Every business, regardless of industry, is subject to seasonality. For some companies, their seasonality actually aligns with the seasons. For instance, a pool cleaning company isn’t going to have much business during the fall and winter months, but business booms come summertime. Other companies’ seasonality coincides with the sales cycles of their usual customers. If IT budgets need to be approved before the holidays, then IT services companies probably expect to see an influx in leads come the New Year when their customers’ budgets have been green lit. SEO can’t control the amount of search volume in your given niche (which in turn impacts visitor count and your site’s conversions rate) but seasonal SEO can put your website in the right place at the right time to take advantage of what traffic there is, however little or much that may be.
How can a company take advantage of the seasonality of their business and use their SEO to make their peak business time even better?
1. Plan ahead and start your SEO early.
It’s important to remember that just because you can create and launch a piece of content instantly that doesn’t mean that A- the search engines find it right away or B- that it instantly will do well in the SERPs. If you want your seasonal SEO to have any impact then you need to start the process months before the actual season. For instance, the pool cleaning company could start writing and promoting content in March and April so that when June and July roll around, when people are opening up their pools for the season, this company is well positioned in the SERPs and has a lot of content for the search engines to pull. A competitor that didn’t start their SEO and content marketing until the summer was already underway is behind the game and might not catch up in time to take full advantage of seasonal SEO.
2. Save optimized content for next year.
An e-commerce site that sells costumes probably does most of their business around Halloween, right? Let’s say they create dozens of pages on their site and optimize them for various keywords like “men’s Halloween costumes” or “Halloween costume ideas for families.” These pages might not get much attention 9-10 months out of the year because people just aren’t in the market for Halloween costumes, but that doesn’t mean the e-commerce site should remove them from their site! The search engines rank individual pages, not websites as a whole, and the longer a page has been around the more trust it has built up with the search engines. This Halloween those pages might do ok, but next Halloween (provided they stayed active on the site and had time to age and build links naturally) they might do great! Seasonal SEO is something that builds on itself overtime, so saving optimized content from year to year helps your website protect any SEO gains from one season to the next.
3. Build your SEO in the off-season.
It’s no great business secret that when there is money to be made every company in your niche will be gunning for it. Every pool company is competing for business in the spring and summer, but what are they doing in the winter months, during the off-season? When there is less search volume there is typically a little less competition, so this is a great time to focus on your link building and get your seasonal SEO in shape for the next year. As a small business owner, I know that during the “busy” times SEO can get pushed to the backburner. Take advantage of the slow months to build links, schedule out content months in advance (so you don’t have to worry about it down the road, build local partnerships or work on biggest content projects like an webinar or infographic.