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Black Friday SEO – Prepare Your Ecommerce Store for Rapid Sales

October 18, 2018

9 Min Read
SEO for Black Friday
Reading Time: 9 minutes

You are all set to get more sales on Black Friday. Your store is up, running, and has the latest products available. In short, you are ready for the sales frenzy.

But… there is one major problem. Your store is not showing up in searches! What to do?

Get it back within the SERPs by using proper Black Friday SEO techniques for holiday season.

Since ecommerce SEO for Black Friday is a lot different than regular SEO because you have to beat time and competitors to rank higher within the SERPs. Therefore, we have come up with precise actionable SEO tips that can help you do that.

In a hurry? Get directly to a specific topic on the page.

 

1. Black Friday SEO Tips for Ecommerce Stores

SEO is a combination of on-page and off-page changes. If you neglect either one of these aspects, the website won’t appear in search results. So, let’s start optimizing on-page SEO first.

2. On-Page SEO Black Friday Tips for Ecommerce Stores

On-page SEO consists of technical and normal on-page optimizations. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that 70 percent ratio of SERP rankings is dependent on proper on-page SEO.

I. Technical On-Page

The major part of on-page SEO consists of technical SEO. So, we will start with that.

i. Review Your Technical SEO Fundamentals

First of all, do ensure you have all the technical aspects in place. These include having proper URL structure. Having 301 redirects for all pages that you have moved to new URLs. You must also add temporary 302 redirects for pages that are currently in development, and add 404 error message. In short, just review the technical SEO fundamentals of your ecommerce store. More on this below.

ii. Resolving 404 Error Pages

Make sure you have a proper 404 error page in place.

The 404 error pages are a dead-end. Especially when bots are trying to discover pages and when they land on a 404 page, they think nothing exists beyond. The only way to resolve this is by having a custom 404 page. It is especially essential for ecommerce stores trying to market themselves on Black Friday.

404 page

iii. Placing 301 redirects on broken links and lost landing pages

Another strategy that most ecommerce stores often overlook is the addition of 301 redirect to pages. There are thousands of product pages on an ecommerce store. They often change the URLs of these pages. So, when a bot searches for a page and finds a 404 page, it will de-rank it from the SERPs. Instead, if it finds a 301 redirect, it can replace the previous link with the new one, without affecting the rank in SERPs.

For example: We have redirected our previous content link to a new one.
Old: https://www.cloudways.com/blog/ecommerce-optimization/
New: https://www.cloudways.com/blog/ecommerce-optimization-guide/

iv. Ensuring Servers Can Handle High Visitor Traffic

Make sure that your ecommerce store is ready to take the traffic. For this, you need a cloud hosting server that comes with auto scaling feature. The main reason most ecommerce stores crash during Black Friday sales is because they are not prepared to handle an unprecedented surge of traffic.

Slow Store Load Time = Downtime in 2018 | SEE HOW

v. Optimizing Page Speed for Fast Load-outs

Ecommerce stores that have optimized pages for speed get more importance from search engines. Not only they rank them faster, but the users also love them. Therefore, you must improve the page load time of an ecommerce store by adding advanced cache on server and platform level plugins. You can also add CSS and Java minifying scripts to increase page speed.

vi. Optimize URLs – Keyword Focused

Remember to use keyword-based URLs. Brian Dean of Backlinko has published a complete guide on on-page SEO in which he mentions that adding keyword in the URL increases its weightage in SERPs. Hence, if your landing page is about Black Friday Deals, then create the landing page as: cloudways.com/black-Friday-deals

Optimize URLs – Keyword Focused

Check our URL structure for holiday season offers (Screengrab)

These are some of the necessary changes you can do on your website to make it compliant with search engines.

II. Normal On-Page SEO for Black Friday

Normal on-page SEO changes are those that store owners can do themselves to improve ranking within search results. Here is how to go about them.

i. Insert Visible Calls-to-Action

Insert Calls to Action (CTAs) on each product page, landing page, blog, and even press releases. Your visitors should know what your business is all about and how they can easily buy from you. Add CTAs like ‘Check out this product’s review,’ ‘Buy PRODUCT at HALF PRICE’ and others to create an urgency.

ii. Holiday Landing Pages – Internal Linking

Develop a specific landing page for Black Friday. Make a superb design for the page and add featured products on it to sell.

Walmart has a Black Friday page available. They keep the same page and post deals on it when Black Friday comes.

Holiday Landing Pages – Internal Linking

Walmart Black Friday page (Screengrab)

Why are they using the same page? Because it is already indexed, and each New Year its weightage increases in search engines.

Moz Link Checker

We ran the Walmart page through Moz Link Checker and here are the results. As you can see, it has a pretty good page authority. Let’s checkout it’s yearly trend.

Moz page authority

The page authority has increased by five points within a year.

iii. Optimize Meta Tags and Descriptions with Targeted “Black Friday” Keywords

In simple terms, optimize for Black Friday main page and its relevant pages. The best way to do it is by adding meta-title, description, and tags relevant to the keywords. Here is what Walmart has done.

Optimize meta tags and descriptions

As you can see it has fully optimized the page with keywords and even added meta tags that aren’t of much value now.

iv. Design Friendliness – Best Practices Article Check

The design should be user-friendly while focusing on the latest design philosophy. If you are not a designer, or don’t have one in your team, you can buy ecommerce product landing pages to create one for your ecommerce store. WooCommerce offers a list of the best ecommerce landing page plugins.

v. Sitemap Update

Once you have the Black Friday landing page live, update the sitemap on Google and Bing. This will let the search engines know that you have published new content.

