With the many unknowns of 2020, there have been some things that have become more certain in the retail space. And the trend we’re most interested in? That we’re now in a digital-first era.
This is of particular importance on the run-up to one of the most popular shopping days of the year: Black Friday. This year, Black Friday falls on November 27, 2020. Last year, US sales reached $7.4 billion; if you’re not ready for it, you might end up losing out.
eCommerce stores need search engine optimization (SEO) to thrive in this digital-first world, and seasonal events such as Black Friday are an important component of a wider strategy. It takes a good amount of planning and work to get in the position to come out as a Black Friday winner.
If you have traditionally questioned the role of SEO in your marketing strategy, you’ll benefit from reading on. In this post, we’ll give you the rundown of why you need to get SEO right, particularly from 2020 onwards.
5 reasons you need SEO for Black Friday 2020
Ready to learn more? Below, we’ve outlined five reasons why you need to invest in SEO for this year’s Black Friday shopping event.
You can’t rely on footfall this year
With a range of restrictions, lockdowns and safety measures, in-person shopping will be very different this Black Friday.
In previous years, there will have been lines of people waiting for doors to open at their favorite stores. This year there may be some lines in places where it’s allowed, but with social distancing, there won’t be a big rush to grab the hot products from the shelves.
Online will be the preferred choice for many shoppers this year to avoid long waits and to stay away from big crowds of people seen in 2019.
Black Friday starts earlier every year
Right now, many people don’t have a lot to look forward to. Smaller family gatherings and a stop to frequent vacations have left a chunk of the population feeling a bit out of sorts. Retail therapy will be at play this year, as online shopping is something that can be done with robust excuses thanks to Covid-19:
- “I need to buy better Christmas presents for the family members I won’t get to see this year.”
- “Since we’re spending Christmas at home, we need to buy…”
- “We’re spending more time indoors so we need a bigger TV!”
Whatever the rationale, consumers will be ready for Black Friday, and will likely look for deals before the day itself.
The Telegraph reports that in the UK, Black Friday “has become much like Christmas” with “many businesses choosing to run activities across the whole month to take advantage of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and festive gift planning.”
Establishing the right URLs, categories, and canonical tags all play a part in grabbing the early Black Friday traffic, maximizing the potential sales over this period.
You may have hidden technical issues
On that topic, did you manage to read Ruth Everett’s blog post for DeepCrawl, named ‘8 Common SEO Issues Facing eCommerce sites’? In this post, Ruth explained some of the most common SEO issues she has found across a range of eCommerce websites.
Ruth put it like this: “with this increasing demand for online stores likely to continue, the need for a well-performing eCommerce website has never been greater.”
Technical issues can result in a lack of crawling, indexing, and poor user experience. If your eCommerce store has ongoing technical problems, your competitors could be picking up a greater share of traffic and sales.
Maximize your sales
Having a clearly defined area of your eCommerce website for Black Friday means that customers will know exactly where to head to find what they’re looking for. They may have come to your online store to buy a certain product but noticed that you had a great deal on some other items too.
This cross-selling can help you to add extra dollars to each customer’s online shopping cart. But in order to get it right, it does mean you’ll have to follow SEO best practice by putting a Black Friday landing page link within your header navigation, and other practical changes like this.
Just because Black Friday is now online, it doesn’t mean there isn’t still a sense of urgency. Consumers worry that they’ll miss the best deals so they may only have a limited attention span to click around on a single website before moving onto a competitor. It pays to get it right.
Attract the deal hunters
Above, we discussed the consumers that have a specific product in mind when they land on your eCommerce website on Black Friday. It’s important to remember that this isn’t the scenario for every customer though; some will just be looking for generic Black Friday deals.
Your Black Friday landing page should be optimized to meet this demand. This includes using phrases like ‘Black Friday deals 2020’, and typical modifiers of this.
Whilst the search engine result pages will be very competitive for generic terms leading up to Black Friday, it will be plenty more economical than choosing an isolated pay-per-click (PPC) advertising approach.
Don’t be fooled into creating a new URL for each year of your Black Friday offers and promotions. A URL slug with /black-friday-deals-2020 may be logical in your CMS, but with this approach, you would have to start from scratch every year (which takes a lot more work!).
A simple /black-friday or /black-friday-deals will be able to be used every year, and all you’ll need to do is to optimize the on-page content and the metadata. Imagine all of those broken links you’d end up with after November! Make the experience better for users, search engines, and retain valuable backlinks to your online store.
Ready to prepare for Black Friday?
If you’re keen to get into gear for Black Friday 2020, you’ll want to start adopting SEO best practices sooner rather than later.
In a recent DeepCrawl blog post with Luke Carthy, he suggested that Q4 is the biggest, make-or-break quarter of the year. Luke believes that brands need to adopt a fight-or-flight response this year, with smart retail brands choosing the ‘fight’ option, and rapidly investing in digital to help ensure their survival.