Black Friday: optimize SEO to gain visibility, and convert more!

We already talked about it, SEO integrates many parameters taken into account by search engines: responsiveness of your website on desktop and mobile, loading time, presence of "structured" data in search results ... So many points that play on the relevance and frequency of appearance of a website in search engines. Discover here how to stand out by following obvious good practices, and others that are less obvious...

Optimize your SEO to achieve a top ranking on Black Friday

There are numerous queries related to Black Friday, so you have to learn how to stand out! As a reminder, 75% of Internet users will not look past the first page of search results... This is especially true in the high-tech sector, in which Black Friday is even more integrated and Cyber Monday is semantically linked. These are very competitive searches, so learn all these tips and best practice to be ranked as highly as possible in time for Black Friday.

First of all, target your keywords, because it is not by relying on highly searched-for and very competitive words (also called "short-tail" keywords) like "Black Friday" or very generic terms like "leather jackets" that you will stand out. Once again, push the envelope by positioning yourself on more specific searches that are closer to your range of products or your business activity: "reversible khaki leather jacket with hood".

We already talked about optimizing your site to achieve a better ranking in this article. Another crucial parameter is taken into account in terms of your ranking: the improvement of the loading speed and the security of your site. You will gain the loyalty of users and the trust of search engines. In addition, if the experience is pleasant, the average time spent on your site will be longer, so your site will benefit from a better search engine ranking, not to mention that the chances of conversion on your site will also increase.

Back to basics!

Let's start with some SEO basics to make sure you'll be in line with the golden rules of SEO for your Ecommerce site. SEO is all about the health of your site. While speed is one symptom, its construction and reliability are others.

404 errors, and 301, 302 redirects:

Most often, 404 errors are due to a change of URL. This change of slug (a part of a URL) has not been redirected to its new version. You should therefore identify these 404 pages with tools like SEMRush or Google Search Console. If it's a technical problem like a broken link/change of direction of the page: undertake a 301 redirect. Strategically, these 301 redirects allow you to salvage something by permanently redirecting to a page that is as close as possible. It is also a clever way to take advantage of link juice to improve your SEO. To check if the redirect has been successful, use a tool like Redirect Checker. If it is a permanently broken link: make sure that the page has a "noindex" tag for search engines, or that it is permanently redirected to an equivalent page still active on your site. As for 302 redirects, if they are only temporary for the crawlers, this shows that the error has been targeted and taken in hand.

Be identifiable!

Include your NAP (name, address and phone number) so that you are considered a "real" business. Add this real ID to your site, so that it stands out andis better targeted and treated by search engines like Google. Even if you don't have physical proprietary outlets, offer some identification. If you are a DNVB or run a 100% online business, don't worry, you can take advantage of this too. Promote your local ranking by creating a Google My Business listing that presents your establishment, by providing a phone number (your customer service number?), the hours when that number can be reached and a postal address (your office address?).

404 page - Error 404, 301 & 302 redirect, Name-Address-Phone.
Silvr's custom 404 page - Error 404, 301 & 302 redirect, Name-Address-Phone...

The parameters visible by users...

Show your differences!

Remember to emphasize your unique offerings (e.g. the only made-in-France products in your sector, the only ones to offer delivery, etc.) As Silvr reminded you in the article "Promotion & stocks: how to use your promotions as a conversion lever", think about highlighting the reasons why you are convinced that you will make the difference: free delivery, free products, X or Y certifications, loyalty program, etc.

The landing page: a customizable and trackable entry point

Google has reminded us of the best practice for creating a landing page for Black Friday, and all other commercial holidays. Beyond its visual and promotional purpose, it is a gateway to your site that allows you to gather a lot of information to highlight your temporary offers (during Black Friday). Customizable, trackable and dynamic: the landing page also serves to weave a better mesh for your backlinks and internal links. So, on this landing page, create links to your homepage, to your corresponding product pages, and to your categories affected by Black Friday.

Keywords: SEO success is a matter of few letters

Use Google Trends or the Google Keyword Planner feature built into Google Ads to do your research ahead of time and learn which searches to include and when to do so, depending on the timings of your campaign’s publication. Create keyword tables for yourself. Using the CONCAT function in Excel or Google Sheet, this allows you to easily create keyword combinations. This way you'll know what to include and when to do it!

Which keyword combinations should you choose? Create short-tail combinations such as:

  • Black Friday + [product name]
  • Black Friday + [brand name]
  • Black Friday +[unique offering]
  • Black Friday +[free shipping]

Or capitalize on long-tail keywords such as:

  • Black Friday + [product name] + [category name] +[best deal] +[France] +[Sales]
  • Black Friday + [brand name] + [category name] +[free shipping] +[best deal]
  • ...

It is also important to use "evergreen" keywords = sustainable. SEO can take a lot of work over a long time period to set up and be effective... So assume that if your SEO is good over time, and on a category or a given product: you will gain valuable points on SERP. So take the time to work on your so-called "evergreen" pages, i.e. FAQs, tutorials and other timeless expert articles. Again, use Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner to ensure that your keywords for this content are relevant and long-lasting. Also, in this same content, use clear and non-technical phrasing to avoid the risk of "scaring away" visitors.

Implement a strategy for backlinks

Backlinks are links to your site (and your relevant content) from domain names external to yours. If you are a brand of dietary supplements and a fitness blog links to one of your products, or if you are a sneaker retailer and a trendy media site lists the most beautiful models of the year and recommends buying the model on your platform... You then benefit from what is referred to as backlinks. They are one of the best ways to be seen and heard, and to make others talk about you. So, don't skimp on backlinks, whether they’re acquired naturally or purchased. It will improve your online authority score and allow your most visited pages to benefit from a better indexation on search engines. You will gain relevance, and this is based on the recurrence, quality and interaction of your online content.

