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How to Select Holiday Keywords for SEO

The holidays are the busiest shopping season of the year, so it’s only natural that businesses would want to capitalize on the frenzy of spending to boost annual sales totals. Of course, there’s a lot of competition to grab consumer attention, and businesses that want to succeed need to create a solid strategy to beat out competitors.

This is especially important when it comes to online operations. The prevalence of options online is enough to overwhelm any shopper, but with more and more consumers turning to online options to comparison shop and even complete purchases without ever entering a brick-and-mortar store, businesses can’t afford to ignore this opportunity to reach customers and make sales.

In other words, now is the time to start thinking about how you’re going to make the most of your online marketing budget with a strategy designed to bring shoppers to your site and encourage valuable conversions. How can you select the right keywords to bolster your SEO efforts this holiday season without spending more than you make in return on investment? Here are a few tactics to consider.

Getting Started
You can probably come up with a number of common words and phrases associated with the holidays right off the top of your head, such as holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, gifts, presents, and so on. The problem is, so can everyone else. From here you can start to extrapolate more precise search terms such as unique gifts, gifts for him/her, children’s gifts, Christmas presents, top gifts for women, and more.

You can also mix it up with keywords more closely associated with your particular business or location to further hone your strategy. If you are a clothing retailer you can add your name, brand names you sell in-store, descriptors (jeans, tees, sweaters, etc.). You can also include location information in long-tail keywords, such as “holiday sweaters Minneapolis” or “best Christmas apparel Long Beach”, just for example.

This is only the beginning, though. Now that you’ve got some ideas for keywords, it’s time to start using available tools to see how much competition there is for your preferred keywords, as well as find less competitive alternatives that can give you more bang for your buck.

Relevance vs. Competition
Keyword strategies are complex, especially during the holidays when every competitor is vying for the same few keywords. That said, with some practice you should be able to start deducing which strategies are going to balance the greatest relevance with the least competition, helping you to control costs and maximize your return on investment.

Testing
Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few main keywords and phrases that you think will deliver the best results, it’s time to start testing them with audiences. Again, this is a complex process, and it could include A/B or multivariate testing of ads and landing pages to see what works best. It could mean testing ads at different times of day and rearranging placement of keywords in the layout of landing pages. However, with proper research and testing you should be able to devise a holiday keyword strategy that delivers significant ROI.

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