Black Friday Keywords to Avoid (and Include) in Your Marketing

Marketers, start your engines.

The most wonderful (or stressful) time of the year is upon us, and we’re here to give you the scoop on which Black Friday keywords to avoid – or include – in your email campaigns, Google ads, and digital marketing efforts.

Unless you’ve been blissfully living under a rock for the past forty years, you’ll already have braced yourself for the holiday shopping extravaganza that is Black Friday. This year it falls on the 25th of November, with the promise of high-value products coming at discounted rates set to send eCommerce sales through the roof.

But with a looming cost of living crisis and plenty of competition springing up in the online shopping sphere, the battle for loyal customer eyeballs is on.

So how do you make sure that your keyword portfolio is up to scratch when it comes to intercepting potential customers through an organic search?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

What are the 4 types of keywords?

When researching to discover a user’s intentions behind making a search, we can classify all keywords into four main categories of intent:

  • Commercial
  • Transactional
  • Informational
  • Navigational

These are the bread-and-butter principles you should be thinking about when collating even generic keywords before you start considering your user’s journey and what they’re looking for.

You can use various search engine tools to sort your keywords by ‘intent’, which is assigned to each of your chosen keywords. This is handy to keep an eye on during research, as it can let you know if a loyal customer is looking to gather information, shop around, or has a sense of urgency.

(This exploration and evaluation loop is known as The Messy Middle by the way, which is something us lot at Embryo know heaps about).

After all, it’s easier to nab your catch when you know how their brains are ticking.

But what about the Black Friday keywords that put a dampener on marketing channels – no matter how much research has gone into them?

What are Black Friday keywords to avoid?

As we touched on earlier, keyword research and content marketing go together like Bert and Ernie.

So taking the time to outline your SEO strategy and making the extra effort to cut useless or irrelevant terms can stop you from wasting your budget.

The same goes for keywords with zero product research, intention, or purchase translation, which tend to look like ultra-competitive terms that every man and his dog (sorry, ECommerce Stores) are also going for.

Your keyword planning shouldn’t turn your strategy into the Hunger Games. Put the odds in your favour by being savvy and selective.

How do I do this? 

The first step to creating your Black Friday keyword plan is to look back at last year’s historical data.

Did you notice any interesting keywords shoppers used to find your client’s offering? Was there a particular search campaign or offer that attracted a swarm of excited customers? Or maybe there’s something to be learned from previous failures.

Take a look at last year’s queries report in an analytics tool to see what pops up.

For further inspiration, use these tools to find seasonal keywords for targeting. You can filter this out from the usual suspects by segmenting each bit by month, noting anything that picks up just ahead of Black Friday and wheels through the ‘holiday’ – not forgetting Cyber Monday!

What are good target keywords?

When it comes to holiday keyword research, you need to be stealthy.

Choose your competitive keywords carefully, and suss out the ones that are easy pickings. During this period, when people begin the mental shift into seasonal buying and thoughts turn to Christmas presents, ranking fast and high is top of your agender.

As such, it makes no sense to pursue overly-saturated search terms such as “buy blue trainers” or “cosmetics sale”.

It’s like trying to directly launch a chocolate bar against the likes of Cadbury and Nestle. Your offering might be delicious, but it’s going to struggle to get a look in when it comes to customer loyalty and existing retail sales.

In reality, you’re going toe to toe against Amazon products, category listings, carousel ads and PPC campaigns.

So think smart.

Go after a wide selection of variation competition terms with product research or purchase intent.

The nosier the search, the better the results.

Curtain-twitchers, it’s your time to shine.

Black Friday Keywords to keep on your radar are often solid long-tail terms that will help you cultivate evergreen content on your website, causing your sales to bloom and grow.

We recommend choosing a generic term, such as ‘tech christmas ideas’ or ‘Christmas present ideas’ and see what pops up at the top of people’s search journey. As it’s a term that many people use as a starting point when trying to navigate the Black Friday sales, they’ll look around, maybe get some inspiration – and then leave your website high and dry.

This is where your intention comes in. Think more closely about your target audience’s specific purchase intentions and how they might search for them on the world wide web.


  • The types of hot-ticket items on their list
  • Who they are shopping for
  • What kinds of price points they are looking at
  • If there are any promotions that might catch their eye

Filter these into a spreadsheet or folder with your ideas. From here, you can sift through keywords with that winning formula: high search volumes, low competition, and high relevance. 

Oooh, stunnin’.

Where can I find untapped keywords?

Simple. Hire an SEO strategist who can spot golden opportunities at twenty virtual paces and help you tap into user mindsets. We know a few, actually.

But if you’re thinking of going solo, it helps to keep a few super-efficient tools in your kit.

As we mentioned before, SEO analytics sites such as Moz Keyword Explorer, SEMrush, and Ahrefs can offer incredible insights at the touch of a button.

Each of them lets you know the exact monthly search volume for a keyword, how many “related keywords” are suggested, as well as which domains currently rank for your target keyword, so you can decide whether you want to take on their position.

But failing that, an SEO can help you find incredible potential hidden within your website while directing content that gives you that Friday Feeling every day of the week.

Even on one of the most stressful days of the year.

If you’d like to speak to Embryo or learn more about any of our services to see how we can supercharge your business, we’d love to hear from you.


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