How Can SMEs Compete During Black Friday?

As Black Friday 2022 approaches, we’re all gearing up to treat ourselves to some excellent Christmas bargains. However, it’s important for SEO specialists to plan for Black Friday well in advance. To be a big winner on Black Friday, you need to consider things like how you can look to match search intent when creating your pages and how focused your pages should be. As a brand, it is important to be mindful of where your opportunities are around Black Friday, based on your brand size and available SEO resource.  

Informational Searches 

When it comes to browsing the best Black Friday deals, customers may start off with a more general search without a specific product in mind or might just be looking for more details around Black Friday itself – searches like ‘when is Black Friday?’ 

When users search for just ‘Black Friday’ – which gets 155K monthly searches – Google will match the broad search with a wide variety of pages. This is because Google will presume the intent here is ‘informational’ i.e., someone looking for more information on the subject.  

The top results for this kind of informational search tend to either be a Wikipedia article or a top-performing ‘’ page containing content which has remained largely unchanged in recent years (i.e. since 2020). This is because Google views these types of pages as content that can serve users with useful information all year round – not just on Black Friday. 

Conversely, commercial pages that are only last-minutely optimised during the Black Friday period itself are still ranking within the top 5 positions. The top performing commercial pages, like those belonging to Amazon and John Lewis, are mainly category pages which have split their Black Friday offering between departments (e.g. electrical, beauty, womenswear etc). 

The implication being that Google have matched what they see as broad user intent with a wide range of products for the undecided shopper to sift through.   

‘Rich results’ are also prominently presented by Google during the Black Friday period. These results are usually knowledge panels or video content. These sorts of results are most visible between September and November –  the peak ‘Black Friday’ search period – with more traditional ‘blue links’ being deprioritised during this time.  


This only adds credence to the idea that Google assumes users who are searching for ‘Black Friday’ are doing so with largely informational intent or, at the very least, without a particular product in mind.  

What this means is that for a brand operating in a niche category (i.e., trainers), it may prove challenging to generate organic traffic around the search term, ‘Black Friday’, as Google will almost always prioritise larger publications or retailers with large and established sites as they’ll be seen as a more reputable sources for users searching for general information around Black Friday. 

Broad Commercial Searches 

As users become a bit more specific with their queries and instead search for a specific type of product (i.e., ‘Black Friday Trainers’), trainer brands will have a better chance of appearing, though the results will still be slightly mixed. Google will present results for running trainers, leisure trainers and generic Black Friday landing pages.  

Market leaders in sportswear – such as Sports Direct, JD Sports and Schuh – will dominate the 1st page of results. The search term, ‘Black Friday Trainers’, is still fairly generic and, as a result, Google will prioritise recognised brands over mid-level brands. These brands have also ensured that there are backlinks pointing directly towards these Black Friday URLs. 

As can be seen above, there is a direct correlation between Domain Rating and the number of backlinks with what position the URL has been placed in search results. By gaining backlinks to the specific ranking URL, these brands have provided positive signals to Google that they are industry leaders in sportswear and specifically sports footwear. These are of course relatively high Domain Ratings and further strengthen that this would be a difficult area for smaller brands with lower domain ratings to break into.

Specific Commercial Searches

Now, a user with a more defined idea of what they want that’s further down the purchase funnel – searching using terms like, ‘Black Friday Converse’ – will see much more focused set of results.

The top 5 results will be retailers who have created dedicated Converse Black Friday pages. These retailers would have positioned themselves to rank as highly as possible by creating specific category pages. They would have also targeted “converse black friday” or “converse black friday deals” in their page titles and meta descriptions.

Google will consider searches like ‘Black Friday Converse’ as being indicative of a much more transactional intent on the part of the user as the consumer has indicated that they are much more focused on a specific product and are therefore ready to make a purchase.