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Start planning your Christmas SEO now

If all you want for Christmas is better Google rankings for your main keywords, you ought to be asking Santa now.

Unbearable as it might seem, the Xmas shopping season starts in October. It can take months before Google rewards a well optimised page so depending on your current rankings, you should be planning and even implementing your search engine optimisation now.

What do you need to do to prepare for Christmas SEO?

1. Research your keywords. Keyword trends change so even if you’ve got a campaign in place, it’s always worth checking for new phrases and changes in searches.

2. Analyse your current webstats. Where’s your traffic coming from? What proportion is via the search engines and what keywords result in sales, enquiries or longer visits?

3. Check your Google Webmaster Tools account. If you haven’t got one, it’s easy and free - just open a free Google account, click on the Tools icon, generate the line of code that Google needs and place it on your home page - Google gives you clear instructions. Webmaster Tools shows you how well Google has indexed your pages and what keywords it associates with your content. If there’s a gap between your target keywords and those that Google is indexing you against, you’ve got some work to do.

4. Start developing ideas for content that people will want to share.  This could be anything from simple ‘How to..’ (like this blog post) to new product launches, something humorous or special offers. Sharing content is a big deal on the web - the more people want to reference you in their blogs, bookmarks and social media accounts, the more traffic and links you’ll get.

5. Check Google Trends - what keywords do people use before Christmas? ‘Sofa’ purchases for example, tend to increase before and after Christmas. Are you clear about which of your products people will want pre-Christmas and have you got your images and content sorted?

I hate to be the first to say it but Happy Christmas 2010!

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