Over the years, SEO and the digital marketing industry at large have evolved rapidly in response to steep competition and increasing search engine sophistication. Today, an SEO professional may plan and execute campaigns that are extremely granular in order to ensure that the client is attracting as much search engine traffic as possible. For example, the best holiday-focused SEO campaigns make use of demographics, competitiveness on keywords, website statistics and browsing data, market niches, and even local search data to maximize relevant web traffic and revenue growth.
When it comes to crafting a seasonal marketing strategy, there are a few points to consider. There are plenty of businesses that see fluctuating sales due to certain seasonal changes. Professionals in retail are hyper-aware of the holiday shopping season, in particular. Should your SEO efforts make use of seasonal retail activity? What would this look like and how would it work?
Should You Do Seasonal & Holiday SEO?
In SEO, there is always the question of whether your efforts generate a significant return that merits the time and energy spent on them. Is seasonal marketing effective? Or, can you just skip it and get by on traditional SEO marketing?
The short answer is that seasonality is very important in SEO, and there are several reasons for this. First of all, cost-benefit analysis has always been important for proper optimization, and marketing in general. Marketers are constantly asking: how much effort to put in so the return is maximized? And how much effort is too much to be effective?
Seasonality actually plays a huge part in this decision. Let’s say that you are a retailer who specializes in gardening. In the United States, most vegetables are generally planted in early spring or early summer. Is it a good idea to sink a lot of marketing resources into a campaign in the off-season, when people are not buying as many seeds or gardening tools? Probably not! Marketing efforts will maximize their impact if they are implemented when people are out buying seeds and supplies, and gearing up for the growing season.
If you’re working in an industry that has strong seasonal shopping trends, more effort in seasonal or holiday-related SEO work correlates with increased revenue during those key periods. The basic idea is that you put more work in when the crowds are showing up to capture that traffic, and then ease up on effort when things quiet down and you’re not going to get as many sales anyway.
Another issue has to do with planning and accountability in marketing. Marketing departments and SEO professionals need to be able to project their growth in conversions, traffic growth rates, average order amounts, and other metrics in order to demonstrate effectiveness. By taking account of seasonal shopping trends, marketing professionals can fine tune their projections and maximize the efficiency of their campaigns, while easing concerns of their clients about expected performance. After all, if off season traffic dies down, there is not a whole lot to be gained from worrying about decreasing traffic and shopping activity, as there are simply fewer consumers out looking.
Your Best Seasonal Search Engine Marketing Strategy
Let’s take a look at a couple of seasonal retail industries to get a feel for what seasonality looks like in the business. We already touched on the gardening industry, but what about others? In fashion, it is well known that designers and retailers regularly put out clothing that’s appropriate for the season along with new designs at least one season in advance. In response, digital marketing and SEO efforts need to be fine-tuned to match the type of clothing and appeal to people seeking out the newest styles after they hit runways and when those same styles go on sale during key retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
While holiday SEO strategies tend to be implemented en masse during November and December, seasonal SEO and marketing can be applied to other industry trends. Consider the fitness industry. Retail outlets that cater to fitness have to offer activewear and exercise equipment that’s appropriate for the season. SEO marketers should research what their target demographics like to do in the summer versus the winter. What type of clothing and equipment are people looking for in these time periods? Would a CrossFit gym benefit from offering ‘New Year’s Resolution’ discounts? Or, could they see increased traffic and revenue from blogs optimizing for longtail keywords related to “get a summer body fast” posted in March and April?
Marketers should also take notice of seasonal trends in industries that are less apparent. In electronics, for example, the holiday season plays an even stronger role than in many other industries. If you think about this, it makes sense: a lot of electronics items are a greater investment and therefore higher priced, and require a special occasion like a holiday for consumers to justify their purchase.
Effective Seasonal SEO
If you’re marketing in an industry that has strong seasonal trends, you’re probably sold on seasonal and holiday SEO. But the question remains: how do you do it effectively? One of the most important aspects of any effective seasonal marketing strategy and SEO campaign is getting the timing right. Most SEO marketers start planning their campaigns months in advance of a big seasonal change, so everything is ready for the crucial moment that seasonal traffic surges. It is a good idea to give yourself a good 3 or 4 months to start doing research, thinking about promotion ideas, researching keywords, and putting together landing pages and promotional material that is appropriate to the given season.
Tools like Google Analytics offer great ways to analyze year-to-year seasonal traffic. This lets you get an idea of what your numbers are like, and what goals make sense for your business. Research keywords that have a seasonal angle, and make use of effective terms in promotional material. Many SEO professionals use a combination of channels like organic search, pay per click (PPC), and social media to disseminate their seasonal content and promotions.
Get Started Now
Seasonal SEO requires careful planning and research to ensure that your efforts are the most effective, so it is never too early to start thinking about these things! For a professional perspective, Coalition Technologies specializes in cutting edge SEO strategies for eCommerce businesses, like local search along with seasonal and holiday SEO. Looking for expert help on your seasonal campaign? Give us a call today at 310-905-8268 and receive a free quote.