It’s that time of year again when the world glitters from a fresh layer of frost and everywhere you go you can hear a Christmas carol softly playing in the distance. Here at Bluetrain, the season has worked its magic spell on us and we’re ready to get festive! The Christmas curling party was a success, the office tree will be going up this week and here we are ready to help local retailers make the most of their holiday campaigns.

Christmas curling

Last year, we wrote an article about the 4 Ways to Rock Your Holiday Advertising Campaign where we talked about:

  • When to start your campaigns and how long to run them,
  • How to strategically time your ad budget increases,
  • How to target your ads and create holiday-specific landing pages and
  • Why you should consider including mobile in your online advertising strategy.

This year we want to talk about how you can optimize your holiday campaign to help potential customers discover your holiday offerings.

Holiday offerings

First off, think about what you want your holiday campaign to achieve. If you’re like most retailers, you probably want to bring people into your store both online and IRL (in real life). But where do you start?

Where are you, Christmas?

We suggest you start where your customers likely start.

Where do those eager to please their mother-in-law start searching for gift ideas? Google.

Where do frenzied, sweaty-palmed men turn to for last minute gift ideas? Google!

Don’t believe me? The keyword research speaks for itself. There are on average 1,300 searches for “gift ideas for girlfriend” and over 6,000 searches for “gift ideas for men” happening every month in Canada.

Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches Competition
gift ideas for brothers 30 0.26
gift ideas for my girlfriend 30 0.31
what to buy my dad 10 0.14
gift ideas for small children 10 0.55
gift ideas for girlfriend 1300 0.31
gift ideas for men 6600 0.53
gift ideas for boyfriend 1600 0.27
gift ideas for brother 210 0.27
gift ideas for mom 2400 0.46

What is even more exciting than the high search volume of these terms, however, is the relatively low competition associated with them. In this case, anything under 0.55 competition is worth getting excited about. Why? Because this number indicates that the number of webpages that have been optimized for this phrase is relatively low which means you have better chances of ranking for this phrase.

Christmas gifts for boyfriends image

Take the phrase “Christmas gift ideas” for example. This phrase is very popular and is searched on average 8,100 times per month! But higher search volume also usually means more competition. The competition for this phrase is 0.67, fairly high given the competition of the other terms we’ve been looking at.

christmas gift ideas 8100 0.67

These “long-tail”, more specific keyword phrases are just what you need to zero in on shoppers who are actively searching for gift ideas.

A feast of keywords

Now that we’ve given you a little taste of keyword magic, you want more, right? Of course you do! Keywords are awesome!

Here’s how you can build out a list of keywords that are sure to bring you relevant traffic.

Using Notepad or Excel, start creating a seed list of about 25 keyword ideas. You can start typing some likely terms into Google Suggest to help you generate more ideas.

Let’s go through an example to get you started.

Imagine you run a local bakery that specializes in gourmet cookies and you want to sell holiday gifts baskets of your baked treats. The beginning of your seed list could look something like this:

  • Holiday gift baskets
  • Christmas gift baskets
  • Holiday gift baskets edmonton
  • Holiday cookie gift baskets
  • Christmas cookie baskets
  • Cookie baskets

Although it would be ideal to get at least another 20 words, let’s run this list through Google’s keyword planner to see what we get!

As we can see, when we click over to the Keyword ideas tab, we see the search volume and competition data for our keyword ideas.

Google Keyword Planner

When we scroll down though we get to see the slew of other keyword ideas that Google has for us.

Google Keyword Planner 2

So here’s when we put our critical thinking caps on and starting analyzing these keywords for:

  • Decent search volume
  • Decent competition
  • Relevance to our product
  • Relevance to the holidays

Let’s say you finish analyzing the keywords and decide you like the following keyword phrases best:

  • “gift baskets Edmonton”
  • “christmas gift basket”
  • “christmas gift baskets Edmonton”
  • “christmas gift basket ideas”
  • “cookie gift baskets”

You rationalize that the phrases “gift baskets Edmonton” and “Christmas gift basket” are both included in the phrase “Christmas gift baskets Edmonton”. This is perfectly acceptable and all good SEOs will combine keywords when it makes sense.

You try to do this with Christmas gift basket ideas” and “cookie gift baskets” but decide “Christmas cookie gift basket ideas” may be too long.

So, that leaves you with:

  • Christmas gift baskets Edmonton
  • Christmas gift basket ideas
  • cookie gift baskets

Now we’re getting somewhere!

In fact, if we combined the above 3 phrases with the following list of generic “what do I get my special someone” terms, you could come up with a ridiculous amount of high quality, holiday-related content to pull in potential customers.

30 “What to Get My Special Someone” keywords

Here are 30 great keywords that you could apply to any virtually holiday gift campaign, just think of it as an early Christmas gift from your friends at Bluetrain!

Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only) Competition
gift ideas for men 6600 0.53
gift ideas for mom 2400 0.46
gift ideas for boyfriend 1600 0.27
christmas gift ideas for men 1600 0.49
gift ideas for girlfriend* 1300 0.31
gift ideas for dad 1300 0.42
gift ideas for women 1300 0.51
gift basket ideas 1000 0.9
gift ideas for wife 720 0.5
boyfriend gift ideas 720 0.26
xmas gift ideas 590 0.72
gift ideas for her 480 0.42
christmas gift ideas for girlfriend 480 0.29
girlfriend gift ideas 390 0.25
unique gift ideas 390 0.65
cool gift ideas 390 0.4
gift ideas for sister 390 0.3
mens gift ideas 390 0.63
gift ideas for parents 390 0.41
christmas gift ideas for dad 390 0.38
gift ideas for teenage girls 390 0.46
gift ideas for girls 320 0.38
great gift ideas 320 0.42
gift ideas for friends 260 0.25
gift ideas for best friend 260 0.22
men gift ideas 260 0.39
gift ideas for him 260 0.38
gift ideas for husband 260 0.58
best friend gift ideas 260 0.14
gift ideas for grandma 260 0.44

OK now back to our bakery example…

Promoting your holiday offerings

Now that you’ve done some keyword research you are ready to promote your holiday cookie baskets. You decide you want to use the phrase “gift ideas for girlfriend” because of its relatively high search volume (1,300) , low competition (0.31) and relevance to your holiday offering.

You write a blog post and title it: 5 Christmas Cookie Gift Baskets Your Girlfriend Will Love (And Devour)! In it you write about the special holiday gift baskets, where your bakery is located (in Edmonton) and how people can place their order. This way you can target people looking for:

  • “Christmas gift baskets”
  • “gift ideas for girlfriend”
  • “cookie gift baskets”
  • “Christmas gift baskets Edmonton”

There! You just optimized your holiday campaign. Now aren’t you a clever cookie?

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