Thursday, November 1, 2012

Black Friday and Cyber Monday SEO Tips

This post and tips are geared toward Etsy Shops, and the Etsy website specifically.  With everyone out and about the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally known as Black Friday, and the Monday after Black Friday has been coined as Cyber Monday.  Etsy Shop Owners want to cash in on some of the spending that is going on.

Black Friday is called this because it is the day the retailers drop their prices to attempt to go into the ‘black’ accounting wise; shoppers take advantage of this to get their Christmas gifts all bought at bottom dollar prices.

Cyber Monday is the big day that most online only retailers have that huge surge in sales that brick and mortar stores experience on Black Friday.  Cyber Monday is a fairly new, seven years old, marketing term used the Monday after Black Friday to convince people to shop online.

As a small retailer on Etsy it is hard to imagine dropping your prices so low that you could then go into the ‘black’; it seems kind of backwards when you view the idea on a smaller level.  You don’t have to drop your prices so low that you are making no profit, just enough to get the shoppers to buy from you.  One way to offer a special and increase your profits during these two big shopping days is to offer free shipping for anyone that spends a certain amount or more in your shop.

But first, you have to get those shoppers into your store before you can turn then into customers.

There are several ways in which you can do this, obviously marketing and advertising play a key factor…  So what ever specials or sales you are running, if you have specific items that make great Christmas gifts, or whatever your niche is; get on the social networking platforms and let people know. 

You also want to make sure that all those people that are searching and browsing for YOUR specific items can find you, and here are a few ways to make that happen:

1.  Publish your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Content Early.  Look at the larger retailers, they start to advertise their Black Friday Sales and Specials a couple weeks to a month in advance.  Set a plan for your Etsy Shop Sales and Specials for that day then start sending it out.  Make sure to include links to your shop, sections of your shop and individual items when you do so that you can get a little ahead of the SEO game just from your promotions.

2.  Use images.  Images make online shopping easier as they grab the shoppers attention.  Use alt tags for your images that are optimized to Black Friday related keywords.

3.  Research your keywords on Etsy and Google Suggest.  Try various combinations.  Start with the words Black Friday then your own main keyword.  An example of this would be if you are selling hats, then type in Black Friday Hats or Cyber Monday Hats and see what suggestions you get.  Change your tags and keywords to fit what people are actually looking for.

4.  Look at Google’s ‘Searches related to’ at the bottom of Google Search Results.  What else is there that you could use?  Think like a shopper.  Type in keywords and phrases that you think shoppers looking for your items would type, see what comes up.  Do this in the Etsy Search also.

5.  Use the year and/or Thanksgiving.  Some people say this is a good idea, some think it is a waste of time.  Use the above (#3 and #4) suggestions and add the year or the word Thanksgiving and see what you come up with it.  In your specific categories it may not be needed.  Also, consider using the words Black Friday, Black Friday Sale, Black Friday Special (or any combination of Cyber Monday, Black Friday and sale or special) followed by your main keyword and see what you find. 

6.  Use the keywords and phrases that you have found to be most relevant for your shop and items in your pre-Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing and Content.  Change your headers, descriptions, tags and keywords for those two days to attract the online shopping crowd that searches specifically for Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday sales events.

All of this may seem like a lot of work, and well it is time consuming.  But, the whole point is that you want people to spend money in your shop and they can not do that if they can not find you.  No one else will be doing this for you, so start planning now to spend a few minutes to an hour a day preparing your shop, your listings, your tags, promotional copy and marketing strategies to ensure that YOUR customers find you!

There is a good checklist at SlingshotSEO that you can tailor then use for your Etsy shop.  A few of their suggestions are geared towards larger sites or retailers with their own sites, but many of the things can be used for your Etsy shop too.  Take a look at their checklist HERE.

I welcome any questions or comments that you have!  Let others know, in the comments below, what has worked for you, what hasn’t worked for you or if you are a shopper let us know what you are looking for and what you want to see on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!




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