At the time of writing, we are 2 weeks into November and bubbling chatter of ‘Christmas’ and ‘Black Friday’ amongst consumers will soon turn into uproar.
If you’re only just thinking about ramping up your SEO efforts in anticipation for Black Friday 2017, you’re too late! As you may have heard, improvements in search visibility for a particular term or topic, (especially a competitive Black Friday term), takes months of hard work! Unless your site is an SEO powerhouse or can take advantage of the ‘top stories’ feed, it’s difficult to quickly achieve strong ranking positions for these phrases, so it’s advisable that you start months ahead of time if you’re to make an impact.
However, it’s not too late to make sure you’re making the most of the traffic coming your way from your current ranking positions. Here are some eCommerce SEO factors you’ll need to consider during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday surge.
1. Server capability
You may have started your Black Friday SEO work months ahead of time and have achieved a great ranking position. Great work! You should, of course, expect a surge in traffic on Black Friday or Cyber Monday so you’ll need to make sure your server is up for the challenge. An unplanned surge could cause seriously reduce page load speed or in the worst-case scenario - take your site offline! Speak with your hosting provider and discuss ramping up your server capacity temporarily.
2. Out of stock products
Congratulations! Your product is so successful that you’ve ran out stock! Many storeowners will be tempted to delete the product only to revive it at a later date on a new URL…
This situation calls for caution as many potential buyers could be accessing the original page via social, SEO or even via blog posts on external websites. They may even have this page saved in their favourites! Removing products from your website when they are out of stock is a bad idea when you’ve built authority and traffic back to a product URL. If you then upload the same product again under a different URL you’ll have to re-build those blog posts, links and social post from scratch. Just don’t do it!
This goes for your Black Friday / Cyber Monday landing pages too. These pages would have built good authority which you can take advantage of next year when the sales come back around. If you’re clever, you won’t have to start your SEO efforts all over again. You’ll have content that you can repurpose and take advantage of every year. If you’re looking for keyword tips and insight into what users are searching for when it comes to Black Friday, get in touch with us and request an SEO review!
3. An insecure site
In October 2017, Google announced that if users are visiting your website via Google Chrome (Google’s internet browser) your site will display an ‘un-secure website’ warning if it does not have an SSL certificate (also referred to as ‘upgrading to HTTPs’). This is a pretty big deal, as visitors will be uneasy, thinking that you’ll steal their credit card details or suspect other sinister activity. If this is the case, you can expect fewer purchases and a higher bounce rate as buyers flee from your site. Don’t fall victim to this change! Upgrade to HTTPs - but don’t forget the SEO considerations involved with this upgrade.
4. Optimising your meta data
Do you know how your product or category pages appear in search engines? To use an overused car analogy, optimising your search results is like getting a car wash or even upgrading to that brand new model that has everyone’s heads turning. Upgrading the appearance of your site in search engine results will help it to stand out and appear much more attractive to searchers. Out of these two examples, which one would you rather click?
Source: Aford Awards Football Trophies
Optimising your site content with the appropriate meta titles and descriptions, aggregate reviews and ratings and even Emojis can really draw the searcher's eye - even if they’re ranking in a higher position!
There are several other ‘unseen’ factors that can determine the success or failure of your e-commerce store on Black Friday causing you to miss out on what is an excellent opportunity to boost sales. What’s the best way of learning all about these factors? If you’re based in the UK, Reflect Digital offer e-commerce SEO training courses whether you’re a beginner or already know your alt tags from your H1 tags!