It’s November, which means e-commerce companies are getting ready for their busiest and most profitable time of the year: the holiday season. This all kicks off with Black Friday, which this year comes on November 27th. For e-commerce sites, the final preparations are well underway.
That’s why in this episode of Peak Ace on Air, we wanted to give our last-minute advice for e-commerce companies wanting to harness the power of SEO in their Black Friday campaigns.
Google Webmaster Blog: best practices for Black Friday
This article was actually already covered last week, but it’s worth mentioning it again. The biggest issue for Black Friday-themed websites is often their timing. It doesn’t make sense to create a new seasonal page about the same topic every year from scratch. It can be that the page doesn’t get indexed early enough, which means that the links won’t get crawled in time to get noticed by the big day. So, if you’re thinking of launching your Black Friday page ON the day… don’t! Get it live ASAP. We’ll explain way later.
Singles’ Day on the 11th of November. An up-and-coming sales event?
An interesting question that came in from one of our YouTube live watchers: do we think Singles’ Day is really relevant to the European market?
For those unfamiliar with it, Singles’ Day is China’s equivalent of Black Friday, a massive sales event happening on the 11th of November. (Fun fact: as number 1 is the single number, 11.11. is often celebrated as the “day of the single”. And what better way of celebrating it than pampering yourself with something new!)
In Europe, it’s still relatively small-scale, nowhere near the juggernaut that Black Friday has become. Singles’ Day would need a big push for it to also gain more momentum. However, the reasoning behind Singles Day is great: encouraging people to pamper themselves, before they have to frantically hunt down gifts for friends and family.
Statista recently ran a survey about Singles’ Day awareness among 4000 European consumers. The results suggested that the “consumer holiday” is gaining ground: in Germany in 2019, the awareness was 19%, whereas this year it had crept up to 21%. On average, among the different countries the awareness had grown by 2.5% over the year, so it’s slowly gathering momentum. E-commerce companies should watch its development carefully, to ensure that they stay ahead of the game.
Think with Google: Understanding Black Friday purchase behaviour in three stages (in the MENA area)
A key insight from this Google article was that Black Friday is not limited to just one day. People start to think about what they could buy on Black Friday months ahead, so that on the day itself they can log on and wait for the discounts. This means that the consumer will have made decision before Black Friday itself, so targeting products to the user needs to happen in advance. It all comes back to timing: start early! Create content well before Black Friday so that people are aware you’ll be taking part in the sales.
Although the article’s focus is on the Middle East, the stages shouldn’t be too different from Europeans either: buildup (even months before), the craze (the two weeks leading up to the event), the last call (after the event). The post contains some interesting statistics and tools, so make sure to check it out.
Luke Carthy: tips for Black Friday and the biggest mistakes he’s seen
Luke Carthy collected some helpful hints and things to avoid in his blog post. For example, one mistake Carthy has seen is companies failing to connect their internal site search with their Black Friday landing page. Whoops!
On the other hand, Carthy suggests a few tips which we’d advise you think about: companies should use the same URL all the time, leverage retargeting, make sure that the discount codes are case-sensitive, have their own discount page in order to reduce affiliate commissions and consider extending the returns period to cover those making Christmas purchases.
Luke Carthy: how to boost conversions on Black Friday campaigns
Carthy has another interesting blog post about Black Friday, touching on a few things we’ve already mentioned (e.g. he recommends that companies start their Black Friday advertising as early as September, when consumers already start their searches.) Black Friday campaigns should also work for Cyber Monday as well. Plus, if a Black Friday product has sold out, the product page should not be disabled instantly. Which leads us to the next point…
Out-of-stock and SEO
If an item runs out of stock on Black Friday, what should you do, from an SEO perspective? Bastian dug out a slide from a previous presentation, with possible solutions and their various benefits: noindexing the page, redirecting to the same product but in a different colour/size etc, redirecting to a related or similar product, redirecting to internal search, or a 410 error.
Seven holiday season SEO tips from Yoast
The people at Yoast have seven tips for the holiday shopping season, with recommendations on prepping like time frames, creating gift pages, promoting the sales on social media, introducing new products for Black Friday, adding structural data and, as stated often in this article, reusing existing or previous content.
That’s the roundup for this week! We hope these tips help you to end this challenging year on a positive note. There’s still time to make certain changes to your existing content, or abandon the new pages and just relaunch the old ones.