Who doesn’t love the holiday season? We love our website traffic going through the roof as everyone is planning their trips, buying presents for loved ones, and splurging on things that they wouldn’t otherwise buy… However, if your website is about the Christmas season, what do you do after the season is over? Your guide to seasonal SEO, seasonal content, optimizing your website for seasonal fluctuations in traffic, and how to find your seasonal SEO strategy through hard data. 🤓
As a travel blogger, it’s so wonderful when you see a massive spike as you know the holiday season is about to begin. As I’ve been blogging for a couple years, I know exactly when people are going to start researching their trip to Amsterdam and when that traffic will tailor off.
A massive mistake that many bloggers and entrepreneurs make is publishing their most valuable seasonal content the same week that they want people to find their blog post or website. Although the holiday spirit is great, you’re going to lose out on 95% of the people who are interested in your seasonal website content as you’re not ranking when they search for your seasonal keyword. At worst, you’ll be annoying your audience who has been overwhelmed by other content about the same seasonal content.
Your solution: Be productive and start publishing your seasonal content earlier
As mentioned previously, it can take several months until your content ranks. If you’re writing good SEO optimized content, you need to be smart about your timing, so that your content is available to rank before the the spike. For instance, you’re targeting people who are interesting in celebrating New Year’s Eve, you need to find out when your audience will start planning their trip.
Know when your audience will begin research a seasonal topic
How do you find out when your audience will begin researching a topic? You can utilize Google Trends for finding out when people begin searching for a content. It’s 100% free and you can use it without registering. I often make notes in my content calendar when is a major spike/peak season for a certain article. This ensures that I don’t miss my window!
If you’re interested in more specific keywords, consider checking your favorite keyword research tool (I like Keysearch) for when to begin researching. It’s important to remember that even if you’re writing for long tail queries that you can check the quantity for more broad queries to get an idea of your ideal timing for writing a seasonal article without needing to full Keyword research.
Make sure that your content is ranking by the time people begin researching a seasonal topic
This is important, but you want to ensure that your post is doing well by the time that people are searching. If the query is quite competitive, but you think that you have a chance, I recommend ensuring that you have at least one month prior to the peak in your seasonal content to publish your website or blog. Similarly, this gives you the opportunity to link build to ensure that your post stands a chance. (We’ll have more about link building soon, but it’s something not to forget when thinking about SEO writing!)
Other options for preventing a downturn from seasonal traffic
Writing for seasonal content can be quite grueling, especially if you have a short amount of time before everyone starts searching for specific seasonal content. It’s good to remember that good seasonal content is likely to rank the next year as you’ll gain a vintage on it. (I kid, but letting an article age really helps.) If you miss the original peak season, try to write it in a fashion where you won’t need to do massive re-edits the next year.
Counteract your seasonal content with opposite season content
It’s a bit bizarre writing about summer in the dead of winter, but this is what many businesses do. When you’re often at the supermarket in mid-August, they’re already preparing for Halloween. It’s the cycle of seasonality, so embrace it. It’s important to assess if it’s worth publishing this piece now or waiting until next year. I was about to post a piece about a winter destination, but realized it would be better to put off publication until late summer/early fall when my core audience would start planning their trip. C’est le vie.
Write evergreen content
This is a safe strategy, but write evergreen content about things that are always well searched. Most topics have a slight downturn due to some seasonal SEO searches, however some topics are always searched for, like the best shows on Netflix. If you can rank well for a topic that does well throughout the year, you’re sure to see some great SEO results. (At minimum, buy some sale Halloween candy.)
Once you have a good page on your website that is ranking each year, don’t lose it. Some notes: Keep the same URL, update it each year (don’t let it get stale), and update the publish date once you’re sure that it’s updated. Also, never delete it as there’s always a few people who like to get an early start on Christmas (or whatever you’re writing about). Seasonal content can be so little work once you have a good page or post that ranks, so make sure that you update it at least once a year.