Tips to Perform Local SEO for the Holidays

1. Reach out to Your Customers for Survey - Know What They Want

Customer preferences change often. And considering the year we are having, it is even more essential to know what the customers want before stocking up for the holidays or planning SEO strategies.
The focus should be on local SEO to attract customers from the region. The holiday season is when people like to step out of the house, go to the stores, and buy gifts or other items personally.
If you want customers to know about your store, you should offer them what they are looking for. To do that, you need to know what they need. Surveys don’t have to be complex or time-consuming.
There are some online tools and apps that allow you to create a simple survey and share them on the internet.
As you create surveys only a few times in the year, you can use any freemium tool like question pro, SurveyMonkey, survey planet, etc.
Those tools will analyze the responses and provide the final details. Use this information to search for related keywords to start the local SEO campaign .

2. Check the GMB Information and Update It

The first thing that gets displayed on the search engine is your Google My Business profile. NAP is the Name, Address, and Phone Number of the store. People who wish to visit your store look up the address, phone number, timings, and other details on the GMB profile.
Make sure the profile is up to date. Check the contact information and include the extended open hours. Saying the store will be open for extra time doesn’t usually help if you don’t mention the exact timings.
The incorrect details may attract negative reviews, which will hurt your revenue growth.
People hardly like it when they reach a store to see it is closed or cannot contact you because the phone number doesn’t work. Sharing accurate information is as important as promoting your store and creating an aggressive marketing campaign. Make sure that the NAP details are the same on all local listings to get the best local SEO results during the holidays.

3. Include Holiday Keywords in On-page Content Optimization

Local SEO is a mix of updating local listings, doing On-page optimization & and producing high-quality contents. Just about everyone is surfing through the internet, searching for holiday gifts, ideas, and themes. Many people like to look for the trends in the season before going out to buy.
Your website could gain a lot of traffic if you update the on-page content and add a few seasonal and holiday keywords.
Perform local competitor analysis to see what seasonal keywords the competition uses or conduct keyword research around the festival/holiday.
Use keyword finders to identify which ones are leading this year. What worked last year will not give the same results this year. Use generic and brand-specific keywords in the content so that you can offer something to all kinds of customers.

4. Provide Special Offers & Do an Effective Sales Promotion Online

Who doesn’t like a good holiday offer? Discounts and exclusive deals are always a hit. When people have to spend a significant amount buying a bunch of stuff, they appreciate stores that give them some extra.
Third-party websites also list your offers to gain affiliate traction or traffic towards them.
Highlight and promote special offers online. Add them to the website and other social media profiles. Share coupon codes with those who sign up for the newsletter. Organize online giveaways that people can enter through the internet by registering.
Both new and existing customers should get some advantage. But first, they should know about these offers. Place your ads on social media platforms and search engines about the special offers. Sponsor and tie-up with other local companies or stores to create a mega giveaway.

5. Create a Brand Image & Make it Popular

Most-searched keywords and active campaigning can put the website at the top of search engine results.
But will that be enough? Not unless the customer sees something worthy and decides to visit your store. That’s why creating a brand image is important.
What makes your store special? Users on the internet need to know why they should choose your business over the competitors.
For example, here’s how FedEx explained their exceptional delivery service without using words.
Whatever you are doing to create a difference has to be promoted for local SEO to work and bring a crowd to the store. The name of your store should be enough to make customers directly visit the place without searching for other stores in the locality.

6. Make Sure Your Business is Accessible and Approachable

Not everyone will directly come to the store after finding your profile on GMB. Some will call, others will send an email or a text, and few others might contact you via social media.

  • Do you have all the communication channels open?
  • Are the channels listed and linked to the profile?

Hire more staff if required. Make sure there is someone on behalf of the store to respond to questions from prospective customers. The response time matters too.
No customer will wait a day or two for you to reply to their message, especially if the competitor responds in a few hours or even minutes.
More than half of the customers use their mobile phones to search for local businesses, and you will be missing a huge chunk of sales if you don’t optimize the website for mobile phones.

7. Track and Respond to Both Positive & Negative Reviews

Customer reviews are the life of any business. Ask happy customers to leave a review on Google. Share the feedback link with them so that they can directly write and post their review.
During the holiday season, a majority of the customers read the reviews to make their decision.

It is important to have authentic reviews showing up on the GMB page. Also, make sure that the reviews are not older than a few months. The latest, the better. It will show that the business still retains the same level of quality service.
Also, ensure that you (or your staff) respond to the reviews. It shouldn’t matter if the review is 5 stars or 3 stars or 1 star. Create a template to respond to positive and negative reviews and follow it. Be regular and show that you care about what customers think.

8. Make Use of Q&A Section of GMB

Google My Business has a Q&A feature where you can provide more information about the business by answering the questions. It is an easy and quick way for customers to know your business and see if you have what they want.
Whether it is about payment procedures or whether you provide online orders or home deliveries, make the most of the Q&A.

Do you know that anyone can answer these questions? Other customers also can answer these questions on your behalf.
But what guarantee do you have that they will provide accurate information? We recommend you to fill the Q&A yourself before someone else does.
Remember, Local SEO delivers better results, where there is more information available.

9. Update Google Posts to Bring More Local Visitors

Google Posts are called microblogs by a lot of people. They help boost your local SEO efforts and deliver the kind of results you want.
If you are new or not aware of this Google feature, tart explore it by creating new posts.
A Google post stays live/active for a week (7 days) unless it is event-specific. In that case, it’ll stay live/active for as long as the event lasts.
All you need to do is create a short, to the point, and attractive post that will grab customers’ attention right away.

  • Include the primary holiday keyword in the first 100 characters.
  • Mention what you are offering.
  • Add a cheerful image with the post for more traffic.

