As the leaves on the trees begin to crispen and fall around us, creating a beautiful landscape of deep oranges and golden yellows, you can’t help but get caught up in the autumnal spirit. This is a season of warmth and cosiness, where the smell of a hot chocolate or pumpkin spice latte can powerfully evoke the feelings and memories of autumn past.
If reading these lines has sent you into a nostalgic spiral, where visions of past autumns were powerfully evoked in an instant, you have fallen for a classic seasonal marketing tactic.
By using images, settings or themes that are connected to culturally important seasonal events, you can stir powerful emotions in your readers.
This is a classic tactic that advertisers and marketers put to use at certain points in the year as a way of increasing brand awareness or driving sales. However, seasonal marketing tactics also have a use in SEO strategies and can be used to much the same effect. With that said, let’s take a look at what seasonal marketing is, and how you can put it to use when you are designing and delivering your content marketing strategy.
What is seasonality?
By its dictionary definition, ‘seasonality’ is the state or quality of being seasonal or connected to a particular season during the calendar year.
This could capture shorter seasons that are regular and recur each year – such as the ‘festive season’, which captures Christmas and the New Year or Easter – as well as capturing longer, more regular seasons – such as winter, autumn, spring and summer.
The key is that there is some aspect of regularity to it, with the beginning and end of the season marking a period of increased activity within that time frame when compared to the rest of the year.
Seasonality may also have an impact on the demand for certain goods or services during the season in question. For example, while there is a huge demand for people to play Santa during the Christmas period, we can’t say the same about the summer months.
Playing into seasonality as a business, then, means identifying the regular, predictable trends that will recur each year and using them to operate around.
For many businesses, this occurs naturally, with increased demand for certain services and inevitability based on the type of business they are – such as Santa impersonators or ski equipment. For others, seasonality will be unavoidable regardless of what product or service they provide – as is the case with many businesses in the run-up to Christmas, when sales volume naturally increases.
Why does seasonality matter for SEO purposes?
As you might have been able to guess from the name, ‘seasonal SEO’ is an approach to SEO that focuses on the seasonal popularity of certain products, goods or services. The goal of this approach is to drive conversions using SEO tactics and strategies but doing so within a defined period of time.
In terms of what this defined period of time will cover, we can identify two broad approaches to seasonal SEO strategy:
- Time-based seasonal SEO: This approach focuses on the larger seasonal periods within a year, such as autumn, winter or summer. It might also be a specific month. A good example of a specific month around which a seasonal SEO strategy can be built is ‘Veganuary’, which is a relatively new addition to the SEO calendar.
- Event-based seasonal SEO: This approach focuses on specific events or days around which you can base your SEO strategy. These might include Christmas Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving or New Year’s.
We should note, however, that while ‘time-based’ and ‘event-based’ periods are distinct, they are also often overlapping. For example, while Christmas Day is essentially a single day, you can still optimise for the month or two preceding it. For this reason, we would generally recommend optimising for a combination of both.
Does seasonal marketing matter?
Although it might not always be appropriate based on the client or brief you have to work with, seasonal SEO is still something that you should bear in mind. After all, seasons and annual events such as Christmas and Thanksgiving are an important part of how we structure our society and live our lives.
Ultimately, a client wants to put effort into marketing their product or service when it is most likely to be purchased. Playing into the seasonal desires of customers is a way of ensuring that you expend marketing resources when this is most likely. After all, would it make sense for a chocolate company to spread its marketing budget equally throughout the year or to put the majority of its resources into Easter, Christmas and Valentine’s Day when the majority of its sales are likely to occur?
The benefits of seasonal SEO
In terms of how the benefits of a general seasonal marketing approach carry over into your SEO strategies specifically, there are a number of benefits that we might identify.
Firstly, approaching SEO seasonally acts as a way of thinking about how you should best allocate your marketing resources. By following seasonal trends that the demand for your business naturally follows, you can more efficiently allocate marketing resources and drive e-ecommerce sales.
Secondly, taking a seasonal approach is a great way of generating content that will immediately resonate with your audience. Seasons and seasonal events are socially and culturally important events in our lives and calendars. Use this to your advantage by creating content that evokes these emotions.
Finally, a seasonal approach is a great way of helping you to generate new and interesting content ideas. As any content marketing professional knows all too well, one of the most difficult aspects of the job is having to generate new ideas. A seasonal approach cuts down on this labour, however, as the season or event itself acts as the central idea.
Identifying seasonal trends
Now that we have thoroughly convinced you about the benefits of seasonal SEO approaches, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can spot these seasonal trends for whatever product or service you are devising a marketing strategy for:
- Google Trends: By using Google Trends, you can easily see the behavioural change for certain search terms over time. You can use these charts to pinpoint when the popularity of a product type peaks. Use this to figure out the best time to start marketing seasonally and to plan any future blog releases you might have.
- Google keyword planner: Now that you have identified the best time to seasonally market, use a keyword planner to begin generating keywords that map to these seasonal trends. By entering in a search term, it will generate similar keywords that you can use to incorporate in any marketing content you produce.
- Website audit: Another good approach is to look at your own website analytics and to identify any periods of time when traffic to your website increases. This will allow you to associate particular seasons with your product or service.
Although we have looked at how a seasonal approach to marketing in general and SEO specifically can help you to maximise the impact of your content online, the unfortunate reality is that you might often find your resources stretched thin at busy times of the year. With that said, if you do want some help with getting to grips with your content marketing strategy – seasonal or otherwise – feel free to get in contact with Purecontent today!