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Christmas 2013

Andreas Voniatis | November 21, 2012

Many marketers right now will be under pressure to ensure their brands are well prepared for the Christmas season especially for those that operate in online retail.  We’ve put together some considerations that will hopefully be borne in mind in preparation for the festive season.

Trending words and items

Understanding the buying and search patterns will be important.  one could look at a number of sources including:

Conversions - perhaps you can analyse last years November and December data to make some sense of what is likely to repeat itself this year.  Not everything will carry over , especially if you’re not selling the same products anymore or you’re not planning to restock the same products.

Search patterns - You may also find certain search strings become popular to help make your pages more semantically relevant.  If you were as smart as Coca Cola was when they turned Santa from a green costume wearing saint to one that dons red then you’ll probably coin something unique for Christmas.  For example, you may create Christmas branded offers unique and exclusive to you.  Such Christmas branded words will be much easier for you defend rankings as you’ll be the originator.  This will obviously need some PR effort to pull this off to create the search phrase demand in the first place.

PR and advertising campaigns - Now might be the time to revisit the analysis of last years campaigns to see what messages and media outlets worked and what didn’t work so that you can perhaps refine or learn from them to ensure this year goes well.  Of course no year is the same as the last, there may be trends you identify unique to this year that require experimentation.

Server Capacity

Of course, the last thing you want is to be getting all this wonderful xmas traffic from the search engines and referring sites only to find your servers crashed leaving visitor unable to get through the online shop door.  So check your bandwidth requirements, optimise those e-commerce databases and keep analysing those crawl logs to ensure you ban those shopper engine robots, SEO link tool crawlers and eliminate those server redirect chains.

Meta titles and descriptions

It’s a lot of leg work if your products do lend itself to the season, however you really need to help differentiate your hampers (for example) to reflect the Christmas message.  Yes it’s true that hampers are mostly sold during Christmas and people know that it is for Christmas.  However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the winning edge by doing the work to ensure your titles and descriptions have some seasonal tidings and prose in your meta titles and descriptions.  Of course this needs to be reflected in the landing page copy too.

Xmas Special Offer pages

Yes that’s right,, if you haven’t got the message already what about a new landing page reflecting the best of your exclusive Christmas offers?  people do stick Christmas as a search word alongside what it is you do or sell, don’t be mug and miss out.  This also include having sitewide CSS stylesheets to reflect the festive spirit.

Andreas qualified as a management accountant (ACMA) after graduating in Economics with honours from Leeds University. In 2003, pursued a career in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and has since held various Head of Search roles for award winning agencies including Infectious Media and prestigious startups. In 2010, Andreas became an independent consultant to international agencies and brands worldwide providing SEO consultancy services and online PR, including Exxon Mobil, Tesco, HSBC, Zurich, Quorn as well as startups including Discount Vouchers. His work has been featured in the Telegraph and Search Engine Watch particularly for reverse engineering the Google Penguin algorithm to a 98% statistical confidence level in 2013.