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Episode Overview: Like an ornately adorned Christmas tree, your content needs all the decorative fixings to build awareness and truly stand out amidst your competitors this holiday season. Join Ben and Searchmetrics’ Director of Services Tyson as they continue Holiday Triage week. They discuss the various ways to build holiday content awareness, and the added value cross-functional gift giving presents in awareness-building efforts to give your content the capstone shining star to top off your content tree.

Summary

  • Showing appreciation or gift giving to cross-functional teams during a busy holiday season can help them feel valued and motivated to assist with last minute awareness building initiatives.
  • Presenting helpful gifts that fulfill cross-functional goals such as robust data sets to an analytics team make for excellent, useful gifts.

GUESTS & RESOURCES:

Ben:                 Welcome to Holiday Triage week on the Voices of Search podcast. I’m your host, Benjamin Shapiro. This week we’re going to publish an episode every day covering the topic of how you can get ready for the holiday season as it quickly approaches, but before we get started, I want to remind you that this podcast is brought to you by the marketing team at Searchmetrics. We are an SEO and content marketing platform that helps enterprise scale businesses monitor their online presence and make data-driven decisions. To support you, our loyal podcast listeners, for the holiday season, we have put together a complimentary holiday triage checklist to understand how you can assess, prioritize, optimize, build and measure for the holidays. Go to Searchmetrics.com/holiday. Okay, joining us for Holiday Triage week is Tyson Stockton, Searchmetrics’ director of services. Outside of shepherding Searchmetrics’ largest and most strategic clients to SEO success, Tyson is here today to talk to us about how we can build out our holiday triage strategies to gain authority and drive awareness.

Ben:                 Here’s the fourth installment of Holiday Triage week with Searchmetrics’ Director of Services, Tyson Stockton. Tyson, welcome back to the Voices of Search podcast. Happy Holiday Triage week.

Tyson:              Final stretch, final two days.

Ben:                 We’ve covered a lot of ground. I think I hear Santa standing on our SEO roof. He’s ready to come down our SEO chimney. What our chimney has to do with SEO, I have no idea, but it sounds holiday-ish, doesn’t it?

Tyson:              Absolutely.

Ben:                 All right. So far this week we’ve covered how you can assess your site to understand where you stand for the holiday battle, prioritize the topics that are going to give you the greatest opportunity for holiday success. You’re going to optimize your site. Mostly you’re going to be focusing on your content and linking. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about how you can build out your holiday strategies to gain authority and drive holiday awareness. Talk to me about what you can do so late in the game. What can you build and what can you implement that’s actually going to have a business impact?

Tyson:              Yeah, and this one, we kind of alluded to it in the last episode where you have, especially when you’re starting late, you have this reliance on other team members and the relationships that you have with them. That’s not unique to this time of year. It’s something that I think all SEOs are familiar with, but at this time it’s like this is where it’s really critical and you’re really calling in those favors. Also in the last episode on linking where this building and driving awareness is in some ways also like a linking play. The reason why we kind of have it separated as a different one is in the past one we were focused just within our own four walls, our own website. We were saying like, okay, do we have these links to us in our general sale page? Do we have links during the events on the home page? Do we have the links from whatever category pages? That’s like kind of just the basic elements.

Tyson:              This like increasing or driving awareness is now where you’re going to be working with others on the marketing side of the business, and whether it’s getting them to use the same ads in their paid ads, using them with their affiliates, using the same URLs in getting as many marketing channels as you can pointing back to the same pages that in the last episode we were talking about with pointing towards internally, like this is going to be the one where you want to be drafting off the other efforts that your company or organization’s making, but you’re also, at the same way, you’re getting some more back links to, again, send more signals to search engines of the value of the page. Also kind of potential crawl pass that you can get Google and other search bots coming through last minute to discover your content.

Ben:                 Tyson, what’s your favorite part of the holidays?

Tyson:              Favorite part of the holidays? Probably the food, not going to lie.

Ben:                 I like gifts. I think the holidays are very much about gifts. It’s always great to receive and honestly it’s a lot of fun to give. Talk to me about how gifting fits into your holiday strategy.

