By Emilia Gjorgjevska

1 month ago

Be prepared for Black Friday & Cyber Monday by spicing up your SEO strategy with lesser-known markup schemes and get more sales today.

Table of contents:

  1. Why BlackFriday and CyberMonday SEO tactics matter for advanced ecommerce in 2024
  2. Black Friday & Cyber Monday SEO in the era of Generative AI
  3. SEO changed with generative AI, Google’s updates and economy shifts
  4. What Twitter and Independent Research Have Taught Us
  5. Underutilized Black Friday & Cyber Monday Schema Markups
  6. Selling more and going beyond prompting and schema markups

Why Black Friday And Cyber Monday SEO Tactics Matter For Advanced E-commerce In 2024

Black Friday and Cyber Monday SEO have transformed significantly in 2024 due to advancements in generative AI, Google’s updates and AI-driven SEO software. If you’re in one of these SEO teams executing strategies that are not in-line with generative AI efforts, you need to reconsider pivoting and bolstering your AI SEO initiatives. Competition during these two events is fierce and it won’t be easy to stand out with average funnel optimization and subpar customer journeys. Your potential customers are more demanding than ever, so your mindset should shift too.

Why am I saying this? 

The significance of SEO tactics during Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) in 2024 for advanced e-commerce is multifaceted and pivotal for the success of any online business aiming to capitalize on these peak shopping periods. As competition reaches its zenith, I know that having a robust SEO strategy helps e-commerce sites stand out in search engine results, thus drawing in more organic traffic and potential sales. Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent some of the year’s highest revenue potentials, making it critical for businesses to secure top rankings in search results where shoppers are most active. Moreover, optimizing SEO is not just about visibility; it also encompasses enhancing user experience, tailored content and promotions to specific market segments. 

If I were you, I would like to be a business that engages more effectively with my target audience, leading to improved customer interactions and sales outcomes. Technical preparedness and content scaling are crucial aspects in this setup: they involve ensuring that websites can manage the surge in Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic and adhere to SEO best practices that maintain visibility and functionality.
It’s easier said than done, believe me when I say…but I’ll make a promise to give my best to describe potential ways to prepare for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. I hope you’ll enjoy them and be patient with me, my dear reader.

Black Friday SEO In The Era Of Generative AI

Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, Bing Chat, Adobe Firefly, Perplexity AI, Midjourney, and so on, holds immense potential to disrupt various industries, including marketing and creative work. When it comes to Black Friday SEO, generative AI can play a pivotal role in content generation, automation, personalization, and efficiency. 

Even more, there have been some substantial changes in how merchant data is interacting with the Google shopping experience in the past year. We can observe that there are some tectonic shifts for merchants to consider.

Bing suggesting new products using AI

Bing is using AI to suggest products – according to their official statement “Bing’s goal is to bring more joy to shopping—from the initial spark of inspiration to the exciting unboxing experience—by making the process easier and giving you confidence, you’re getting the right item at the right price.”

What can you do to stay ahead of the curve? Our vision and recommended approach is to anticipate the idea of semantic, ontology-based prompting, where structured data is fed into a large language model (LLM) and used for validating the output. WordLift is proud to be one of the companies that pioneer ontology-based prompting to help you construct data-informed prompts which will use data programmatically.

How Marketers Can Prepare Their Black Friday SEO Plans

WordLift has been on the forefront of genAI x SEO innovation and we’ve perfected the AI snapshot for our clients before. I saw the mistakes, the grit and the innovative efforts where we poured our hearts into crafting stunning customer experiences that vowed users.

In this area of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday sales in general, we have direct experience with the following:

  1. Merchant Feed + Structured Data are interconnected. Data out of sync will stop your ads campaign. Merchant metadata is richer at the moment (Google is trying to make them converge but there are still differences as for the sale price). Instead of waiting, we can establish and use your data in your product knowledge graph on top of the PKG to run technical SEO optimizations.
  2. We can re-generate using data about sales (or campaigns) product descriptions or Product Listing Pages (PLPs) intro text at scale to boost sales by feeding to a large language model (LLM):
    • the existing description
    • the sales price of the items we want to promote
    • a few examples of product descriptions or PLP intro text that would work effectively for SEO (or creative copy taken from the campaign).

To sum up, the quality of your data and data curation workflows is crucial for this to perform in the best possible way.

There is nothing more powerful than utilizing what you have on your side in the first place. Do you want to learn how you can bring your business to the next level? Book a demo.

