5 quick tips for seasonal SEO

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Most brands take advantage of holidays where social media marketing is concerned, but what about SEM and SEO?

While keyword research might not seem particularly festive in the run up to Christmas, or remotely romantic in the month before Valentine’s Day, it certainly deserves a place on your to-do list. Here are five ways to make it easier on yourself, year after year:

Identify seasonal opportunities

People’s search habits change in the lead-up to holidays and festive seasons. Start by compiling a rough list of all seasonal events and holidays that you wish to acknowledge in some way. Jot down how these things are relevant to your brand.

Sell baking products? Your list might look like this:

  • Christmas (cookies, mince pies, Christmas cake, recipes)
  • New Year (cocktails, buffets, recipes)
  • Valentine’s Day (heart-shaped cake tins, red food dye, recipes)
  • St Patrick’s Day (green food dye, cookie cutters, recipes)
  • Easter (cake cases, edible cake toppers, recipes)
  • Halloween (recipes, cake decorations, food dye)

Sell women’s clothing? Your list might be more along these lines:

  • Christmas (occasion wear, sparkle, party wear, outfits)
  • Valentine’s Day (outfits, accessories, dresses)
  • Spring (wardrobe, pastels, outfits, trends)
  • Summer (wardrobe, colour, beachwear, trends)
  • Autumn (wardrobe, outfits, jumpers, trends)
  • Black Friday (sales, shopping outfits)
  • Winter (wardrobe, coats, scarfs, outfits, trends)

Type each broad term on your list into Google Trends. How soon before each holiday or season do searches begin to rise? For “Halloween”, it’s August:

Screen-Shot-2015-04-22-at-15.15.02 5 quick tips for seasonal SEO

That’s the time to start the keyword research.

Keyword research

Start the keyword research using the notes you jotted down beside the holiday or season in question. You will need to do this every year, as the data is likely to change. Some of these keywords will lead you to create evergreen content (like ‘St Patrick’s day baking’) whereas others (like ‘Spring trends’) will only be relevant for one season. While both are important, the evergreen content will grow stronger year after year if it’s good enough for people to share around and link back to from their own sites.

Evergreen content

This is evergreen content in the loosest sense of the phrase, as you can’t use this content all year round — but you can use it every time the holiday occurs. With this (almost) evergreen content, you can aim a little higher when it comes to keyword difficulty. Great seasonal content — especially when promoted and distributed effectively — can accumulate links and social shares every time it comes around, so it doesn’t matter if the competition is a little higher.

If you are creating content that you plan to use more than once, be sure to give it a quick refresh each year — Google values “freshness”, so it’s a good idea to update things once in a while. The keywords with the highest traffic one year might not be the same the next, so this is a good opportunity to make small on-page tweaks (“St Patrick’s Day cookies” to “St Paddy’s Day cookies”, for example).

Timely content

Your Spring fashion trends for 2015 will not be the same for 2016, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose all the link juice you’ve accumulated. If your URLs are season-specific (“/spring-trends-2015” for example) you can redirect these to your 2016 page when the time comes — but where possible, keep your landing pages the same.

Keeping track

Keep track of all your seasonal content in a spreadsheet — even the stuff you don’t think you can reuse. While you may not be able to pull out a blog post on 2012 Halloween outfits in 2015, you can use it for a throwback-style piece for your social media marketing.

Add to this spreadsheet each year, so you have two lists: one list of content that you can spruce up and reuse each Christmas, and one list of content that you can use for social media and blog content. In addition to throwback-style posts, you can also compare and contrast — for example, “Five years ago, we were all wearing these hats (here, you can link to the content in question). This year, they’re making a comeback, but with a twist!” If nothing else, this can be useful for days when you’re struggling to find new blog ideas.

Photo Credit: James E. Petts via Compfight cc

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