Whether it’s a week away or won’t come for another year, every eCommerce store owner knows to prepare for Black Friday.
Most stores rely on ads—but SEO plays a role, too. And if you’re here, you’re looking for secrets to SEO success on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
You’ll learn our most important strategies and tips for big SEO results on Black Friday. We’ve ordered them by importance, so start at number one and work your way down.
1. Improve the user experience
If you do nothing else before Black Friday, improve your site’s user experience. It’s one of the most overlooked SEO factors. Few know just how much your store layout and usability matter for search engine rankings.
Most importantly, if users can’t find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, they’ll leave without spending a cent.
First, make your eCommerce store’s user interface easy to use. Aim for three clicks or fewer to find any product you sell. Use category filtering and search.
User experience also depends on speed. Follow recommendations from Google PageSpeed Insights to speed up your site. Minimize scripts. Use compression and lazy-load plugins for your eCommerce photography.
2. Improve category pages
There’s a lot of focus in the eCommerce world on product pages. It makes sense—product pages convert visitors to customers.
But it’s category pages that rank on Google and bring those visitors in the first place.
Add basic category page improvements like description text, logical menu link structures, and careful product curation.
Your category pages have a much stronger chance at ranking in Google than your product pages. Make every category page count.
3. Create new (super) long-tail category pages
Let’s say you sell stationery supplies. You probably already have category pages for “pens,” “pencils,” and “notebooks.”
You might even have categories based on so-called long-tail keywords, like “multicolored gel pens” or “leather notebooks.”
But there are tens of thousands of super-long-tail keywords potential customers are searching for, but nobody is targeting. Think “red 0.5mm ballpoint pen” or “vegan recycled paper notebooks.”
Perhaps fewer than 10 people search for each of these keywords each month, even during the holiday season. But they’re laser-targeted, high-converting prospects who know what they want and are ready to buy.
And not many other sites create these kinds of pages, which means you can rank on the first page quickly—often within a few weeks.
Setting aside a few days to create 100+ super-long-tail category pages can be one of the most high-leverage tasks you accomplish all year.
4. Improve product pages
As I mentioned before, product pages usually don’t rank as well as category pages.
But there are a few good reasons to improve product pages for SEO. First, it boosts your chances of ranking, especially for hyperspecific keywords. Second, great pages can collect backlinks from product reviewers. And third, product pages can pass SEO strength with category pages.
Some of the best ways to improve product pages include writing better text (that sells and ranks), including better photography, adding more details, and focusing your page toward a keyword.
5. Write product gift guides
Writing super-long-tail category pages attracts educated buyers. But many prospects—especially those buying gifts for someone else—don’t know what to buy.
They need guidance.
And that’s where your gift guides come in.
Choose a target group and write a guide on how to buy for that group, like “best gifts for weekend glamping” or “stocking stuffers high schoolers will think are cool.”
When possible, use an eCommerce keyword you can expect to rank for and write the piece as far ahead of time as possible. And, of course, feature your own products!
6. Write competitor reviews
When everyone buys more, everyone is also doing more research into the brand they’re buying from.
This is your time to shine.
By writing honest, authentic competitor brand reviews, you can educate customers and present yourself as an alternative.
Don’t be harsh or try too hard to sell. Present the facts and industry knowledge you have about what separates you from your competitor. You’ll often find plenty of prospects agreeing that yours is the better product.
The biggest secret to better Black Friday SEO
Want to know the best way to succeed with SEO on Black Friday?
But if it’s the week before Thanksgiving and you’re still not ready—you have a huge opportunity.
Yes, an opportunity.
You see, one year is a great timeframe for SEO to work. And if you’re like most eCommerce stores, you see the most cash around the holidays.
By investing now in SEO, you can crush the competition this time next year.
And if you want a little guidance? Well, we might know something about that.