‘Tis the season for seasonal SEO. Now you’re asking: “Wait, seasonal SEO. Is that even a thing? I thought SEO was a long-term strategy.”
Yes, seasonal SEO is surely a thing — a big thing — that should work hand-in-hand with your long-term strategy. At Boostability, it has been a key to our overall strategy that helps us cut costs and drive results. In this article, I’ll help you fully understand what seasonal SEO is exactly, why it’s so important and how you can implement it for your business.
What is seasonal SEO?
If your business is already using SEO tactics, you know it’s important to understand who your audience is and what they search for online when looking for your product or service. With that knowledge, you can create content to answer all of their queries in the most comprehensive way possible.
With that said, there are keywords that will be searched year-round, and those are important, as they make the foundation for your long-term strategy. However, the second layer of SEO, which can help you get even more in tune with your audience, involves understanding how searches change throughout the year.
For example, when fall hits, terms including “pumpkin spice,” “boots” and “scarves” skyrocket. In summer, it’s all about swimwear and fresh, cool foods. Seasonal SEO is the tailoring of your SEO strategy to a particular season and its trends.
How important is seasonal SEO?
Being in tune with the seasons that impact your audience’s search queries can help you better serve them and, in turn, improve your business results. Our agency’s entire strategy changes to the tune of the holidays once October hits. We deck the halls and jingle the bells and have continuously seen positive results.
What kind of results? Our social behavior, organic search traffic, organic behavior and SERP rankings for specific keywords all go up. In fact, we’ve found that the focus on holiday/clickable content enables us to reduce paid advertising while still driving results.
So, how do you get started?
Step 1: Identify seasonal shopper intents.
The first step, as in any SEO campaign, is to perform keyword research. What does your audience search for during the season you are targeting?
During the holidays, there is a large increase in the number of searches related to gifts for other people. If you sell jewelry, for instance, you might see “Christmas gift for wife jewelry.” It’s also important to incorporate the holidays into your existing keywords. For example, we normally target the long-tail keyword “social media image sizes,” so for the holidays, we tweaked that to “social media image sizes for holiday campaigns.”
Expert tip: When building your list, remember that long-tail keywords work best and local search tactics can help you better target specific areas.
Step 2: Get your timing right.
Along with knowing what keywords to target and how to target them through content, you’ll need to map out your publishing schedule. So whip out the calendar and take note of when people start searching for particular terms.
During the holidays, we have several key dates that drive particular types of searches such as Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. As a result, we begin pushing out content with seasonal themes at the start of October.
It’s very important to publish content at the right time — when your audience is searching for it. Then, you need to adjust your focus as the search intent changes. For example, after Halloween, the Halloween-theme content is shelved until next year and we move the focus to the next holiday.
Step 3: Cover all of your online properties.
Once you have your content plan in place, follow it according to the schedule. Create content, publish it at the right time and share it across all of your channels — from social media to email. And don’t forget to optimize your website for the season. Update the layout for the holidays, create new landing pages and customize your calls to action.
Where should you research seasonal SEO trends?
Google Trends is always a great tool for understanding search interest over time. Google Keyword Planner can also help you identify high-level trends.
Look at your analytics to see when traffic spikes and consider how the time of year and other events going on at that time could have been a contributing factor. Additionally, look back on your performance to see what topics worked well in the past.
And, lastly, it’s always good to analyze the competition to see which search terms they are ranking for and how well they are ranking.
It’s time to get into the holiday spirit.
With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s already time to start the seasonal SEO engine. If you haven’t thought about it yet, you still have time to get your strategy together. While it is a new focus, you don’t have to entirely change what you are doing with your year-round SEO. It’s more about putting an additional, strategic twist on it. Plus, the great part is that each year, when the season rolls around again, you can build on the previous seasons to improve your rank. However, keep in mind for the future that the earlier you start your planning, the better.