Each time your business gets displayed on the search engine results page, the post (if it is live) will get displayed. Customers can click on it and share it on social media platforms to bring more visitors to your store during the festive season.

10. Check Duplicate Listings and Remove Them

If you haven’t bothered about duplicate listings, now is the time to do it. Start before the mad rush of the holidays pulls you and your business into a whirlwind. We recommend you to check for duplicate listings throughout the year. But if you haven’t, don’t wait any longer.

All the listings are connected to the online directory. A duplicate listing can confuse the customers and cause you to lose them. Even your efforts of local SEO will not give proper results. While you have to check some local directories only during a specific period, but you can handle GMB anytime.

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11. Keep Checking Google Analytics - Have a Flexible Local SEO Strategy

Local SEO is no doubt wonderful, but that’s not the only marketing strategy you will invest in. Paid ads, social media promotions, and more such campaigns will be a part of holiday marketing. How will you know whether your efforts are giving results or not? How will you know if a certain campaign has not been successful?

Take time out to track the progress of each campaign. The tracking tools will analyze the trends and show the impact of the marketing campaigns on the business. It will help you in making changes and adjusting the local SEO strategies so that you will be fully prepared to handle the New Year sales and get more profits.

12. Include Local and Holiday Keywords in Titles and Descriptions

Optimizing on-page website content is not enough for local SEO. Yeah, indeed, the titles and descriptions don’t affect the SEO ranking, but they sure attract customers. A catchy title and easy description can bring more visitors to the website and online profiles of the business.
You can see how the competition is for seasonal keywords. Online shopping sites use this trick to gain higher click-throughs.
An increase in traffic will naturally impact the SEO rank. Including holiday keywords in the titles and meta description is recommended. However, refrain from creating click-baits. Customers should find the information you’ve promised. Click-baits only end up giving negative results.

13. Use Festive Images to Lure Visitor Attention

Content for a lot of people means just text. But ‘content’ includes images, videos, infographics, and more. The focus of your website and social media profiles should be on spreading the holiday cheer. Share pictures of your decorated store. Use them for promotions and random posts.
If you lack ideas on the kind of images for the festival, go to free image websites like Pixabay, pexels, unsplash, and more for wonderful ideas like an example below.
Ask your staff to take pictures in the store and post them through their accounts. Sharing and retweeting them from the business account will bring more visibility. Use hashtags, and don’t forget to include the location of the store. Take pictures of nearby decorations and add a line about your store being located in the vicinity.

14. Emphasize the Brand’s Core Values - What Makes the Store Special?

We’ve talked about brand image earlier. You can do a lot more to show that your business is special. Give back something to the community and yes, let your customers know about it. The holiday season is bittersweet for many people. They want to do something that makes them feel good.
Show them that shopping at your store is a way to contribute to the community. It is time to emphasize the core values of the brand and use them to boost sales.
Give customers a commercial reason to shop at your store rather than at a mall or an all-in-one store. Local stores have unique warmth that bigger stores and online shopping do not always offer. Make the most of this feeling to attract more customers.

15. Schedule Social Media Posts in Advance

Scheduling the social media post for holidays is crucial. There is an off chance that you may be too busy multitasking and forgot about social media posts. Sharing a random post whenever it strikes you is not the right way to handle social media.
You can schedule posts on Facebook and Twitter directly through your profiles. You can also use social media account managers (websites/ tools) that allow you to create and schedule posts on various platforms from the same website.
Make sure you put up at least one post per day, if not more. Keep going until after the holiday season ends. And remember, the sooner you start, the better will be the reach.

16. Change the PPC Campaigns to Suit the Holiday Season Theme and Target Local Audience

PPC (Pay Per Click) ad campaigns bring a lot of visitors. But during the holiday season, your PPC campaigns should include the holiday keywords and themed around the festivities.
If there are any other campaigns active, stop them until the season is over. Do the same with the homepage of the website. You need to centre it on the holidays and any special offers you are running to attract more customers.
Your website, PPC ads, and social media profiles should show the same offers and promotions. Optimize them with the same keywords and focus on the local audience. The aim is to let as many people in the region know about your store as possible.
The content of the PPC ads has to be eye-grabbing and make the user immediately click on the link to know more.

17. Know What Your Competitors are Doing

We have to always think about what the competitors are doing. If they are getting better results for their local SEO campaign, you should try and find out what is giving them the results. While you don’t have to follow them step by step, it will help you create a better strategy to attract the local audience in the festive season.

Related : How Can Local SEO Services Help You to Boost Your Local Business?

Having unique content is not going to be enough to get sales. It is the local SEO strategy and the promotions (including relevant holiday keywords) that help the website in getting more visibility on the internet.
Optimize the content on all the important webpages. Remove the extra blocks of text and replace it with seasonal information. Keep the design and layout simple so that visitors can immediately find what they are searching for. Start with an HD holiday picture on the homepage.

18. Make the Most of Local Ecommerce

Local eCommerce is booming these days, thanks to the pandemic. People are more inclined towards ordering products online from nearby stores.
Though most people like to visit the stores and buy the products, they would still want to know if you offer local eCommerce services. It is another way to boost the local SEO results this holiday season.
There are different ways through which you can offer these services:-

  • Buy online and pick up from the store
  • Buy online and get them home delivered through third-party delivery services
  • Buy online and get them shipped through the postal services
  • Buy online and pick up the order from a nearby collection centre

With people being able to filter their search and restrict them to nearby locations, local eCommerce, when combined with local SEO, will bring a lot of sales.
Are you looking to optimize your website for Local SEO focussing on Holiday keywords? Then, get a free consultation now!

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