Sitemap Update

vi. Mobile Optimization – AMP or Responsive Website

Almost 50% traffic comes from mobile. That’s why it is important that your website is mobile responsive. You can make the website mobile friendly in two ways i.e. responsive websites, AMP pages. Choose either one of them because they can overlap each other and affect store’s rankings.

vii. Create Gift Guides and Videos

Now most ecommerce stores feature gift guides for the holiday season. Most customers browse the ecommerce stores but they have no idea what they should buy. Some are trying to send gifts to someone else, and they don’t know what the other person’s preferences are. Gift guides help them decide a product or narrow down their choice.

Walmart also offers gift guides each year. It even has a dedicated page about gift guides.

Create Gift Guides and Videos

Source: Walmart website

viii. Use Images to Sell Products – ALT Tag and Keywords

Almost 97 percent customers see an image before deciding if they should buy the product. This is because images are kind of a social proof. They help customers understand about the type of product they should buy. You can even increase the reach of images of your ecommerce store by optimizing them for search.

To do so, simply add alt text with SEO optimized content.

ix. User Reviews Front and Center

Customer reviews can make or break an ecommerce store. They are an essential part of the ecommerce business because potential customers only shop at an ecommerce store if they find out that someone else is satisfied with its products. That is only possible when some genuine customers have endorsed the brand by providing a positive review.

x. Deal Popups

Deal popups are an important part of ecommerce conversion rate optimization strategy. However, they do lead to increased average page time and decreased bounce rate.

Add exit popups on your ecommerce store providing deals that users simply can’t deny.

Deal Popups

Source: Wishpond

xi. Announcement Blog

Promotion of a landing page can increase its rankings in SERPs. One way to do that is via announcement blogs. Once you have the Black Friday page with you, announce on multiple news websites that you will be providing deals with unbeatable discounts on Black Friday. Ask them to add a link to your store so shoppers can easily reach you. This will not only pass the link juice to your website but it will also signal Google that you have link-worthy content.

Announcement Blog for Black Friday deal by Dell

An example of Black Friday announcement post

3. Black Friday Off-Page Techniques

Consider off-page SEO activities as co-marketing and promotional activities that you do to make people aware about your brand. Let’s see the best ones you can do for ranking your estore in SERPs before the BIG DAY.

i. Build Links to Your Holiday Sales

Do the regular link building activities. The best way to build links of your ecommerce store is by guest posting. Guest posting can be paid and unpaid. You can do forum postings, write blog comments, and social bookmarking to get links as well. But before you do that, understand the difference between do-follow and no-follow links.

Other ways of link building for Black Friday include:

  • Display advertisements on websites
  • Forum posting
  • Blog commenting
  • Web 2.0 creation
  • High quality PBNs
  • Social bookmarking

These are some of the best ways to build links online. Let’s see what other methods we have of promoting the Black Friday campaign for increasing rankings in SERPs.

ii. Coupon Submission Sites and Forums

People are always searching for ways they can get more discount on products. And their pace of searching especially increases during the holiday season, granting marketers an opportunity to hook them to their own ecommerce stores by providing coupons.

As a store owner, you can submit your ecommerce store coupons on multiple coupon websites during Black Friday including Groupon, Retail Me Not, Coupon Great, and I Love Coupons to get rapid sales.

Retail Me Not

iii. Q&A Deals for Black Friday

Another actionable way to get more eyeballs on your offer is by promoting it through question and answer websites. There are many question and answer websites available online like Reddit, Quora, Stack Overflow, Yahoo Answers, and more. Most of these have dedicated threads or topics for Black Friday alone. You can search them and provide valuable answers to the questions with a signature or announcement about your offer. Those who are interested will get to your ecommerce store after reading the answer.

QnA deals for Black Friday

Black Friday has a dedicated page on Quora – Screen-grab Quora

iv. Social Media Hype

There is no proven answer that social hype improves rankings in search engines, but Google algorithm does consider the traffic flow to a website while ranking it on search engine result pages. For example, many digital marketers have observed that if a website gets a lot of organic traffic from social media, it will start to rise in search rankings on search engines.

Grand Ecommerce Giveaway hosted by Cloudways in 2017

The Grand Ecommerce Giveaway hosted by Cloudways in 2017 – Screengrab Cloudways

So, create social hype about your offers on social media.

    • You can start a giveaway or sweepstakes. The more users participate in the giveaway, the more users win.
    • You can create hype by producing ads with a strong social message. These ads get more shares and eventually people will start shopping from your ecommerce store.

v. Link Exchange

Networking with other blogs / bloggers is another way of gaining rankings within the SERPs. Networking not only increases opportunities but it also creates a win-win situation for both.

Here’s is how you can exchange links with other bloggers.

  • Check if the site is relevant to your niche
  • It should not be a direct competitor of your business and should not be targeting the same keywords that you are targeting
  • It should have a DA of at least 30
  • It should have an Alexa rank of less than 500,000

Now search for blog posts that have relevant content as the one that’s published on your website. Request the publisher/author to link to your website as you have similar but more comprehensive information available. In return, you will link back to their website.

Ready to Rank Before Black Friday?

That’s all. This is one complete list of ways to rank your website within SERPs before Black Friday. Just follow this Black Friday SEO checklist that we have mentioned above and remember to have some eye-popping deals on your store to improve conversions.

Let us know if you have something to add to the article or if you have a question that needs more explaining.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

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Sharjeel Ashraf

Sharjeel loves to write about startups and ecommerce. In his free time, he is on the road or working on some cool project in his den.

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