Alongside Christmas, Black Friday is permanently marked on the business calendar as one of the most important sales periods of the year. And no matter what your niche is, participation is an ideal (and often exhilarating) way of attracting new customers, and keeping your regulars happy too — a win-win, if you will. However, many store owners get a little too swept up in the excitement, reducing prices haphazardly and failing to lay the groundwork necessary for success prior to the big day.
Think of Black Friday as a one-off injection of conversion-boosting rocket fuel — all you’ve got to do is figure out how to get it into your engine. In other words, it’s important to devise a fresh plan for success well ahead of time — and think about where your existing ecommerce SEO framework will fit into the picture. Get it right, and you’ll leave your competition in the dust.
But if you’re still unconvinced of the staggering sales potential behind Black Friday, read on — there’s still time to get prepped should you decide to join the fray.
What is Black Friday?
Originating in the US, it’s a day when both brick and mortar stores as well as online shops offer steep discounts to kick off the Christmas season. In the US this happens the Friday after Thanksgiving whereas in the UK typically on the last Friday of November.
The term “Black Friday” originally had nothing to do with shopping. In the mid-20th century, it was used to describe the chaotic and congested streets of Philadelphia on the day after Thanksgiving. The city was flooded with visitors for the annual Army-Navy football game, leading to traffic snarls and mayhem. Retailers began using the term in the 1960s to describe the start of the holiday shopping season, hoping to turn a negative connotation into a positive one.
It wasn’t until 2010 when Amazon launched Black Friday deals in the UK typically on the last Friday of November. Now, retailers from all industries take part as customers eagerly await amazing deals that often go on all week including Cyber Monday!
E-commerce offered consumers a means of escaping the chaos of in-person Black Friday events. No longer did people need to line up outside stores in the early hours or contend with frenzied crowds. Instead, they could shop from the comfort of their homes, avoiding the hustle and bustle while still enjoying fantastic discounts.
How does SEO relate to Black Friday?
SEO is intricately linked to Black Friday marketing strategies. Retailers leverage SEO techniques to optimise their websites, product descriptions, and content with Black Friday-related keywords, ensuring their deals are easily discoverable by search engine users.
As an e-commerce seller, the odds may be in your favour when it comes to Black Friday but online if you’re visible online. Many shoppers now prefer the ease and convenience of online shopping during Black Friday as allows them to steer clear of the chaos associated with in-person shopping and often grants them access to exclusive offers.
A site that’s well-optimised is ready for Black Friday. Not only will your site be able to handle the increase in traffic, but you’ll appear in relevant search results, provide a good shopping experience, and remain competitive.
How does your site’s SEO affect Black Friday sales?
Ecommerce SEO and events like Black Friday go hand in hand. But, if your site isn’t optimised with the right onsite and technical SEO approaches you’re going to have trouble with site visibility all year round let alone during busy sales periods.
Today, it’s harder than ever to stand out with the market so saturated. Let’s say you’re selling gym wear. The above shows search data from Ahrefs for the keyword ‘gym leggings’ which in the UK alone receives around 23,000 searches every month so to land a good position in time for Black Friday, you need a strong strategy.
Your site’s SEO will greatly impact your Black Friday success. If your landing pages or category pages aren’t rich with optimised keywords you may struggle to be found or if your pages load slowly (PageSpeed Insights is a useful tool for checking page speed) customers will go elsewhere.
If you want to learn more about why SEO is important for ecommerce check out our latest blog!
There are 101 different things that could be going wrong with your SEO. Here are some areas that could affect your Black Friday success:
- Poor site visibility means your competitors will show up better in search results for the products you’re selling!
- Slow loading times can stop people from browsing or encourage abandoned carts.
- Not implementing effective SEO for e-commerce product pages can significantly decrease your rankings in search engine results.
- Ignoring mobile optimisation will decrease the number of shoppers who can shop directly from their phones.
- Poor-quality product images can complicate purchasing decisions, and the absence of ALT tags can prevent images from appearing in image-based search results.
Focusing on SEO all year round means by the time Black Friday rolls around you’ll be in a great position to capitalise on the event!
What are the benefits of participating in Black Friday sales?
Like other seasonal sales periods, Black Friday is the perfect time to secure sales from new and existing customers. It’s a time when people are actively searching for bargains — so be sure to provide them!
There are plenty of reasons why almost every online store now participates in Black Friday. Below, we’ll explore these:
A healthy boost in sales
During Black Friday customers are willing to buy more and spend more within a smaller time frame. Often, they’ll wait it out until Black Friday so they can snap up deals on several items which means you can experience a boost in sales and even surpass your typical revenue figures for the year!
Increased site visibility
The buzz surrounding Black Friday attracts a large number of shoppers. Participating businesses can benefit from increased online traffic and with a good ecommerce SEO strategy you can increase your rankings just in time for the sale potentially leading to brand exposure and new customer acquisitions. Better yet, the SEO optimisations you make can have lasting benefits as well-optimized product listings, blogs, and pages can continue to rank well after the event, attracting organic traffic.
An opportunity to clear old inventory
Black Friday is an ideal opportunity to clear out excess or old inventory. By offering discounts on these items, you can free up valuable space for new merchandise and optimise your inventory management. Selling older inventory at a discount can also have a positive impact on your cash flow. Instead of tying up capital in slow-moving products, you can convert them into revenue that can be reinvested in your business.
Greater customer acquisition
Struggling to capture new audiences? Taking part in Black Friday can draw in a wave of new customers who might not have shopped with your business before. However, the true beauty of Black Friday lies in its potential for long-term customer acquisition. While many shoppers are initially drawn in by the allure of a great deal, their initial experience with your brand can set the stage for ongoing engagement.
Better customer loyalty
Acquiring a new customer can be 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one depending on your industry, of course. Either way, Black Friday is the perfect way of giving something back to your loyal customers and incentivise them to continue shopping with your brand. In essence, Black Friday becomes a moment of celebration, where your business and its loyal customers come together in a mutually beneficial exchange.
A competitive advantage
In the current fiercely competitive market, embracing Black Friday is not merely an option but a necessity for businesses aiming to stay in step with their rivals. It’s a time when consumers are spoiled for choice with enticing deals from various sources so why should shoppers buy from your business when they can find more enticing offers elsewhere? Maintaining competitiveness isn’t just about sales but also safeguarding your brand’s reputation and customer loyalty.
Useful data insights
Following the whirlwind of Black Friday, you’ll find yourself armed with a treasure trove of invaluable insights. You can gain a better understanding of your hottest product categories during Black Friday, which pages on your website attract the most traffic and more. All of this information can be used to refine your marketing strategies. It’s a strategic advantage that equips you to navigate the constantly changing e-commerce terrain with greater precision and foresight.
Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Participating can set a positive tone for the entire season, encouraging customers to return for more Christmas shopping if they received great deals and had a good experience with your online store.
Without a strong ecommerce SEO plan your site’s visibility will be non-existent during Black Friday. Worse yet, if shoppers do land on your site, slow loading times, poor navigation, and other problems could turn them away. In other words, make SEO a priority.