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  • Writer's pictureRhiannon Harradine

Christmas Marketing: Festive SEO for Your Ecommerce Business

Updated: May 24

Christmas is the peak season for many ecommerce businesses, and for many small businesses that September - January period is crucial to the brand’s overall success. Whilst it might be clear that ramping up your marketing efforts for the festive season is crucial, you might think that your Christmas marketing strategy must involve forking out for advertising and posting on social media every day. Whilst these things can be part of an effective festive marketing campaign, many small ecommerce businesses miss out on sales (and profit) because they do not take advantage of a free marketing channel: SEO. 

This guide shows you how to utilise search engine optimisation (SEO) to maximise your ecommerce website’s online visibility, website traffic and sales without hanging your hat on paid advertising or stressing over social media. 

How to use Christmas SEO for your Ecommerce Business:

  1. Lay the SEO foundations - optimise for evergreen keywords and gift-related keywords

  2. Plan and prepare your Christmas marketing campaign early

  3. Create Christmas gift guides for your website

Lay the Foundations for Getting Found Online

SEO is a long-term game. Whilst this means you need to invest time and effort into your marketing, SEO can offer a fantastic, sustainable return on investment for your business. Unlike paid advertising, SEO is not an on/off tap. It takes time to plan, implement and work, and it keeps working for your business long after you do the work. 

I always recommend laying the SEO foundations early - I carry out SEO on my e-commerce website from February until about October. I’m always extremely busy between October and mid-December, and the post-Christmas period is my time to rest! By keeping the SEO work ticking over, you aren’t met with a mountain of work to do immediately before the festive season kicks off.   

Optimise Your Ecommerce Website for Evergreen Keywords

During that quiet February-May period, I will prioritise optimising my ecommerce website for “evergreen” keywords. These keywords describe what my products are (in my case, they include “equestrian notebooks”, “equestrian journal”, “horse stationery”, etc). If you do this early, you will have less to do as you approach Christmas and you are giving your website more opportunities to generate traffic and sales during that quieter period. 

Optimise Your Ecommerce Website for Gift-Related Keywords

Next, I turn my attention to non-festive gift-related keywords. These keywords will include “gifts for…”, “presents for…”, etc. Consider your target audience and incorporate these keywords into your product pages and category pages. 

Early Planning & Preparation

Once you have laid the SEO foundations for your ecommerce website, you can turn your attention to your Christmas marketing strategy. I usually start planning my festive marketing in July or August, ready to launch in mid-September (usually to coincide with 100 days before Christmas). 

I will not go into every aspect of a Christmas marketing strategy here, but the things you might need to consider include:

  1. Last year’s performance and this year’s targets

  2. What products / offers you will have available 

  3. Key events

  4. Black Friday / Cyber Monday

  5. Small Business Saturday

  6. Your last recommended order date(s)

  7. Your final restock date

  8. Trade stands

  9. Social media and / or email campaigns

  10. Paid ad campaigns

  11. Print advertising / PR

  12. Festive imagery / product photos

Every year, I create my Christmas strategy in a spreadsheet. I allocate jobs to each week from August right up until Christmas, by working backwards from my (expected) last order date. This has helped me to stay on-track and avoid getting burned out and overwhelmed at my busiest time of the year.

The first thing on my to-do list is always to work out what my product range is likely to look like, followed by collecting at least some festive product images to use for my website, social media and blogs. Doing this early (around August time for me) means I have enough content to get me started and it saves time in September and October when I start to get really busy. 

Create Christmas Gift Guides

Each year, I put together at least one Christmas gift guide. It’s published in the blog section of my ecommerce website, and is designed to showcase my best-sellers, exclusive festive products and gift sets. By calling it something along the lines of “Christmas Gifts For…”, it helps my website to get found in Google Search by people who are looking for just that.

Gift guides are also really handy for distributing via email and social media via a link, without having to create the content from scratch every time. You can also repurpose your gift guide content for various platforms.

Every year, I will update the previous year’s gift guide(s) with new products and check that the pricing, links, images and keywords are still accurate. This is good from an SEO perspective because Google already “knows” about the page and is more likely to update its ranking more quickly than if I publish a completely new article. It also saves me a huge amount of time and effort as I don’t have to create everything from scratch every year. 

christmas marketing for small businesses
Effective Christmas marketing for your small business requires some planning, but it is well worth carrying out Christmas SEO on your e-commerce website.

Optimise Your Website For Christmas Keywords

Finally, I will usually optimise my main website pages (including product and category pages) for Christmas-related keywords around September time. September is a good time to do this, because it’s not too early, but it’s early enough to allow Google enough time to crawl, index and rank your website for Christmas-related keywords. Just like your Christmas gift guide, you want to target keywords like “Christmas gifts for…”, “Christmas presents for…” to get your website in front of your target audience in the search engine results. 

Prepare Your Ecommerce Business For Christmas With Purple Horse Marketing

As an ecommerce business owner myself (check out Purple Horse Planners), I know just how important the Christmas season is for your business. I also happen to be an SEO specialist, and I’m on a mission to help small business owners like you to maximise your website visibility, traffic and sales without relying on paid advertising, social media dances or frantic email marketing. 

As well as achieving some fantastic results for my clients, my own ecommerce business has benefited enormously from SEO and blogging:

  • Purple Horse Planners saw a 137% increase in organic search traffic year-on-year (1st Jan-3rd Mar 2024)

  • And a 27% year-on-year increase in sales from organic search in the same period

  • Furthermore, my organic search traffic and sales increased year-on-year during the crucial festive season:

  • Organic search traffic increased by 45% year-on-year

  • Sales from organic search increased by 189% year-on-year

  • Conversion rate increased by 32% year-on-year

My new online self-study course, Blogging for Small Business, equips you with everything you need to write your first blog article (which could be your Christmas gift guide), optimise it for search engines and start generating more free traffic and sales. 

Plus, everyone who enrols by 28th March 2024 will be entered into a draw to WIN a free SEO Audit for their website! (You must have a live website to be entered and receive your audit)


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