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by Stephen Logan on 7th October 2010
‘Tis the season to be optimising – there’s no time like the present to be getting your Christmas PPC and SEO work started.
Have you seen mince pies in your local supermarket yet? If so, you’ve probably mirrored the reaction of many others, rolling your eyes or laughing in disbelief – you might even have bought them, who knows?
It’s 20 degrees outside (give or take) and we’re barely in autumn, so why are stores already forcing Christmas down our throats? Whilst you might not quite be in the festive spirit just yet, there is something we can learn from this commercial over eagerness – the art of forward planning.
A supermarket won’t really be expecting to shift thousands of mince pies in the first week of October. They are put out there as an appetiser, even a reminder. Released in anticipation of the onslaught that will begin in earnest towards the end of November. Online retailers might be reticent to follow suit, but they could be missing a trick as a result.
For example, how long does it take you to develop a fully optimised PPC campaign? Of course you can cobble together a quick advert, choose a keyword and bid substantially higher than anybody else; but this is an expensive way of earning a paid search ranking.
A properly optimised campaign needs time to bed in. You have to get to grips with which keywords work best, remove any negatives and target specific times of day or even geographical locations. This kind of work takes time to get right, maybe even the 78 days we have until Christmas.
Essentially there’s little or no point in deciding on December 1st that you’d like to create a new PPC campaign to promote your site’s festive treats. That ship, in all likelihood, will have sailed long ago.
Many companies will have already begun their online marketing campaigns when summer was in full bloom. Developing pages within their site to target specialist festive terms and slowly rolling out PPC adverts. It’s not too late to start now, but time is pressing.
If SEO is your primary focus, then you need to make sure you’re concentrating on strengthening those festive money pages. Whether they are new additions or you are looking to alter existing pages, it’s important that you have optimal keywords researched and implemented properly. You also need to develop link strength, both from external and internal sources.
There’s a lot of work right there, so shoehorning it on the first day of Advent probably isn’t going to yield much in the way of results. You have to be like the supermarkets and plan ahead, far, far ahead. When Christmas is out the way, you know that there will be Easter eggs on the shelves. Then when that’s done it’ll be barbecue equipment. It’s a never-ending cycle and one that businesses online shouldn’t ignore.