I joined MADE.com December 2016, just days before the January sale.
If anyone’s experienced a January sale period in retail, it’s pretty mad.
This is mainly because such a high percentage of the yearly revenue is made during these sale periods. As a result every little helps, especially when it comes to a free channel like SEO.
If you plan in advance and have a clear process in place it can certainly help to avoid any stress, if not from you but from support teams and managers.
During these sale periods, it’s natural for the attention to be on the paid channels that can make iterative changes every hour and see short term performance growth. But there are tactics you can use for SEO, one of which i’ll share below.
After my first sale period at Made.com I’d noticed a few of our key rankings like ‘sofa sale’, ‘furniture sale’ etc achieve page 1 rankings after 2 weeks of the sale.
These were great rankings, but next sales period I set out to try and achieve these after week 1 of the sale. Which i did.
Next sale, I aimed to get these key rankings after a few days of the sale. Which I did.
An extra 2 weeks of SEO traffic to these sales pages. The sales period was only 4 weeks long – so this process helped to double our revenue from SEO. Win.
By testing the process below before and after every sale period.
It went through 4 sale periods and took 2 years to perfect but it worked.
The overall aim is to keep the same URLs year on year and maintain your SEO value. I.e. don’t put ‘2019’ into the URL slug, just call them ‘sale’ or ‘christmas’. The process then aims to tell Google of these changes a few weeks ahead of the sale launch.
You’ll also need to have at least 10 relevant child pages e.g.
Yes results will vary by domain, e.g. a start up may implement this process and not see anything however if you have enough trust and authority within your niche i’m very confident it will help you.
How to get the most out of your sales pages for SEO
The process covers 2 stages:
Typically eCommerce sites will have a winter (January) sale and a summer sale (July/August) time, in addition you can still use the same URLs for Black Friday or other periods like this. Either way when the next sale period is approaching you should then implement this process below.
Notice how I do mention seasonality a lot. This is because the logic can still be used for seasonal product that usually just leave the website e.g. outdoor furniture, Xmas or sunglasses etc.
With engagement playing such a big part in the algorithm today, I’d be confident saying that just leaving the pages alone with a tonne of ‘out of stock’ products accessible is going to cause some pogo-sticking from the SERPs which could impact your overall perception for these products for the next sale period.
As always it’s important to keep an eye on the data to inform your decisions and to also communicate your process with other teams in the business – particularly the trading and online merchandising teams.
As mentioned previously, this may not work for all brands and it depends on your authority within your niche. That said, since leaving MADE we’ve been following these processes at THIS IS NOVOS and we largely see very positive results from it.
If you need any support or clarification on the above – feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org