Is your eCommerce store ready for winter? While the sun shines outside and snow seems a world away, that might seem like a strange question to ask, but it’s actually a major issue for SEO planners to think about in the heat of summer.
Anyone who has sold goods year-round on the web finds out that SEO behaves very differently in the winter months. They also tend to discover that if you fail to plan for seasonal differences, you could well see mysterious dips in traffic performance, which is a guaranteed recipe for decreased revenues at a time when you really need to maximise conversions.
This gives rise to a key question that many SEO planners still manage to miss: how can you beat the winter blues and take seasonal SEO into account?
We’ve got some suggestions below.
1. Start planning well in advance
The first key thing to remember is that planning for winter SEO starts in the summertime, and vice versa. SEO marketers need to be a few months ahead of the game, so they can take advantage of the lead in to the winter or summer periods. Just switching keywords and content as November arrives won’t be sufficient.
Long planning periods give you enough time to experiment with testing, assess previous campaigns, and commission or write content that is good enough to generate high-quality traffic. And it also reduces the risk of stressful episodes at crucial times of year, so don’t get lazy. Planning in advance is a smart move on multiple levels.
2. Think about gift buying queries
In the winter months, seasonal SEO becomes dominated by gift-giving (followed instantly by sales). So you’ll need to be well-positioned to dominate search queries for key long-tail keywords that relate to the searches of gift buyers.
Why long-tail keywords? Because they attract higher quality traffic, and can pinpoint specific demographics. If you use terms like “sports accessories for teens” or “stylish shoes under $100” you’ll be able to present relevant content to buyers who know what they are seeking. Match up what you have to offer and what they want, and you’ll be in business.
And don’t forget to include specifically gift-oriented content. “Gifts for Dad/Mum” or “how to find gifts for teens” are keywords that come up all the time. The precise wording varies from niche to niche, but these seasonally-specific terms are always a valuable inclusion in blogs or landing pages.
3. Spend time building connections
Before the winter holidays arrive, you should dedicate time to developing your brand identity. Foster connections with related blogs, social media influencers, magazines, or general websites. Be sure to build links from those sites into your content, and don’t be shy about requesting links on target sites as well.
If necessary, try to place articles in high traffic media outlets. And use press releases where appropriate to target journalists. You might even work with specific influencers on contests. Contests can build a loyal following and promote particular products as the gifting season commences, so they are doubly effective during the winter.
4. Don’t be too generic
Although we’ve mentioned the importance of seasonal keywords and link building, there’s a risk that winter SEO strategies can become too focused on the season, and lose sight of the products being sold.
If you go all-in on gifting and festive themes, you may stress high value keywords too much, and be lost in the SEO rush as a result. After all, before Christmas, everybody is trying to rank for “gifts”. The challenge is to find content that relates to your company, your products, and your niche, but also weaves in seasonal elements.
Be prepared for winter and start your SEO planning today
Winter is a lucrative time to sell online. It’s the season of Black Friday, the holidays, and the New Year sales. It’s when people splash out on things they normally wouldn’t – and when they are actively seeking content that relates to those purchases.
All of this makes it essential to have a solid seasonal SEO strategy in place. If you want to create SEO that hits the spot, greatcontent is here to help. Don’t be caught out by the holiday season. Start now by getting in touch, and we’ll help you maximise your revenues this winter.
Text: Sam Urquhart
Image: Joshua Hoehne on unsplash.com