Here are also some other ways that SEO marketers can effectively use to prepare for Black Friday in the era of generative AI:

  1. Streamline Content Creation: Generative AI empowers marketers to streamline content creation for marketing purposes. By leveraging AI models, marketers can effortlessly generate text and content that aligns with their brand’s style and tone. This automation saves valuable time and resources by handling the generation of product descriptions, promotional emails, blog posts, and landing page content specifically tailored for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
  2. Personalization and Targeting: Generative AI enables marketers to analyze consumer behavior patterns and preferences, leading to the creation of personalized content. Leveraging AI and ML, marketers can deliver targeted marketing campaigns, tailored offers, and recommendations that resonate with individual customers. This personalized approach significantly boosts customer engagement and conversion rates during the Black Friday & Cyber Monday shopping season.
  3. SEO Optimization: Black Friday is an intensely competitive period for online retailers. Generative AI can aid marketers in optimizing their SEO strategies by generating relevant and keyword-rich content. AI models analyze search trends, identify popular keywords, and produce optimized meta descriptions, titles, and product descriptions, ultimately enhancing organic search visibility during Black Friday.
  4. Efficient Marketing Automation: Generative AI facilitates the automation of repetitive marketing tasks, freeing up marketers to focus on strategic initiatives. AI-powered chatbots can handle customer service inquiries, provide real-time support, and offer personalized recommendations based on user preferences. This automation elevates the customer experience and allows marketers to dedicate more time to other critical aspects of Black Friday campaigns.
  5. Embrace AI and Automation for Fulfillment: Black Friday triggers a surge in online orders, demanding efficient fulfillment from retailers. AI-driven tools, such as robotics and automated software, optimize warehouse operations, streamline order processing, and ensure round-the-clock fulfillment centers. By embracing AI and automation, retailers can steer clear of stockouts, enhance customer satisfaction, and capitalize on the growing trend of online shopping during Black Friday & Cyber Monday.

To effectively prepare for Black Friday in the era of generative AI, marketers must prioritize the adoption of AI technologies and leverage the benefits they offer. Staying updated with the latest advancements is crucial, as it allows marketers to explore how these technologies can enhance content creation, personalization, automation, and SEO optimization. By embracing generative AI and seamlessly integrating it into their Black Friday marketing strategies, marketers can deliver more efficient and impactful campaigns, gain a competitive edge, and achieve better results in the dynamic landscape of Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales.

The key to maximizing the potential of generative AI lies in integrating it with an intelligent content framework. This framework should incorporate carefully selected schema markups to facilitate content comprehension and harness the advantages of organic rankings.

SEO Changed With Generative AI, Google’s Updates And Economy Shifts

Try searching for the keyphrase “use generative AI for SEO” and you’ll see approximately 12 million results. Here’s the screenshot from German SERPs below for that keyphrase: if you thought that this is just another trend like everything else that you’ve seen in the past years, I’ll advise you to think again. Take my advice, I speak from experience.

Don’t believe me? From what I’ve observed in 2024 so far, the landscape of SEO has been reshaped significantly due to the advent of generative AI, Google’s latest updates, and the economic climate. Generative AI has revolutionized content generation, allowing for the crafting of engaging and highly targeted content more efficiently. This advancement aids in enhancing the visibility of websites on search engines by ensuring content is not only relevant but also highly personalized to meet user needs.
Last year, I wrote “Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, Bing Chat, Adobe Firefly, Perplexity AI, Midjourney, and so on, holds immense potential to disrupt various industries, including marketing and creative work. When it comes to Black Friday SEO, generative AI can play a pivotal role in content generation, automation, personalization, and efficiency. Even more, there have been some substantial changes in how merchant data is interacting with the Google shopping experience in the past year. We can observe that there are two tectonic shifts for merchants to consider.” I was right. The changes did arrive, as well as the studies for estimated reduction in organic traffic after search generative experience (SGE) is fully enabled.

The next thing that happened was In March 2024, when Google rolled out a major update focused on improving the quality of content surfaced in search results. This update has prioritized high-quality, helpful content while penalizing sites that offer little value in terms of originality or usefulness. The intent is clear: to refine search results so that they provide more value, pushing marketers and content creators to invest in substantial and useful content. No negotiations on that one and honestly – it was a hard ride.

Additionally, the economic conditions of 2024 have influenced SEO strategies. With budgets possibly tightened, there is a greater need for SEO efforts to be more strategic and effective. Companies are now more focused on optimizing their ROI, ensuring every dollar spent on SEO can be justified with tangible improvements in traffic and sales conversions. I know and witness this first-hand, so I’m trying to pass my wisdom to you, my dear reader, so that you don’t get burned on the same stuff I did.

What Twitter And Independent Research Have Taught Us

The end-of-the-year holiday season is probably the most interesting time for buyers worldwide: everyone is waiting for Black Friday & Cyber Monday to come up and catch a good deal. Customer behavior reshaped a lot, especially after Covid-19: businesses that were late to their digital transformation and understanding the importance of selling on the Internet started shifting their mindsets and preparing themselves to build their business online. 

