How We Leverage Content and SEO to Maximize Seasonal Performance
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There’s no denying that Christmas products are highly seasonal. So, how can you promote conversion and customer engagement year round?
We are Nathan Gordon, Chief Information Officer, and Laura Gordon, Director of Communication, at Christmas Central, and we’re excited to dive into how these ecommerce strategies have transformed our business.
Christmas Central: How We Got Started
Our family business was born in the 1970s and, after three decades of growth, we expanded our brick-and-mortar business online in 2001. Christmascentral.com then made its debut in 2004.
So what exactly is Christmas Central? We are an online Christmas destination store that sells everything Christmas-related — from the largest Christmas tree to the tiniest ornament.
In efforts to expand our business, we also cover all of the minor holidays ‚ like Thanksgiving, Halloween, and St. Patrick’s Day — and, more recently, have grown our offering in home decor products — like pool and patio.
After seeing how product expansion benefited our store, we’re excited to share that we’ve reached a new milestone in our online business. Later this year, Christmas Central’s going to change as we start moving to a new website: Christmas.com.
The next phase of Christmas Central will focus on a marketplace for all things Christmas — from decorations to gifts — and we’re excited to bring in a lot of great BigCommerce vendors to help make it even better.
How Content and SEO Makes Our Website a First Choice For Customers
When it comes to content strategy, we feel lucky since people typically love looking at Christmas photos. It’s become key that we hone in on the warm nostalgic feeling of Christmas.
To do this successfully, we focus on collaborating with bloggers, magazines, and even major movie productions so we can get content that encompasses the beautiful Christmas scenes that our customers admire. We then take the content and share it across our social media platforms and our website. We’ll also use some of the imagery in retargeting ads.
After optimizing our visual content, we make sure we have great SEO performance on leading keywords. This includes optimizing all the appropriate fields — like product titles, descriptions, and product tags.
We have found our customers typically search for niche seasonal products. For example, even with Christmas lights, one of our leading Christmas light keywords is pink Christmas lights.
We know that we’re going to perform better by focusing on keywords that match our extensive product offering rather than a broad term like ‘Christmas lights.’ To make sure we are staying up to speed with niche or trending products, each year we’ll go through and we’ll revamp our blogs and our listings, allowing us to focus on the items that we know are going to be big for us.
By blending our visual content with leading SEO performance on key terms, our customers see our business as the leading choice for all things Christmas.
Diversifying Your Product Offering and Bringing It To Life Through Content Syndication
We often get asked why we decided to expand our product offering to more than just Christmas-related items. Originally, it was really to keep more of the staff engaged for the whole year.
When you’re so seasonal and you have a giant spike, it makes it very difficult to carry the staff in the beginning part of the year. So, we began to research ways to level out our season so that the customer service and warehouse teams are constantly at work.
We found the only way to really do that was to totally offset the Christmas season, because normally, people aren’t buying a pool filter at Christmastime. We didn’t want to add more items that would just make Christmas that much busier.
Once you have the products, it’s important to pair it with messaging that resonates with your customers. Think about what the customers actually wants to hear about, read about and see. Quality content is the kind of marketing material that provides customers with ideas on how to incorporate the products into their lifestyle.
After you’ve created your quality content, you’ll need to promote it through different channels, both online and offline, that are best fit for your business.
At the end of the day, we are highly seasonal.
It’s crucial that you plan early, but I think there’s something to be said about being creative and flexible as time goes on. Just like life, challenges arise — so you’ll need to keep an eye on your competitors and monitor the landscape, pay attention to what your customers are reacting to in the market, and adapt accordingly.
By having quality content on your site, you’ll have all the vital information customers need to find everything they’re looking for. This strategy is powerful, as it helps greatly improve the customer experience and helps lead to those conversions and getting customers to actually buy the product.
Register for this year’s Make It Big Conference to unlock the full story of Christmas Central and key content marketing strategies to help you successfully sell online.
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