I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve done most of my Christmas shopping already. So far, everything I have bought has been online, and it’s been a relatively painless experience.

There are still plenty of opportunities out there to capture shoppers who don’t freak out about the festive season as early as I do, though. As well as last year’s tips for making sure your website is ready for an influx of shoppers, here are some additional tidbits for brands looking to get an edge over the competition.

Make the most of your PPC budget

Keeping ad copy fresh and making sure that Google Shopping data feeds have minimal errors are both critical in beating the increasing competition in the run up to Christmas.

Utilise ad extensions to capture more page real estate and use offers on Google Shopping ads to entice shoppers. Note that for the offers to appear on Google Shopping ads, you’ll need to fill out this request form first.

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Make your content sparkle

Users are more likely to be searching for Christmas and party season related terms, so make sure you include sections on your site that cater to these audiences. For seasonal stock, go nuts on the product descriptions to make them sound cheery and festive. Matalan do a pretty good job of this with their Christmas jumper category and product pages.

Scheduling a series of blog posts that fit in with planned offers and discounts is also a great way to include SEO friendly terms that relate to Christmas. Gift guides, top ten lists, most wanted, and new product launches can all be tied into promotions too.

Asos are covering all the bases with a great gift guide section, which links through to relevant blog content to inspire shoppers – no matter how big or small their budget.

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Markup your code

Retailers should consider marking up code with structured data, which helps to show additional information in search results. By doing this, you can include an image of the product, the price, availability, and rating for your product. Note that at this time, as far as I can tell, Google is not including product images in SERPs, but that may change as they have tested it previously.

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For most sites, this can be done without having to pay a developer. Under the Search Appearance drop down in Google Search Console, there is a tool called Data Highlighter, which provides a quick and easy way to deploy markup across single pages or a whole load of pages with the same structure (all product pages, for example).

If you’d rather have a developer implement this for you, or if you are having issues with the Data Highlighter tool, the markup can be found in Google Developers documentation here.

Don’t neglect what has worked in Christmas past

Be aware that this time of year may not be the best time to test out loads of new ideas through lots of different channels. Focussing efforts on the channels that have historically resulted in the greatest ROI is the best strategy at the busiest time of year, and it prevents budgets, time, and resources from being spread too thin.

Need help planning and executing a campaign? Let us know!