It’s that time of the year again. There are code freezes just around the corner for most online retailers and those big brands that aren’t focused on hitting holiday sales goals are getting their 2012 search engine marketing budgets aligned.
That’s just the way things work at large, enterprise-class online organizations. If you’re not working on implementing tactics set forth in your search engine marketing plan, you’re working on building new tactics into your upcoming search engine marketing strategies.
If you find that you’re going to have to work a little harder to make your revenue goals this year or if you found a few extra dollars in your online marketing budget, there are still a few things you can do to increase your search engine referral traffic and help make your stretch bonus on year-end marketing goals.
Since there are essentially three pillars of successful search engine optimization – technical tactics, content optimization, and link building – let’s take a look at three strategies you might be able to add into your SEO projects yet this year.
Last-Minute Technical SEO Tactics
Your web content has fundamental information that people understand when they view it, read it, or engage with it. But search engines have a very limited understanding of what the actual context of some content is relevant to.
By adding additional tags to the HTML used in your web content, you can help search engines better understand the content and display it in a useful, relevant way to searchers. The better the understanding, the better the relevancy for improving your websites search engine referrals.
It’s never too late to embrace structured microdata. If your organization has any type of creative works in its content, such as books, movies, musical recordings or even recipes, or has store and office locations and local business places, or relies on any time of user generated content in the form of reviews, then you need to get your tags together and implement these highly tactical tags as part of a last-minute optimization strategy -- with a little help from Schema.org guidelines.
The tags are compiled behind the page rather than on the page, so most of the information required to produce the tags is already part of the database driving your website. It could be easy to get this type of last-minute coding update implemented quite quickly.
Get your key stakeholders assembled and see if you can add microdata to part of your year-end search engine marketing push. Doing so could improve your content’s relevancy and click-through-rates (CTRs) from organic search results yet this year.
Eleventh-Hour Content Optimization Tactics
Just like you can never be too rich or too thin, you can never have too many contests or give away too much free stuff.
Nothing explodes on the social sphere like a free Slurpee from 7-Eleven. Even a free cup of Starbucks coffee is still press-worthy when conjoined with Earth Day, which can also bring in a few fresh blog links right along with a multitude of eco-mined coffee lovers. If you hit it really big, like when giving away a free pint of Guinness, a successful product giveaway can even grow into a national day of celebration and keep driving search referral traffic year after year.
Bottom line: people love free stuff. When you give things away, you have the opportunity to create a perfect storm of localized news buzz from a national press release, send lips flapping and digits texting on social media venues, and add lots of news prospects to your email marketing lists as quickly as you help get more Likes on Facebook.
Almost every retailer has some sort of buy-one-get-one-free or “comes-with” promotion running at nearly any point in time. Why not aggregate these promotions online and give them their own page on your website?
Do you have a freebie email list, too? Does your “Black Friday” deal page complement your website’s coupon page? Now would be a great to time make certain that the content used for your organization’s holiday contests and promotions are also optimized to help fulfill your search engine marketing goals on the year.
Just in the Nick of Time Link Building Tactics
If you are indeed optimizing the content included in your organization’s holiday sales events and making you search results shine with microdata, then you’re also doing some passive link building, too. But you can keep the links coming to your preferred landing pages this holiday sales season not only by looking outside your site for topically relevant links, but also by looking inside and alongside your site in the form of link harvesting.
Link harvesting is a frequently neglected link building tactic. To be certain, link harvesting isn’t as sexy as spawning an infographic or promoting an iPhone app or two, but it can be a successful way to channel links that your content already earned toward a more seasonally current online destination.
Make the time to talk a walk through your backlink portfolio and scrutinize any forgotten microsites from past holiday sales seasons. You never know what you might find when you dig down deeply into your own backlink profile. Links are gifts that can keep on giving all through the holiday sales season. All you have to do is find them and direct them toward your preferred destination.
Don’t let a code freeze put your SEO initiatives on ice this year. Make the most of this holiday sales season by implementing a few last-minute optimization tactics that can scale across the enterprise and make your search engine marketing campaigns shine.
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures.net
This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) will bring together the industry's leading online marketing practitioners to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, the comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!