Do you have a blog? Don’t hesitate to highlight your expertise and share it with your partners. Like this guestblogging operation between Agicap and Silvr: the French cash flow tool Agicap produced an article that was published by Silvr on the topic “How can the finance function quickly correct its WCR?” In exchange, Agicap published an article by Silvr on Revenue Based Financing. As presented here, you have to be careful with your method of buying backlinks, because it is frowned upon by Google when it is abused and misused, i.e. when your links appear in pages that are not consistent with the subject matter. Remember this golden rule in the diversity of obtaining backlinks: it is better to have 20 backlinks from 20 sites, than to get 20 backlinks from a single site.

Metadata, recurring URL to keep the link juice, title tags, H1, H2, etc.
Metadata, recurring URL to keep the link juice, title tags, H1, H2, etc.

... and the parameters that are less so: think meta, alt attributes and title hierarchy

Think of the metadata!

We could have talked about it in the section on basics: metadata. This the veritable DNA of your contents; it’s not visible to users and visitors, but it is visible to search engine crawlers. There are classically 2 types of metadata:

  • Metadata that is invisible to users and that contributes to a better indexing of your site,
  • And metadata that is visible to users and drive click-through rate (CTR, expressed as a %) from organic search results.

Let's move on to the metadescription tag. This is very important, but why? Because it will act as a summary of the text, and therefore as a basis for checking the reliability of the description according to what is found on the page associated with the result displayed. This is what will summarize your content in the snippets of search engines. How long should it be? No more than 155 characters (including spaces). And if your luck is in, you should know that in rare cases, a search result can be developed as a rich snippet. Your search result then takes up more space in the search results, and is often accompanied by a visual. Also consider writing a second sentence, an expanded paragraph to broaden the content of the page.

You should also fill in the alt tags of your images and videos. If you include an image with a worthless name like "IMG_08675647", the crawlers will not find any information of interest in it and will pass it by. On the other hand, if an image contains a short but accurate description as an alt tag, then all of this content will have added value for search engines. If your product page contains several shots of the same product, don't hesitate to vary the metadata like this: "Women's leather shoes seen from the side: durable, hand-stitched and in 10 colors" + "Women's leather shoes: 10 colors, elegant with jeans". The title of the imported image should reflect the alt description that will be made. What is the purpose of this? To ensure that your images are ranked in the image results of search engines, complementary to the textual results.

Hierarchy of titles H1, H2, etc.

Just like content published online, you must respect a hierarchy. Let's start with the H1 title tag: your page should contain only one title tag that condenses what will be found on the page according to specific keywords. Its length should not exceed 65 characters (including spaces). It’s a title, not a paragraph! The H1 obviously contains your main keyword. As for the H2 and H3 title tags, no precise limit is given. However, hierarchically, each H2 must contain at least two H3. Similarly with your H3 and H4 tags, the former must contain at least two H4. Otherwise, the chaptered segmentation does not make sense.

Use a recurring URL to go back with a similar ID

And yes, there is no need to customize the URL of your Black Friday-Cyber Monday pages, as is also the case for sales, or all the other recurring events in your business – such as the beginning of the school year (re-read the article E-tailers: how to prepare for the new school year?). Opt for a URL along the lines of "/yoursite/black-friday/" rather than "/yoursite/black-friday2022-best-deals/".

In addition, by creating a sustainable URL over time, you ensure stability and the opportunity to gain cumulative visits – year after year. The result? Your page will gain authority and internal and external links, and thus the top SERP ranking will be within reach of your site. As a study byAhrefs points out, the majority of first-ranked pages on Google are more than 3 years old, less than 6% of the first pages are less than a year old, and 75% of these new pages do not even reach the top 100 SERP positions.

Fill in the structured data to complete your online presence, and thus improve it

Finally, let's talk about structured micro-data, which is therefore invisible to users, but which is nevertheless very useful to promote your ranking in the eyes of search engines. By integrating the structured data we're talking about here, your product pages will appear in the search engines in an exhaustive way. The use of the schema.org protocol is recommended for a better indexation, and there are three different pieces of code used to integrate them into your pages:

  • JSON-LD
  • RDFa
  • Microdata

What are the benefits?

By implementing structured data markup streams that meet HTML specifications, your product data will be automatically updated. Use this structured data to improve your click-through rate, decrease the bounce rate, be clearer about product information, and therefore improve your SEO...and consequently generate more revenue. Indeed, as Google Merchant Center specifies, by respecting the structuring of the markup, your product data will be readable and will allow:

  • Automatic item updates that reduce the risk of your account being suspended due to a lack of consistency in availability and pricing.
  • And the automatic feed that works by importing to create a master feed in your Merchant Center account.

What tags can be used?

There are 4 specific tags for e-tailers and for storefront sites:

  • The Product tag, for your virtual or physical products;
  • The Offer tag, which displays the price and availability of the product;
  • And the Rating and Aggregate Rating tags that list the customer reviews left on the product page.

Refresh the sitemap and restart the crawl of your pages

After all your work is done, don't forget to refresh your sitemap (a text file listing all your URLs, and often automatically generated by your CMS), and to restart the crawl of your site's pages to bring up the new relevant information, like after publishing your landing page. You can use your Google Search Console account to request the indexation of your new URLs. Finally, don't let your beautiful BFCM landing page exist on its own without any incoming links. Link it to your homepage and to the category pages corresponding to the posts it contains.

- Published
January 23, 2023
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