SEO Best Practices for Retail Brands on Black Friday
For retail brands, Black Friday is often the most lucrative time of the year. The great thing about Black Friday is that we all know when it’s going to happen, but knowing is half the battle – what can we do with this knowledge? How can you ensure that your website is ready for the surge in buying interest that comes with the event? Here are some tips for ensuring that your Black Friday web page(s) work for you, and are primed and ready for customers to find you instead of your competitors.
Optimise your page for terms your potential customers are actually using
This may sound a little harsh, but the general public cares less about your branding and messaging than you do, and they often won’t search for your products or services in the ways you may want them to. Of course, branding, messaging, and tone of voice are all important and shouldn’t be abandoned, but when trying to optimise your website for search, it’s important to consider what your potential customers will actually be searching for.
Consider this example: you’re a retail brand preparing a web page for your Black Friday event. Imagine that everyone working on the website is inclined to think of Black Friday as being a time for “sales” rather than “deals”, or perhaps you have brand guidelines that prefer the term “sales” over “deals”. In this case, you’d almost certainly use the phrasing “Black Friday sales” across your Black Friday page, and perhaps omit any mention of the term “deals” completely. However, a quick look at Google Trends (see below) will show you that the term “Black Friday deals” is far more popular than “Black Friday sales” around the world.
[Source: Google Trends]
To give some numbers on this disparity, in November 2021, “Black Friday deals” received 1.5 million searches, whereas “Black Friday sales” received 368,000 searches. [Source: Google Keyword Planner]
We’re not saying you should abandon all mention of the term “Black Friday sales”, but failing to optimise for the more popular “Black Friday deals” search term could result in your website missing out on a lot of traffic, and therefore sales.
Spend a little time doing even the most basic keyword research to identify different terminology or ways of talking about a particular event and determine which terms are the most popular in the regions in which you operate. Use these findings to inform the content you add not only to your main Black Friday page but also to any supporting content you create around the event.
Timing is key for launching Black Friday pages
Another common mistake is launching or updating your Black Friday webpage too late. Many of us think that Black Friday pages should go live just before the event itself – and it’s understandable. However, a little research will show that people become interested in Black Friday several weeks in advance of the big day. Since this is the case, you’ll want your brand to be appearing as people are researching, so that once the big day comes, they’ll know to come and your site instead of a competitor’s.
When is the best time to launch your Black Friday page? We can return to a free tool like Google Trends for an answer. It will show you when searches for Black Friday deals begin to increase – around the moment of inflection is when you’ll want to launch your page in order to capitalise on the increased search demand. Searches around “Black Friday deals” start to increase in mid-late October, a whole month before Black Friday actually occurs, as shown by the chart below:
[Source: Google Trends]
When using a tool to find the search trends for Black Friday, be sure to look at the whole year, not just the obvious month of November, in order to get the most accurate and useful information. You can even compare with the previous year to see if the trend matches, or whether yearly trends have changed due to an external event (e.g. COVID-19).
Get ahead of the curve – don’t miss the boat!
Black Friday pages have value beyond Black Friday
Once the spending spree is over, the tills have stopped ringing and all the deals have been done for another November, your Black Friday page still has a role to play. The specific information on the page will be out-of-date following the event, but search interest doesn’t plummet to zero, and the page can still support your business.
Following a Black Friday event, it’s important to update your Black Friday page to include Evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that is relevant for an extended period of time. There are a number of reasons why:
Firstly, the page can provide information to users searching for your Black Friday offerings throughout the year. Your messaging can even be as simple as “join us next November for Black Friday 2023!”. This tells everyone landing on the page during the off-season that they can expect some Black Friday deals from your brand when the time comes.
Secondly, the page can support other pages on your website by providing internal links and directing traffic to those pages. Add links to all relevant blog content to drive interested users to those pages, and be sure to add links to any related product pages. Internal links not only direct traffic to your other pages, but also spread valuable link equity around your website. Don’t let your Black Friday page be a “dead-end” for users who land on it during the off-season; make it easy for them to navigate around the rest of your site – you may see some conversions as a result!
Don’t forget about Cyber Monday
While Black Friday is the all-encompassing term for the several-day shopping event that falls after the US’s Thanksgiving celebration, the term for the Monday is Cyber Monday. While not as popular a term as Black Friday, once the actual Friday is over, many shoppers stop searching for that term and instead look for “Cyber Monday deals”.
Now, you could just update your Black Friday page on Saturday morning and swap the term “Black Friday” for “Cyber Monday”. However, you’d potentially be losing out on those shoppers who are still searching for “Black Friday deals” throughout the long weekend. The solution? Create a dedicated page for Cyber Monday.
Having a separate page for Cyber Monday shoppers will allow you to capitalise on the search interest around that term while allowing your Black Friday page to continue to attract Black Friday searchers. It’s a win-win!
So there you have it, our guide to SEO Best Practices for Retail Brands on Black Friday. Do you need help with your ecommerce SEO strategy? Get in touch with our team today.