If you sell products to consumers, the year-end holidays are a make-or-break big deal. So, making sure online buyers find you easily and happily by planning your search strategy ahead of launch is paramount.

Derek Gordon provides some useful tips for doing so in a recent issue of VatorNews. Among them:

  1. First and foremost, identify the right keywords. Go beyond the usual tactics to form red-hot words that match this holiday's hottest trends. Read "dead-tree media" to identify terms your audience is using, and to learn what celebrities are doing and wearing. "Women often search by celebrity name plus the product—for example, 'angelina jolie makeup,'" Gordon says. Watch popular TV shows to, again, see what's being worn and said. Pay attention to commercials as well. Finally, park yourself on a bench at a mall or other public place and watch and listen, he advises. What's hot? What's not?
  2. Now, develop your search campaigns around your holiday keywords. "The goal here is to develop well-thought-out campaigns (re: strategic) that are targeted and optimized for what people are looking for," says Gordon.
  3. Then, plan out your blog posts. Having a blog makes it easy to create keyword-rich content "on the fly" that gets picked up in search-engine results pages quickly. Develop a holiday editorial calendar, and note when you'll write posts that announce in-store events or online sales, and when hot products are going to be promoted.

Remember: It pays to sit down and plan out your search campaign strategy, keywords and content in advance of implementing your holiday campaign. If you haven't so far, don't delay a second longer!

The Point: 'Tis the season! Make a list right now of the steps involved in your holiday-season search strategy, check it twice, and take off!

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