Jess Gabl

Sr. Internet Marketing Consultant, SEO

Gift Guides Best Practices for 2020

As the holiday season approaches, you may be considering publishing gift guides, a useful marketing strategy for e-commerce sites to help direct users to related products and ultimately boost revenue.

Given the quick-paced nature of this time of year, these types of guides are intended to help expedite the customer journey by making products more easily found by consumers. A well-executed gift guide should limit the number of clicks it takes a user to navigate to priority product pages and purchasing points, which also has benefits for how search engines’ crawlers understand the site.

It’s likely that more consumers than ever will turn to online shopping this holiday season, so the following SEO tips and best practices will help you determine whether or not your holiday gift guide strategy is optimized for success.

Time-Sensitive Considerations

As with any holiday strategy, setting early deadlines is important. (Start executing now!)

  • Holiday-specific content and metadata should be updated at least 30 days prior to the targeted holiday; SEO best practice suggests 2-3 months prior being optimal to allow the content to be indexed ahead of the holiday season. This includes changes to the gift guide landing pages as well as the home page and featured product or category pages. If possible, content can be refreshed closer to the approaching holiday to better target last-minute shoppers by incorporating verbiage such as, “gifts will arrive before December 25.”
  • A post-holiday gift guide can be leveraged to capitalize on the large influx of online shoppers that continues at the end of December into January. This guide should focus on product pairings to encourage users to purchase complementary products to gifts they may have already received. A post-holiday gift guide can also help take advantage of online shoppers using gift cards.
 

Metadata & Content

Effectively connecting with your customers starts with a deep understanding of their behavior and interests. Then, once you understand your customers, you can start creating gift guides and other holiday content that is both highly relevant and easily found. These are a few specific tactics you can use to start connecting with your customers around the holiday season:

  • Targeting long-tail keywords may be a more viable strategy, rather than highly-competitive, broad, high search volume keywords (e.g., “gift guides,” “gift ideas”).
  • Identify appropriate audiences to shape content and metadata around and to help guide long-tail keyword targeting. Some examples include: relationships, demographics, and even hobbies.
  • Gift guides should include content beyond simply image tiles. The guides should help sell the products by describing them and why they would make great gifts. This also helps crawlers better understand a gift guide page.
  • Metadata should be optimized for both the gift guide landing pages and any other landing pages featured on or associated with the gift guides or larger holiday promotions. Incorporating holiday metadata across various, applicable sections of the site can help boost rankings and drive qualified traffic of holiday shoppers to the site.
 

Linking & Syndication Management

If you’re not doing so already, take some time to work on your site structure to optimize internal and external links, as they represent an opportunity to make your site more visible during this pivotal shopping period.

  • Support your gift guide with other holiday-themed content, such as blog posts, home page features, holiday-specific products, etc.
  • Internal links should be incorporated across the site to help users easily navigate back to gift guides from category, subcategory, and product pages. This can be accomplished by temporarily adding the main gift guide into the site’s main navigation, incorporating it into breadcrumbs, or featuring it in a promotional banner.
  • Leverage external links, especially from partner sites, to help put the gift guide in front of different audiences and help build the guide’s page authority.
  • Consider social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and email marketing techniques to accompany onsite gift guide strategy.
 

Additional Considerations

  • Ensure the proper schema is being utilized across the site, especially for top revenue-driving categories during holiday. Industry experts found that voice search is especially popular for holiday shoppers in Q4, and emphasized capturing this traffic relied on properly-incorporated schema.
  • An evergreen URL should be created for the main holiday gift guide page to allow the page to stay on the site year-round and gain authority.
 

Identifying opportunity audiences and product types to target when developing a strategy for gift guides is just one of the many ways Rise can help you. If you’re working on a gift guide, other holiday content, or just need some SEO expertise, don’t hesitate to reach out for more assistance from Rise.

10/05/2020 at 02:06

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