Seasonal SEO Strategies

Seasonal SEO Strategies – Keyword Optimization for the Holidays

Holiday web traffic down this year? Seasonal SEO Strategies are an essential part of any seasonal or holiday marketing effort. Keyword research can be both incredibly tricky and wonderfully rewarding when done well. When those keywords are targeted toward seasonal SEO and holiday content, the research is similar to traditional keyword research. The largest distinction between holiday keywords is their popularity spikes for a few months or weeks before it tails off after the holiday.

In the US, the seasonal keyword “4th of July” spikes the week before Independence Day, then gets zero traffic all year. Other seasonal keyword searches include “Halloween outfits,” “Valentines Day Cards,” or “Best Father’s Day Gifts.” These garner high traffic through the big day, and can boost sales if pages are optimized correctly. If you’re using keyword research correctly, your seasonal SEO strategy efforts will really pay off.

The image below  explores three holiday keywords you may want to include in holiday advertising or content strategy. Notice how quickly those trends spike and then return to a baseline for the remainder of the year.

Seasonal search rankings for seasonal search terms year over year

Seasonal spikes in web traffic for variations of Independence Day keywords

Do your Seasonal SEO early

If you want to write holiday-themed content, get your site visible in the SERPs before the holiday season. Preparing in the summer for the winter holiday shopping season is never a bad idea. Getting in early helps Google to see what changes you’ve made to your website. Google updates its index so you’re in a prime spot on the SERP for your optimized holiday keywords.

Remember, your competitors work hard in off-season to ensure their pages are optimized, and you’d better do the same. At the minimum, you’d like to beat the folks who didn’t do any optimization until December, right? Part of this strategy involves leaving URLs in place year over year.  Rather than create new content every season, update relevant content in the offseason rather than creating it anew every year. There will be more on this idea below.

User-generated Content

User Generated content or UGC can be a great way to obtain lots of new and original or otherwise fresh content that will help attract long-tail traffic. User generated content may also be more easily obtainable. People may be more willing to share stories, reviews, videos, pictures and other great content relating to your seasonal products.

User generated content can also develops holiday original content generation by providing ideas for how to customize content your customers want to see. Encourage users and customers to interact with your own unique holiday content.  Great seasonal posts, photos, top ten lists, and videos all create buzz around your products. Get out the camera and make a difference on your holiday content pages.

Reuse Holiday URLs

In order to Reuse Holiday URLs, your site must employ an architecture that can support such a practice.  Maintaining consistency with your holiday URLs is essential to making top SERP ranking year over year. You must keep your URLs present throughout the year.  If you don’t and resort to creating new holiday content pages every year, Google can’t rank you as high. You reinvent the wheel by repeatedly generating similar holiday content.  Also, you lose out on any search traction you had from last season.

Don’t lose your spot by maintaining optimized and reused holiday URLs to use every year. Change the year you’re advertising for, whether it’s in the URL itself or Meta tags. Don’t get lost in this year’s gift scramble because you’re living in the past! Take a look for a more in-depth strategy on Reusing Holiday URLs.

Google Analytics

A Great way to determine ‘seasonality’ of your products is tracking traffic with Google Analytics. Compare a list of seasonal events to your website. Then see what times of the year you are selling your stuff. There are likely times that the dates match up with your trend cycles. Google Analytics can tease out the details of how to maximize your site efficiency during peak selling times. You may feel bogged down with other aspects of the business to dive into the granular level data all the time. But, a quick analysis may reveal a ‘selling season’  you didn’t notice before.

This revelation may expose some gaps in your marketing strategy that could include some Seasonal SEO. There could be opportunities to target products to a certain season, boosting value to stale product lines. Check out this great blog post from Link Assistant for more on using Google Analytics for your Seasonal SEO strategy.

Take advantage of Google Trends

Google Trends is an incredible tool that allows you to see what is trending on the web. Explore a topic (keyword) and see in a beautiful visualization how that keyword trends throughout the year. For example, the keyword “Christmas Gifts for Mom” is low all year, grows through December, then flatlines until next October.

Also included in google trends is interest by subregion.  Take a look at other related topics and queries, which can be a great place to see what keywords are trending related to your search. For example, the best new breakout search last year for this topic was “best Christmas gifts for mom 2017.” Download the data as a .csv file and analyze further on your own. Also available is a tool that allows you to compare multiple keywords. For example, compare “mom gifts” and “xmas gifts for mom” to see what keywords are better. Feel free to compare multiple keywords across regions, timeframes, and countries.

Google trends is also great for checking search term strength when you haven’t built anything yet. A quick check for the right kind of search terms can save you time and money down the road. Check out this great piece from Moz for more on Google Trends as a great way to handle Seasonal SEO.

Seasonal SEO – It’s time to get after it!

All in all, there isn’t much different between traditional Keyword Research and Holiday Keyword Research. The differences come down to finding those long-tail keywords to use seasonally. Do the work right, don’t leave money on the table, and develop your seasonal SEO strategy soon. Check out these amazing authors for more detail on Long Tail SEO Strategy, and how to optimize your pages for Social Media.

Travis Allred – Summer 2018