HOW TO GET YOUR CONTENT TO RANK FOR SEASONAL KEYWORDS?
When you hear the words “seasonal keywords”, what first comes to mind? Is it Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Christmas and general holiday-related keywords? Well, that is part of it. Of course, you will want to put the more energy into optimizing your keywords for the holidays.
After all, holiday retail sales during December and January brought in $659 billion in 2016. This translates into holiday retail sales representing 25% of total retail industry sales.
Planning your content can be a hard task. It can be effortless to draw a blank when planning about what to create. We wonder about our content’s effectiveness in organic search and want to make sure our concepts have some substantial data. A simple way to come up with evergreen and useful content is to use data that Google gives us and use it to our benefit.
When I reference “seasonal keywords,” this means that keywords generate most of their search traffic during a particular time of the year. This is obvious for holiday terms like President’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday or Valentine’s Day where most of those connected keyword terms will have most — if not all — of its traffic in a single month. But the traditional sense of keyword research concentrates on seeing search volume on a calculated monthly average. This creates the tendency to overlook some seasonal trends when auditing through a bulk list of keywords. When I say seasonal keywords, I am referring to any particular time of the year when there is a spike in a specific search phrase and when there is a predictable increase in sales in a given niche.
Some examples include:
-Back to school
-4th of July
You get the idea.
For a Valentine’s Day topic, we are going to notice a very high search volume for February — 60 million searches, to compare to any other time of the year. So it would be in the best interest of companies to optimize their content around Valentine’s Day topics before the start of February.
SEOs roles are developing to be more involved with the content creation process. We know it isn’t enough to optimize for a particular keyword anymore. We must also optimize our content to address the expected needs of our target audience. SEO content creators even must predict what the next query after finding their content might be, and intuitively find out a way to incorporate that aspect into their content piece or find out a way to easily lead their user to another content piece that answers the expected query.
We must examine and explore our visitor’s possible follow-up questions:
Answering these questions will help us to create more significant content. We can figure out these questions and how to approach our material through the streets like the suggested search box at the bottom of general queries or the “people also ask” section of search.
USE GOOGLE TRENDS FOR RESEARCH
The first thing you will want to do is go to Google Trends. It indeed is a marketer’s best friend and is jam-packed will all kinds of valuable insights. To begin, type in the seasonal event you are interested in.
I will use Mother’s Day as an example:
After pressing “Enter,” here is what I get:
Scroll down a bit, and you will see two important sections: “Related queries” and “Related topics.”
Serve as a high starting point because you can look at the info from previous years to discover what types of Mother’s Day-related searches people use the most.
Click on the right arrow at the bottom to browse through the rest of the list:
This will instantly give you a sense of what people are interested in and search for as it relates to a special seasonal event.
For example, I might be interested in “Gifts – Money”:
It could serve as a topic I could potentially create content around.
For instance, I am considering about preparing for the coming winter season, so I’ve set my date range for the last two months of last year to see what was trending. Google Trends gave four basic ideas for me to work from. I can tell Furnace is a hot topic in the winter, so I will focus more effort on generating content topics related to Furnaces to reach my user’s relevant target audience. This is a long-tail keyword strategy in the making, as we prepare to dive deeper into the topics and related questions portions in trends.
PLUGGING A BROAD KEYWORD INTO THE GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER
Let’s say after a little research on Google Trends; I have found a range of keyword I am interested in.
I know for a sure that people have searched for it in the past, so I know they will be searching for it this year as well.
What you want to do now is a plug that broad keyword into the Google Keyword Planner for a more extensive list of keyword concepts.
Type it in under “Your service or product.”
Click on “Get Ideas” at the bottom:
Here is what I get:
The first results do not look all that great because they have all got a high competition level.
That is a problem for many industries, so I will need to do some more searching to find the diamond in the rough.
After scrolling down some more, I start to see some keywords with lower competition, like this one:
Ideally, you will choose long-tail keywords because this means less competition and often a higher growth rate.
This is the heart of original keyword research.
And remember: 75% of all search traffic involves long-tail keywords.
That is almost always your best bet.
This is a general example, but this formula will work for practically any seasonal event.
Just start with Google Trends to find a general keyword.
Then fill it into the Google Keyword Planner to fine-tune it, and find a long-tail phrase you have a strong likelihood of ranking for.
To cast a broader net, you may want to repeat the process a few times until you have a few keyword phrases at your disposal.
Here is another tip. Ubersuggest has an excellent little characteristic that can give you some additional ideas.
Here is how it works.
Go to the Ubersuggest homepage.
Type in the seasonal event.
Click “Look Up.”
You will see this:
Here is what I got:
This is another easy way to see which keywords related to your seasonal event are commonly searched for.
The bigger the word, the more often people include it in their search queries.
I find out this can be an excellent way to round off your keyword research, and Ubersuggest will offer you just a bit more data.
Sometimes, you can include one or more of these keywords into your overall keyword phrase.
CREATING YOUR CONTENT
At this point, you should know what some of the most popular searches are and have at least a couple of long-tail keywords. Now, you will want to base your content around those keywords and searches. I probably do not need to say it, but you will want to create robust, comprehensive content which is better than that of at least 95% of your competitors. You will also want to include lots of data and images whenever it makes sense.
I advise doing a quick Google search to see what you are up against to ensure you kill it with your final product. Regarding content length, you can use this post from NeilPatel.com as a reference point. It shows how long your blogs should be by industry.
You may also want to learn about the skyscraper method system from Brian Dean if you have not done so already. And do not think you have to limit yourself to a favorite blog post. There are lots of other content options.
Here is what is trending with B2B marketers in 2017:
Video marketing is hot right now and is a medium I suggest experimenting with.
KNOWING WHEN TO POST YOUR CONTENT
Besides finding out the right seasonal keywords and creating killer content, it is fundamental to post your content at the right time.
This is a biggie, and you must strike while the iron is hot. But how do you know when to post?
To find out, you will need to go back to Google Trends and do the following.
After searching for a seasonal event, you will see a series of options directly above the graph.
Click on the down arrow beside “Past five years.”
This will enable you to set the date and choose how far back you want to go.
I recommend searching for last year’s results because it is an easy way to tell when people start searching heavy and hot.
Click on the “Past twelve months.”
Here is what pops up:
All I have to do now is choose when the trend in Mother’s Day-related searches begins.
In 2017, things started picking up between April 10 and April 13 and peaked between May 10 and 14. This tells me my content needs to be ready to go by April 10 to take full benefit of the spike in searches. But, of course, I will want to have it posted at least a few weeks in advance. That is because it can take Google anywhere from three days to three weeks to index content. So, you will want to give it some time to simmer.
I tend to mistake on the side of caution, so I would aim for posting my content somewhere around March 8. This should guarantee everything has time to get indexed and maintain its rightful place in the search results. However, if you were in a crisis, you could push it to the beginning of November. But keep in mind this could decrease your content’s impact and probably would not bring nearly as much organic traffic as it would otherwise.
PLANNING IN ADVANCE
The point of targeting seasonal keywords effectively and raking in significant traffic is to stay on the top of the game. You do not want to do this at the last minute. That is only going to minimize your impact. If possible, do some initial planning a few months beforehand.
In the case of Mother’s Day, which occurs in mid to late May, I would want to start planning sometime around January or February. This would guarantee I have enough time to perform my research, select my keywords, create my content, post it and allow Google to index it.
That way, I do not have to stress or rush myself out. Do whatever makes the most sense to you, but try to think ahead. Otherwise, it is like studying for a huge test the night before. Seldom does it end well?