4 eCommerce SEO Factors to Consider Before Black Friday

E-commerce Strategy

It’s not too late to make sure you’re making the most of the traffic coming your way from your current ranking positions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here are some e-commerce SEO factors you’ll need to consider during the surge.

 

Christmas is on the horizon, savvy shoppers are getting their present shopping started early and the bubbling chatter of ‘Christmas’ and ‘Black Friday’ amongst consumers will soon turn into an uproar.


If you’re only just thinking about ramping up your SEO efforts in anticipation of Black Friday, you might think you’re too late! Rest assured, these four SEO factors are things you still have time to fix before the rush comes your way. As you know, improvements in search visibility for a particular term or topic, (especially a competitive Black Friday term), can take 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 Black Friday/Cyber Monday related keywords and search terms, 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 in order to keep up with the competition on search engines.

 

#1 SERVER CAPABILITY

You may have started your Black Friday SEO work months ahead of time and already 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 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 to deal with increased demand.

#2 OUT OF STOCK PRODUCTS

Congratulations! Your product is so successful that you’ve run out of stock! Many store owners will be tempted to delete the product only to revive it at a later date on a new URL…
..STOP!


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, or your own website might be internally linked to this page in more places than you realise. Potential customers may even have this page saved in their favourites ready to come back to later! Removing products from your website when they are out of stock should be avoided when you’ve built authority and traffic back to a product URL because otherwise, you’ll be making more work for yourself in the future. If you upload the same product again under a different URL later on, you’ll have to re-build those blog posts, links and social posts from scratch.  Save yourself the hassle and bite the bullet by keeping out-of-stock products on your site until you’re 100% sure that you want to remove them permanently.


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, all you need to do is stop Google from indexing these landing pages until next year comes around.  If you’re not sure how to do this, we’re happy to help out with anything SEO related! Just get in touch.

 

#3 OPTIMISE UNDER-PERFORMING TOUCHPOINTS

Consider how many other sites and brands that will also be aiming to make the most out of Black Friday sales…you need to get ahead of them in as many ways as possible! One way you can do this is by optimising the areas on your site that you know are underperforming, or that are just weak touchpoints in general. Get onto Google Analytics and see which product pages fail to convert nine times out of ten, or take a look at landing pages with the highest bounce rates or lowest ranking positions. Getting to the bottom of why these touchpoints fail to deliver before Black Friday and taking the time to fix them, could make all the difference when Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around. 

 

#4 OPTIMISE YOUR METADATA

Do you know how your product or landing 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 to make it shiny and new will help it to stand out and appear much more attractive to searchers. 


Optimising your site content with the appropriate meta titles and descriptions, aggregate reviews/ratings and even Emojis can really attract the searcher's attention - even if competitors are ranking in a higher position! 


When it comes to optimising metadata, we also recommend ensuring that you write and optimise for the human audience searching on the search engine…not just write and optimise for the search engine itself. It’s all too easy to forget that there are users - actual humans - that will be reading the content when you’re thinking about SEO and optimising metadata to rank higher. At the end of the day, these users are the potential customers who could be buying from you on Black Friday/Cyber Monday so you need to make your first impression count!
 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

 

There are many ‘unseen’ factors in SEO that can determine the success or failure of your e-commerce store on Black Friday. Not optimising them can be detrimental, causing you to miss out on what is an excellent seasonal opportunity to boost sales.  Some quick wins that you can achieve if you’re trying to strengthen your SEO in the run-up to Black Friday are:

  • Ensure your server is prepared for an influx in traffic in advance to avoid your site going offline or becoming slow when more people head onto your site.
  • Don’t remove site pages for out-of-stock products to avoid breaking internal links and backlinks. It’s better to have an out-of-stock product than broken links.
  • Identify underperforming pages on Google Analytics so that you know which pages to prioritise when it comes to optimising them.
  • Optimise your metadata not only for keywords but also for humans. Too many copywriters forget that the content they’re writing is for real people to read and that those people are customers and potential customers.


This article was originally published to Reflect Digital on 25th August 2022.