Optimizing Your Site For (Seasonal)
Search Engine Inclusion
By Daniel Jupp
Search engines are a lot like Santa Claus.
They require plenty of notice before setting out to work. While St. Nick has the
whole world on his delivery list, Google,
Yahoo! and their contemporaries have to trawl every
page on the World Wide Web to find out who’s been
naughty and nice.
So, how do you pump up your Web presence and
increase your chances of a page-one listing in time for
Christmas? In truth, sprucing up your Internet presence is an ongoing process, but getting your Internet
site up to date right now
means you’re more likely to
attract the right kinds of
shoppers and keep them on
your site long enough to
make a purchase as festive
fever kicks in.
general structure of the page. Use synonyms as a way
of bumping up your page relevance and retaining the
interest of the reader.
STEP 1: Add New Content
The first battle is attracting hordes of cash-rich
online shoppers to the site
when they start to tick off
items on the seasonal shopping list. That is where longer-term search engine
optimization (SEO) comes into play. Like the ad says,
a Web site is for life ... not just for Christmas.
But, if you are only just sitting down with SEO in
mind, refreshing the content of the landing page and
key product pages is a great place to start. Not only
will this encourage the search engine spiders to crawl
the site and re-index the content, you’ll also be giving return visitors new reasons to place their order.
The updated content should be full of your key
STEP 2: Submit Your Site Map to the Top 3
terms. The tricky part is making the text flow natu-
rally, so experiment with a few draft
versions before uploading. Include
your most important search words as
early as possible, placing them in the
title, first line and then first paragraph
of the text. Repeat them throughout,
being careful that they fit in with the
Although there is some debate as to how frequently you should re-submit your site map to
search engines like Google and Yahoo!, it is generally accepted that the big three are slow to get around
to re-visiting your site. That said, for SEO purposes,
you should aim to re-submit
your URL each time you add a
new page or significant new
Google has a very handy
suite of Webmaster tools, allowing you to quickly submit your
site to their database. This suite
will give you lots of handy information, such as the last time
your site was indexed and if your
site map is in the correct format.
“That is where
longer-term SEO comes
into play. Like the ad says,
a Web site is for life ...
not just for Christmas. ” STEP 3: Tell the World About
Your Christmas Offers
Most search engines rank your Web site on the
number of other sites linking back to you. Building
up a collection of relevant link-backs takes time, but,
to ensure you increase your SEO presence before
Christmas, you can speed the process along by sending out a well-written press release about your seasonal offers, including a link to your home page.
If you’re not confident in your ability to succinctly
sell your site with the written word, enlist the help of
a public relations firm. Many will also send the press
release out to media for you.
If you opt to do it yourself, submit the release to as
many free press distribution channels as you can.
Now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with
social media sites and open a company blog to raise
awareness of your festive features amongst Web users
and drive targeted traffic to your site. ■