Your success and profits, besides other stuff, depend on how well you utilize best-structured data practices to support and aid the experience of your online buyers. Users are thirsty to live better experiences and find what they want faster and at scale. Therefore, your number one priority should be to put your best deals and offers on your website in a way that is easily reachable and understandable and stand out in the huge online battlefield. So, let’s go!

We ran a Twitter thread to ask the SEO community (special thanks goes to Rich Tatum) about the least used structured data SEO markups for Black Friday. At the same time, we performed independent research where we analyzed over 107+ popular e-commerce stores (Black Friday pages only) in Switzerland, Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Europe, and worldwide in general, ordered by their popularity defined by the profits that they gain. 

Some of the most notable e-commerce brands involve Amazon, eBay, migros.ch, microspot.ch, digitec.ch, Mediamarkt & MediaWorld stores, bol.com, Decathlon, Tesco, Zalando, Otto, Carrefour, Next, Very, Argos, Wish, Asda, Asos, IKEA, Coop, H&M, Rewe, Lidl,  Matas, Zara, Schein, idealo, Boulanger, GearBest, Privalia, Global Savings Group, Anibis.ch, Groupon, Alibaba, AliExpress, Flipkart, Walmart and many more. Here’s what we learned through our automated scraping and summarizing process:

  1. Most of the businesses do not even have structured data (over 54%+ of them) or they use the basic schema markups for LocalBusiness, Website, and/or Organization;
  1. BreadcrumbList, Offer, and FAQPage are partially underutilized in the study;
  1. SaleEvent, CollectionPage, OpeningHoursSpecification, OfferCatalog, imageObject and videoObject, and discountCode were the most underused Black Friday schema markups.

Underutilized Black Friday & Cyber Monday Schema Markups – A List

Let us elaborate on the second and the third ones independently, so that you can utilize their powerfully for your e-commerce SEO:

  • BreadcrumbList -> good to use when you have a collection of pages that are interlinked together. The rule here is to use your top pages first in your breadcrumb list while the upcoming pages develop from there, forming a list of ordered, sequential elements. ItemList can be also utilized here too.
  • Offer -> This is reserved for both online and offline deals that you want to showcase on your website, like selling a ticket for an event, streaming occasions, and so on. It goes well in combination with paymentMethod, areaServed, aggregateRating, availabilityStarts, availabilityEnds, category, offeredBy, GTIN, and similar attributes that proved to be helpful in the process.
  • FAQPage -> Great deals come with many unanswered customer questions around the new prices in specific time periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That is why it is important to include the most prominent questions in your webpage by using the FAQPage schema markup. This structured data type goes well with mainContentOfPage, speakable, abstract, about, author, and rating attributes when combined together.
  • SaleEvent -> This one is definitely the most underused across the ecommerce industry. This schema markup is probably the most appropriate for temporary deals (therefore, the use of the word event in its name comes obvious). SaleEvent works perfectly with the audience, contributor, startDate, endDate, eventAttendanceMode, eventStatus (for postponing and rescheduling), location, Offers, subEvent, and sameAs properties. Definitely worth checking out. Ideal when you want to showcase the commercial intent of a webpage compared to the use of FAQPage schema markup which is more informational.
  • CollectionPage -> This is a more specific use of the Webpage schema markup. It can also be used with ItemList together with the mainEntity that references it. This way, it is clear to customers that they are having a collection of items on the webpage that they are seeing. Example:

{ “@context”: “http://schema.org”, “@type”: “CollectionPage”, “mainEntity”: { “@type”: “ItemList”, “itemListElement”: [ { “@type”: “ItemPage” }, { “@type”: “ItemPage” }, { “@type”: “ItemPage” } ] } };

  • OpeningHoursSpecification -> It is always wise to update your opening hours during specific season periods like the black week so that you can properly inform your online visitors (potential customers) about the right time to reach out to you. Great when used in combination with dayOfWeek, opens, closes, validFrom, validThrough, description, and sameAs attributes.
  • OfferCatalog -> This is basically an ItemList but it refers to a list of products that are offered by the same provider. Very important to know the difference here. Works pretty well when used with itemListOrder, alternateName, description, disambiguatingDescription (useful for differentiating between similar product items), name, sameAs and identifier properties. 
  • discountCode -> often misunderstood with the Offer schema markup which usually refers to product schema markup, while this one can refer to a service. This is still not part of Google’s Search Gallery, so you cannot expect to obtain a rich snippet on the SERPs by using it, however, it is still a good choice when providing discounts to stuff or working with a coupons website.
  • ImageObject and VideoObject are quite similar, so we will cover them together. They are particularly useful when you want to provide more images of your products or have a video overview (e.g. games products). The 3DModel schema markup can also prove interesting for advanced ecommerce brands who utilize the power of augmented reality to show off their products in a more interactive way with their audience during the black cyber season.
  • Language  schema can also be very interesting for you -> especially if you’re struggling to get a buy-in to implement hreflang (which from my experience requires a bit more complex technical setup). I’ve used it as a side-way in the past to fix issues when we had multiple stores with similar languages interfering with each other’s organic rankings. I can confirm first-hand that I managed to decrease irrelevant traffic coming to our core pages, so this is something that you can consider too.

