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The holidays are all about lists, right? If you’re a retailer, you’ve probably completed everything on your holiday readiness list – merchandising, marketing and content prep, along with technology tests and tune ups for top performance. In fact, peak season planning typically begins in June and concludes by October. The good news is that there are still steps smart retailers can take to drive holiday traffic – and yes, it’s going to be up this year. U.S., retail eCommerce sales are expected to jump 16.6% in 2017, driven largely by mobile commerce (eMarketer).  It’s not too late to set your site up for success with these five last-minute holiday SEO checks.

  1. Start your SEO check by updating or redirecting last year’s holiday content

Fill in the search box with holiday (and other terms you may have used in the past) to find legacy pages that are still indexed.

  • If you are reusing these URLs, you are in great shape.
  • If you will not have 2017 content at these URLs, set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the most relevant new page.
  1. Plan your 2017 holiday keyword strategy

Keyword trends change over time along with your content. Keyword databases and your site analytics are great sources for identifying visitor search habits for gifting and holidays. Be sure to mine and apply this data.

  1. Optimize holiday landing pages

No holiday SEO check is complete without ensuring that your holiday landing pages have URLs, titles, descriptions, headlines, content, and links geared to your customer’s search habits. Other pages on your site may also need an update if you’ve added merchandise that is giftable or holiday-related.

  1. Differentiate holiday products from everyday products

If you’ve added a gift set, bundle, or travel kit of your more popular products, differentiate these product detail pages from the core product. Leverage terms related to gifting (i.e. gift set) in the title, description and copy to ensure the product pages do not compete against each other. Consider cross linking them so that people landing on one can easily find the other.

  1. To complete your SEO check, socialize your holiday pages

New pages are difficult to rank in organic search. Include your holiday pages in your holiday editorial calendar to drive social traffic, shares and likes to these pages. Consider having influencers link to key content pages like gift guides or dedicated pages with seasonal content.

Take these quick and easy steps today to optimize your site for the holidays and increase visibility among shoppers who are – yes, making their lists and checking them twice.