competitor activity in Google AdWords just in case they spot a new project or trend before you do.

Although the tips outlined above are fairly straightforward, it is always worth going back to basics when preparing for a major event. And for ecommerce stores, nothing comes close to the Christmas season in terms of importance. A finely tuned SEO strategy will ensure customers find your site and as most store owners know – getting them through the door is often the toughest part of the battle.

Benjamin Teszner is CEO of global ecommerce solution PrestaShop.

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