Selling More And Going Beyond Prompting And Schema Markups

Customers’ expectations can go beyond prompting and simple schema markup fixing. In order to help you position yourself as competitively and intelligently as possible, we developed our Business + E-commerce Plan which uses the WordLift and Product Knowledge Graph Builder. By using both of them you can easily import your data from your Merchant Feed and enrich it with structured data, streamlining your schema markup creation and building a basis to develop new customer experience on top of that knowledge base.

FAQs

How can SEO help maximize Black Friday sales?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can play a critical role in maximizing Black Friday sales by driving targeted traffic to a company’s website and increasing visibility for key products and promotions. By optimizing website content, product pages, and landing pages for relevant keywords, companies can increase their chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attracting more potential customers to their sites. Additionally, SEO can help improve the user experience by ensuring that the website is easy to navigate and mobile-friendly, which can lead to higher conversion rates and increased revenue during the Black Friday sales event.

What are the top SEO techniques for Black Friday promotions?

The top SEO techniques for Black Friday promotions include:

  1. Keyword research and optimization: Identify relevant keywords and phrases related to Black Friday deals and promotions, and optimize your website content, product pages, and meta tags to rank higher in search engine results.
  2. On-page optimization: Ensure that your website is optimized for Black Friday, with clear navigation, fast loading times, and mobile responsiveness.
  3. Content creation and promotion: Create valuable and relevant content related to Black Friday promotions, and promote it through social media, email marketing, and other channels.
  4. Structured data markup: Use structured data markup, such as schema.org, to provide search engines with additional information about your Black Friday deals and promotions.
  5. Backlinks: Acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable websites to improve your website’s authority and relevance.
  6. Social media promotion: Use social media platforms to promote your Black Friday deals and promotions, and engage with customers to build brand awareness.
  7. Local SEO: Optimize your website for local search, including creating a Google My Business listing and obtaining customer reviews.
  8. Influencer marketing: Partner with influencers in your industry to promote your Black Friday deals and reach new audiences.
  9. A/B testing: Test different variations of your website and marketing campaigns to identify the most effective strategies for driving traffic and sales.
  10. Analytics and tracking: Track your website traffic, conversion rates, and other key metrics to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and make data-driven decisions.

Are there any specific SEO tips for optimizing Black Friday landing pages?

Here are some SEO tips for optimizing Black Friday landing pages:

  1. Target relevant keywords throughout your landing page content.
  2. Craft compelling meta titles and descriptions.
  3. Optimize page speed for a better user experience.
  4. Ensure mobile optimization for smartphone users.
  5. Include a clear and persuasive call-to-action (CTA).
  6. Create high-quality and engaging content.
  7. Utilize internal and external linking strategies.
  8. Integrate social sharing buttons for increased visibility.
  9. Monitor and analyze landing page performance using web analytics tools.

What are the common SEO mistakes to avoid for Black Friday campaigns?

Here are some common SEO mistakes to avoid for Black Friday campaigns:

  1. Neglecting keyword research and targeting the wrong audience.
  2. Ignoring page speed optimization leads to high bounce rates.
  3. Overlooking mobile optimization, impacting rankings and user experience.
  4. Having poorly written or thin content that lacks quality and relevance.
  5. Missing or poorly optimized meta tags, reducing click-through opportunities.
  6. Neglecting internal and external linking strategies.
  7. Failing to incorporate social sharing buttons for increased visibility.
  8. Inadequate monitoring and analysis of key metrics for optimization.

Must Read Content

The Power of Product Knowledge Graph for E-commerce
Dive deep into the power of data for e-commerce

Why Do We Need Knowledge Graphs?
Learn what a knowledge graph brings to SEO with Teodora Petkova

Generative AI for SEO: An Overview
Use videos to increase traffic to your websites

SEO Automation in 2024
Improve the SEO of your website through Artificial Intelligence

Touch your SEO: Introducing Physical SEO
Connect a physical product to the ecosystem of data on the web

Are you ready for the next SEO?
Try WordLift today!