Update your business hours online
Do you plan to close on certain days throughout the holiday season? Or have adjusted hours? Is there a different contact number you prefer customers to use because you’ll be out of town? Or do you plan on letting your phone go to voicemail? Be sure to update your online hours and let people know! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a step away to enjoy your holidays, but you customers are going to want some advance notice so they understand why no one is answering the phone at your business, or why they’re unable to do some holiday shopping on a specific day. Google My Business is a great place to start. In addition, this is a great time to go through all of your business listings online and make sure they’re as up to date as possible. Holiday shopping is stressful enough without encountering a wrong address online.
Schedule your posts
Image Credit: hootsuite.com
Along the same lines, if you don’t plan on working on the holidays, take advantage of the many applications that you can use to schedule your posts like Later, Hootsuite, Buffer, OnlyWire and more, and schedule your social media posts and content ahead of time! That way you can sit back and enjoy a meal and a beverage without having to worry about posting the details of your holiday contest at exactly the right time to get the maximum amount of coverage. Content doesn’t sleep, but you sure can!
Image Credit: buffer.com
Perform a keyword analysis
Now is a great time to perform an extensive keyword analysis. There are a ton of tools available to help you do this, from Google Keyword Planner and Moz to KW Finder and Ahrefs. These tools can help you pinpoint exactly what keywords your customers are using when they search for your business, and they can also help analyze the keywords your competition is targeting. Compare how your keywords rank to others, and then make any necessary changes to ensure your keyword strategy is on point for the new year. Don’t forget to take into consideration any problems you customers might encounter during the busy holiday season that might affect your business. You can also use a tool like Google Trends to see how keywords might change at different point of the year. For example, you can expect gift related keywords to trend between now and January. This article by No Risk SEO is a great resource on how to best use the Google Keyword Planner in 2018.
Image Credit: moz.com
Review and revise your content strategy
Nothing kills your SEO faster than a high bounce rate, so definitely do an extensive sweep and make sure all your content is functioning and up to date. Get rid of any duplicate content, and make sure what remains is highly engaging. Then start working on some holiday-specific content. You’ll notice that your competitors are beginning to include fun holiday graphics and GIFs on their sites, and you should be doing the same. Increasing your holiday content will only increase the amount of holiday-specific keywords that are present on your site, and this will in turn bring in that valuable targeted traffic. Struggling to come up with fresh, holiday-inspired content? Look here for some helpful tools!
Create a fun, holiday contest, giveaway, or hashtag
Image Credit: news.starbucks.com
The holidays are a time for joy and celebration, and this tone should be reflected in your business. This is a great time to run a fun holiday content or giveaway. Take advantage of some user generated content and run a contest prompting your customers to show the creative ways they’re using your product. Post their entries to your webpage and give away a discount code to all who enter. The holidays are also a great time to start a trending hashtag campaign, and this requires little work from you or your consumers. Just come up with a creative holiday-inspired hashtag, like Starbucks #GiveGood campaign, and encourage your customers to take photos and tag your hashtag on social media. This is a great way to start a conversation involving your business and bring a ton of free brand awareness!
This is a great time to take advantage of increased buyer activity and web traffic, but it definitely requires some advanced thought and planning. Put in the work now and you should be able to relax a little in the days and weeks to come (and maybe even focus on your own holiday shopping!) Is there anything else you think we should add to the checklist? Comment in the section below!