Tis the SEO-son

OK, here’s the thing: I know it’s difficult to think about the holidays while you’re frolicking around in the surf, or barbecuing, or running through your neighbor’s sprinkler at night (I know who you are, and it’s creepy), or doing whatever you do during the summer that makes it the summer; but as you frolic, etc., you need to remember that Santa and eight reindeer (nine, if you’re in the Rudolph camp) are bearing down on you like a jolly runaway train. January’s tough enough as it is—you don’t want to have another post-holiday meeting to hash out why you didn’t pull in as many customers as you’d intended.

While many other methods of digital marketing are far less time dependent, or more time-agnostic, it’s not too early to start putting together an integrated strategy. Your SEO, though, shouldn’t wait. It’s nearly August, which makes it high time to start figuring out where you want to be in the engines and how you’re going to occupy that increasingly sought-after real estate.

What are your hot products? What will they be in December? Start building on that now, so you’re there.

How is SEO going to fit into your integrated marketing plan for the holidays? Beyond simply building upon your relevance, helping the search engines (and users) “see” what you do, are you putting roadblocks between your customers and their ability to find what they want on your site, and buy it?

Online shoppers are notoriously fickle. If you want their business, you’re going to have to be right in front of their faces. And then, when you get them to your site, you have to give them what they want—fast. Online consumer loyalty is, by and large, a myth. If a customer can find what you’re selling somewhere else, more easily, chances are that’s where they’ll go.

What’s that sound? The plaintive peals wafting through the barbecue smoke, faint above Bob Marley, but undeniably there? It’s jingle bells, pal. So put down the Frisbee and listen before there’s a size-ten Santa boot print in your forehead and you’re wondering what went wrong.

Ho ho ho.