Here we going to look at preparing your content for Black Friday. I will guide you with some quick and easy steps.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping events of the year for many eCommerce brands. While we might not celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, we have still adopted this annual shopping event as a way to ease us into the Christmas shopping period.
Thanksgiving traditionally falls on the third Thursday of November, with Black Friday following the day after, and Cyber Monday landing after the weekend. However, if November has five Thursdays, then it will be held on the fourth Thursday. This year, it means that Black Friday will be on the 24th November.
This gives you plenty of time to prepare your website content for the busier shopping period, allowing you to kick start the festival shopping season with a few days of bumper sales. If your website content needs a little sprucing up before this shopping event, read on to learn more about content best practice.
Think about your landing pages
When users are looking for a specific product, every page on your website becomes a landing page. Your website home page is no longer the hardest working page on your site; every page needs to work just as hard.
You can also capitalise on the interest in Black Friday sales by making specific landing pages for the event. You can use the page to highlight the items you have on offer so website visitors can find your best deals. You can also make the most of Black Friday specific keywords.
As you create landing pages, make sure that you are optimising them with high quality images, a logical UI, optimised content and a simple URL structure. You should also keep a close eye on the page speed, as slow website speeds can damage the user experience and send your customers fleeing to your competitors.
Research relevant keywords
Do you know what your customers are actually searching for? There is often a disconnect between how customers describe products and how customers describe products. Regular keyword research and reviewing search trends can help you to close this gap.
There could also be some Black Friday specific keywords that are relevant to your brand. Only the most switched on brands will be capitalising on these terms, so you’ll have a good chance to compete before the SERP gets too crowded.
When doing your keyword research, you can quickly conflate your key product categories and best selling products with the relevant promotional day on Excel or Sheets. Use the CONCAT function to quickly generate a list of potential keywords to put into your chosen keyword research tool.
Remember that these keywords will be highly seasonal, but most keyword research tools will give you a monthly average. This means that the data won’t be entirely reliable, as you might see lots of demand for these terms in November, and then non-existent demand for the rest of the year. With this in mind, take all search volumes with a pinch of salt.
Guide the user with design
If you’ve done your keyword research right and optimised your content, then the users will finally land on your site. This is when you need to guide them to take the next steps with intuitive UI design.
First things first, they need to know they’ve found a great deal. Make sure you include the original price and the promotional price to highlight how much they could save. Your CTAs can also highlight how much visitors can expect to save. You can also make the most of the following design elements to guide the user on their purchase journey:
Banners, menus & widgets
Banners can fit anywhere on your website and will help to highlight your latest promotion. On Black Friday, it makes sense to adopt a black and white colour scheme to drive home the point. Banners are ideal for directing general website visitors to specific sales pages.
You could also add a special tab in your menu to help website visitors find the savings they are looking for. Adding a Black Friday section to your website menu is a great way to make navigating your sale much easier.
And finally, widgets can be added throughout your site to highlight potential savings and guide users in the right direction. A widget is simply a shortcut to relevant information. You could add these to blog posts, product pages, landing pages and more. They will simply help to highlight specific sales items and additional discount codes that your website visitors might not be aware of.
Communicate your event details in advance
Dropping a sale without announcing it anywhere is a surefire way to miss out on potential conversions. You could also annoy customers that have recently purchased, as they may then want to return items and get the sale price.
Take a cross-platform approach to announcing your sales and make sure that it is shared to your email marketing list, social media followers and on your website home page. A lot of companies like to build up the suspense by including a countdown to the start of the sale on their homepage. A countdown will help to increase the sense of scarcity and remind users they need to move quickly if they want to secure the best possible deal.
Follow link building opportunities
A lot of companies ignore the SEO potential in their campaigns. There are plenty of link building opportunities to be found when you want to share details of your sale. These are two of our favourite types of link building opportunities:
Around Black Friday, many publications and bloggers will start to put together buying guides. These are usually round up style articles that highlight the best discounts available. Since there are so many online publications and blogs available, there is a good chance there are plenty operating within your niche.
You can reach out to these sites to share details about your sales plans, or you can use a site like Help A Reporter Out to respond to requests for information. Inclusion in these guides should be free and will secure you a new backlink to your website.
Alongside buying guides, you can also secure backlinks from directories. These are often free to submit to and you can share details of your planned promotions. The most common directories you’ll need to Black Friday promotions will be coupon and money saving directories.
Remind visitors of scarcity
You don’t want to devalue your products by making it so that your discounts are always available. You need to create a sense of scarcity so that visitors feel compelled to act quickly. They should be concerned that the item might sell out or the promotion will end. This will prevent them from going away and thinking about their decision, or researching other options.
You can achieve this sense of scarcity with simple design tricks. You can highlight when stock items are running out with a tag that says something like “last few items remaining”. You can also include a countdown to show when your sale will end. This will encourage website visitors to act quickly. If they can see how much the item was originally, they will be more compelled to act quickly when they see the potential savings.
An important factor to consider when trying these types of scarcity sales tactics is that users will feel more confident making a quick decision if they can see your returns and refund policy. Make sure this is up to date and visible from every page on your website. The footer is a good place for it, but you could also include it alongside product information. If your returns policy is different for sale items, this information needs to be included.
What next after Black Friday?
When Black Friday is over and the promotions are finished, the temptation might be to remove the pages from your website. However, this can undo a lot of your hard work, particularly if you have directed external links to these pages.
Rather than deleting them or turning them into drafts, try repurposing the page as your general sales page. This will allow you to retain your links, and you may even enjoy some referral traffic from the directories and buying guides for years to come.
And when Black Friday comes around again, you’ll have a ready-optimised page that is all set to host your sale items.
A well-planned Black Friday sales page can help to boost SEO and secure high quality links that continue to drive value for years to come. If you’re planning your first Black Friday sale – or if you just want to improve your approach this year – this article should give you the spark of inspiration needed to shape your campaign.
Remember to optimise your pages, do your keyword research, and make the most of design elements to guide the user. You can then use social media, email campaigns and link building techniques to spread the word about your promotions and drive more traffic to your website.
I'm Paul Gordon an SEO freelancer who has spent the last 16 years helping businesses expand and grow through effective SEO strategies.