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Top 10 tips to ensure search engine success for Black Friday
November 12, 2021
When it comes to Black Friday, competition for organic visibility is tough. What started as an event solely for US customers ready to work off their Thanksgiving dinner has become a global event that both customers and brands are fighting to capitalize on.
So, how are you going to bring these customers to your site?
The truth of the matter is that a good SEO strategy is key to signposting both Google and users to your Black Friday landing page. While there is plenty of year-round best practice, there are specific ways you can prepare for this busy shopping event. Laying solid foundations within your Black Friday campaign can be done successfully by optimizing your Black Friday landing page to meet user expectations and clearly signpost what deals you have on offer.
Here we give you our top tips to ensure search engine success.
Creating a successful Black Friday landing page
For many, Black Friday can be quite the rollercoaster; with so many deals on offer it can be hard to know where’s best to shop. At this prime time within the retail calendar, maintaining a high-ranking status within the SERPs is imperative. Using both our SEO and CRO expertise, we’ve put together five top tips to get into Google’s good books, which should, in effect drive, conversion:
1.) Make a dedicated Black Friday page
This first one is straightforward – create a simple, fuss-free URL which can be re-used year on year. By having the same dedicated URL and landing page each year, this allows Google to know exactly where to find your website’s Black Friday content and reduces any time needed for re-indexing your page. This can then be updated each year to reflect your current deals.
2.) Create your page early
Setting up your Black Friday page for the first time? Ensure you create your dedicated Black Friday landing page early, so that Google can then index it and link to it directly from your homepage. The sooner you do this, the better. Linking to it from the homepage allows Google to then crawl the website, index and rank it effectively.
Top tip: Speed the crawling process up by using Google Search Console’s ‘inspect my URL’ function. Copy and paste your Black Friday URL and click ‘request indexing link’ - you will then be added to a priority crawl list where Google will actively seek to crawl your page.
3.) Include event description
It’s important for you to make it as clear as possible to both Google and your users what the intent and purpose of the page is. In this instance, you want them to view and buy your Black Friday products, so including the event description in the page title, and describing the event throughout the page content, is key. Mention popular deals that users will be searching for (such as ‘50% off trainers’) to make it clear what they’ll get when they visit your site.
4.) Include general information about the event in advance
If you choose to wait to reveal sales details on the day of the event (either for building suspense or simply giving yourself time to decide on what discounts to offer), it can be a good idea to include general information about the event in advance. So for Black Friday you may not release specific details of deals, but giving information about dates the event runs from, along with top tips about shopping on Black Friday, is a useful way to make it clear to Google what the actual page is about.
This can also help with conversion, as it prepares people for the event, with functions such as ‘wish lists’ enabling people to research what they want to buy and allows you to see what customers are looking and waiting for. As a bonus, it enables customers to pre-build their shopping lists for a fast and speedy checkout.
5.) Use images
Include images that are relevant to the sale on the landing page. As a rule, Google normally discourages the use of text within images, however within the context of Black Friday, it has said that it’s a good idea to have text within the banner explaining the purpose of the sale and what customers can expect. Take advantage of this opportunity, but ensure you’re covering yourself with alt text for these, as this efficiently passes information about the page to Google.
For example, if you have a banner with “Black Friday sale – buy 2 get one free!”, you’ll want to ensure your alt text says something like, “Promotional banner saying, ‘Black Friday sale – buy 2 get one free!’”. You’ll be making your page more accessible to users with screen readers while also ensuring Google can see this offer.
SEO best practices
Another method for ensuring search engine success is to follow general SEO best practices, which may seem very open-ended and daunting, but they shouldn’t be.
The below tips are worth keeping in mind, not only for Black Friday, but all year round to ensure you’ve got the best visibility possible on your site.
6.) Conduct keyword research
For Black Friday, you’ll want to have a set of keywords you are going to target. The kinds of keywords you should aim for should be tailored to your specific offering - these will have a much lower search volume, but it will be a much more achievable goal to rank for.
Targeting keywords with a high search volume is something you are unlikely to reap any kind of reward for, unless you’re already a significant e-commerce player. High search volume keywords that are too broad for your niche (for example, ‘when is Black Friday’) are likely to be too competitive to make a difference. Instead, start getting granular with your targeting: ‘Black Friday TV deals’ is already more niche, and ‘Black Friday 4K TV deals’ even more so.
7.) Optimize on-page content
Once you have your set of keywords, you should then move on to optimizing the on-page content such as H-tags, using keywords in these areas and also throughout the body copy. It’s important to bear in mind that the copy needs to be free-flowing and natural. You are, after all, writing for humans, whilst also considering the elements which search engines are looking for.
8.) Meta data
As meta titles and descriptions are what is shown on the Google results page, it’s a good idea to include a primary keyword if possible. Although it’s not a ranking factor, it does make it clear what the page has to offer and indicates what a user might be looking for, encouraging a high click-through rate.
9.) Ensure correct image sizing
Another one to please both humans and Google: you should ensure that all images on your Black Friday landing page are correctly sized, formatted and compressed. This is vital on e-commerce websites where there will be lots of images that could influence loading speed and overall user experience.
10.) Outreach to gain backlinks
Outreach to gain backlinks to the page can be tricky and time-consuming but can make a huge difference to the success of a Black Friday landing page. Google considers how many external links a page has, so it’s a good idea to see if there are any publications who may want to do lists of Black Friday deals within your niche or industry. This is a brilliant way of building links to your Black Friday landing page and can increase overall organic performance.
Black Friday landing page success
Though the earlier the better with anything SEO, it’s still not too late to make key changes that will have an impact on driving traffic. But what happens when this traffic hits your landing page?
Ensuring your Black Friday campaign has solid structural foundations with both a thought-out SEO strategy and optimized landing page can make a monumental difference when it comes to driving sales. They are tightly knitted, for while alignment with Google guidelines is key, if your landing page doesn’t impress then the hard work may not come to fruition.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to transform those organic visitors into sales by using conversion rate optimization, you can see our full webinar on ‘How to create the perfect Black Friday landing page’ here.
By Joe Wheeler - SEO specialist - ClickThrough Marketing