Tyson:              Ben, I see where you’re going with this and you’re absolutely right. This is the time of giving, not just receiving those gifts. When you’re expecting to get those favors, those links, those additional kind of pushes to your pages, you can grease the wheel or kind of make it a little easier on yourself by giving those chocolates, the wine, maybe a little whiskey if you really like the team member. That’s where you’re really going to see these kind of things start to move a little bit more.

Ben:                 We bring this up every year, the power of alcohol. As much as we joke about it, it’s like, “Hey, go bribe people with booze,” a strategically placed bottle of wine or some chocolates or a card or a thank you note or whatever it is that you feel is appropriate for the team members, this is a busy time of year. It is the busiest time of year in e-commerce. It’s not just busy on the work front, it’s busy for people personally as well. Showing your appreciation for your cross functional team, for the engineering team that you’re asking to stay for an extra hour to make sure that your new linking strategy is QA’d and is implemented correctly, or that the content that you want to push goes live and whatever changes you’re going to make, you need to say thank you to those people. You need to show support to them for all the work that they’ve done throughout the year, but specifically at the end of the year, this is really a time to show your appreciation.

Ben:                 If you’re behind the eight ball with your holiday optimization efforts, maybe you should double down and buy a nice bottle of wine or a bigger box of chocolates to try to get somebody to not necessarily just bribe them to do you a favor, but show your appreciation for the work that they’re doing and how much support they’re giving you to help you be successful.

Tyson:              Ben, just kind of adding to that too, like the gifts don’t just have to be the traditional type of gifts. If you’re needing to call in favors from the paid team …

Ben:                 Tequila makes a great gift.

Tyson:              You can bring gifts in as far as data as well. You could come to them and be like-

Ben:                 Oh, that too.

Tyson:              Here also are all the unique ranking keywords that our competitor is not bidding on or vice versa. You can also bring data sets or bring things that’s going to make their lives easier as well. It is a two way street. I think definitely hitting a checklist on the traditionals, but then also think out of the box a little bit. Think, if you were in their shoes, what would help them?

Ben:                 Outside of trying to drive as much awareness, making sure that the pages that you have are being shared, working with your social team, your engineering team to push out the links and make sure the content optimization that you’re doing gets noticed, what are some of the last minute things you could do to build out your strategy to gain authority and drive awareness?

Tyson:              Yeah, and I’d say like, one, you can get more aggressive on the links that you ask for the closer to the event. You’re not going to get a link on the home page a week prior to the sale, and you wouldn’t really want to be there from the user experience, but when you’re getting closer you can get away with a little bit more. You can get a little more aggressive in what you’re asking for. I think those are two areas that’s like kind of in the 12th hour, like at the very kind of last rush. You want to make sure that you don’t let up and you kind of continue straight through with it.

Tyson:              Then I’d also say like just this time of year in general, it’s not one event. You have the overall holiday season, and then you have your kind of events within that. You don’t want to just target something like Black Friday. You also want to make sure that Cyber Monday’s good, and when you’re at Christmas time, you’re not letting up just on the 25th. You’re going to carry that into the beginning of January where you still see high search volumes and you’re drafting into kind of the beginning of the year to give yourself a good start.

Ben:                 Okay. I think that’s great advice. That wraps up this episode of the Voices of Search podcast. Thanks for listening to my conversation with Tyson Stockton, Searchmetrics’s Director of Services. We’d love to continue the conversation with you. If you’re interested in contacting Tyson, you can find a link to his LinkedIn profile in our show notes. You can contact him on Twitter where his handle is Tyson_Stockton, or if you have general questions about the show, if you’re interested in being a guest on the Voices of Search podcast, you can find my contact information in our show notes, or you can send me a tweet @BenJShap, B-E-N-J-S-H-A-P. If you’re interested in learning about how to use search data to boost your organic traffic online visibility or to gain competitive insights specifically around the holiday season, we’ve put together a holiday triage checklist for you. Go to Searchmetrics.com/holiday to download the document.

Ben:                 If you liked this podcast and you want a regular stream of SEO and content marketing insights in your podcast feed, hit the subscribe button in your podcast app and we’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up Holiday Triage week by talking about how you can measure your holiday success. All right. That’s it for today, but until next time, remember, the answers are always in the data.

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