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Today’s guest post is from AJ Silber, the Founder of The Guerrilla Agency

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to be selling online.

There is no better time to be eCommerce equipped and prepared than the holidays. Year after year, the number of customers making purchases online skyrockets. In 2017, eCommerce sales during the holiday season rose by a staggering 11.5% when compared to 2016.

The National Retail Federation only expects these numbers to continue rising, as consumers become more and more reliant on their devices for purchasing.

As the holidays are just around the corner, here are some things you can be doing to prepare for this year’s rush.

Update Your SEO Strategy: Get more for less

SEO strategies can’t be cooked up overnight, so we recommend implementing these changes as quickly as you can.

Big brands are going to be gearing up for the holiday season, and as they spend on campaigns, costs will inevitably rise.

That’s why it’s especially essential to keep your costs down by organically ranking for keywords that you’ve strategically chosen.

Here are some tips for finding the right keywords.

“Coming soon” pages

One way to drive interest and traffic is by creating “coming soon” or “sneak peek” pages. These pages illustrate the exclusive nature of a product or service and also give some SEO juice for gift guides and specific products.

Start on indexing holiday inquiries

Get ahead of the competition by implementing holiday-specific keywords into web copy and metadata, this includes blogs, coming soon pages, etc. It comes down to finding what people are searching for and making those items easier to find on your site.

What worked last year?

Don’t knock it if it worked. Optimize for those terms and phrases with better pages and higher quality page content; this will build on any successes you’ve already had and provided you with more backlinks.

Optimize for Mobile

If you’re not optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on an incredible amount of revenue.

34.5% of eCommerce sales came from a mobile device last year. That number is shocking — and it’s only growing.

Here are some ways you can optimize for mobile this holiday season.

  • Make sure it’s fast. AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) will increase dwell time and keep customers happy.
  • Customize checkout and create a strategy for shopping cart abandonment.
  • Optimize for voice search — mobile users often utilize voice for quick holiday finds.

Prep your campaigns

You know the drill, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are when the customers are going to be flooding your website. But seasonal promotions are essentially the same strategy — different dates. It’s about knowing how to prepare for the specific holiday and catering a campaign to fit the right time and audience.

Team communication around these holidays is essential. Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes time to launch. Trello boards, Google sheets, Slack — whatever it takes to get everyone organized around a common goal, this includes your email campaign strategy.

Build a page specifically for holiday season delivery dates. Do this before the holiday even comes with some verbiage like “buy now to get before ____ holiday.” Get it out on social and create a well-organized campaign around the initiative.

Experiment with deals.

Deals can include free shipping or BOGO promotions. Try out limited time offers to give a sense of urgency. There are tons of different ways to create a campaign around this time of year, get creative.

A good time to create loyalty.

The holidays are a great time to create advocates out of your customers and keep them around longer.

This is a memorable time of the year after all, and exceeding the expectations during such a stressful time can create lifelong partners and consumers.

After-purchase strategies such as follow-up emails with personalized messaging and offers can push the right buttons.

The Holidays are also a good time to collect tons of emails and data, giving you insight into future campaigns and how to better offer your products or services.

If you haven’t already started your holiday prep, this is crunch time. Make this holiday season, your season.

Looking for more suggestions this holiday season?  Be sure to download our  Holiday Tips