When you hear the phrase seasonal keywords, what comes to mind?
Is it Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and general holiday-related keywords?
Well, that’s definitely part of it.
Of course, you’ll want to put the extra energy into optimizing your keywords for the holidays.
holiday retail sales during November and December brought in $658.3 billion in 2016.
This translates into holiday retail sales representing 20% of total retail industry sales.
But there’s a lot more to it than that.
When I say seasonal keywords, I’m referring to any particular time of the year when there’s a spike in a particular search phrase and when there’s a predictable increase in sales in a given niche.
Some examples include:
- Valentine’s Day
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
- 4th of July
- Back to school
You get the idea.
See, there are opportunities abound throughout the entire year for SEO marketers.
It’s simply a matter of capitalizing on trends and using seasonal keywords to your advantage.
I would like to share with you a formula I’ve developed for identifying seasonal keywords and getting your content to rank for them.
This way, big opportunities for increasing your overall sales won’t be wasted.
Use Google Trends for research
The first thing you’ll want to do is go to Google Trends.
It truly is a marketer’s best friend and is jam-packed will all kinds of helpful insights.
To begin, type in the seasonal event you’re interested in.
I’ll use Father’s Day as an example:
After pressing “Enter,” here’s what I get:
Scroll down just a bit, and you’ll see two important sections: “Related topics” and “Related queries.”
Both serve as a great starting point because you can look at the data from previous years to determine what types of Father’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 quickly give you a sense of what people are interested in and searching for as it relates to a particular seasonal event.
For instance, I might be interested in “Father’s Day gifts”:
It could serve as a topic I could potentially create content around.
Plugging a broad keyword into the Google Keyword Planner
Let’s say after a little research on Google Trends, I’ve found a broad keyword I’m interested in.
I know for a fact people have searched for it in the past, so I know they’ll be searching for it this year as well.
What you want to do now is plug that broad keyword into the Google Keyword Planner for a larger list of keyword ideas.
Type it in under “Your product or service.”
Click on “Get Ideas” at the bottom:
Here’s what I get:
The first results don’t look all that great because they’ve all got a high competition level.
That’s a problem for many industries, so I’ll need to do some extra searching to find the diamond in the rough.
After scrolling down some more, I begin to see some keywords with lower competition, like this one:
Ideally, you’ll choose long-tail keywords because this means less competition and often a higher conversion rate.
This is the heart of smart keyword research.
And remember: 70% of all search traffic involves long-tail keywords.
That’s almost always your best bet.
This is a really simple example, but this formula will work for virtually any seasonal event.
Just start with Google Trends to find a broad keyword.
Then plug 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 wider net, you may want to repeat the process a few times until you have a handful of keyword phrases at your disposal.
Here’s another tip.
Ubersuggest has a nice little feature that can give you some additional ideas.
Here’s how it works.
Go to the Ubersuggest homepage.
Type in the seasonal event.
You’ll see this:
Now click on “Word Cloud.”
Here’s what I got:
This is another simple 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 this can be a nice way to round off your keyword research, and Ubersuggest will provide you with just a bit more data.
Sometimes, you can insert one or more of these keywords into your overall keyword phrase.
Creating your content
At this point you should have an understanding of what some of the most popular searches are and have at least a few long-tail keywords.
Now, you’ll want to base your content around those searches and keywords.
I probably don’t need to say it, but you’ll want to create robust, comprehensive content that’s better than that of at least 90% of your competitors.
You’ll also want to include plenty of images and data whenever it makes sense.
I suggest doing a quick Google search to see what you’re up against to ensure you kill it with your final product.
In terms of content length, you can use this post from NeilPatel.com as a reference point.
It highlights how long your blog articles should be by industry.
You may also want to learn about the skyscraper technique from Brian Dean if you haven’t done so already.
And don’t think you have to limit yourself to a conventional blog post.
There are plenty of other content options.
Here’s what’s trending with B2B marketers in 2017:
Video marketing is scorching hot right now and is a medium I suggest experimenting with.
Knowing when to post your content
Besides simply finding the right seasonal keywords and creating killer content, it’s essential you post your content at the right time.
This is a biggie, and you need to strike while the iron is hot.
But how do you know when to post?
To find out, you’ll need to go back to Google Trends and do the following.
After searching for a seasonal event, you’ll see a series of options directly above the graph.
Click on the down arrow beside “Past 5 years.”
This will allow you to set the date and choose how far back you want to go.
I recommend searching last year’s results because it’s an easy way to tell when people really start searching hot and heavy.
Click on the “Past 12 months.”
Here’s what pops up:
All I have to do now is determine when the trend in Father’s Day-related searches begins.
In 2016, things started picking up between May 7 and May 13 and peaked between June 11 and 17.
This tells me my content needs to be ready to go by May 7 in order to take full advantage of the spike in searches.
But, of course, I’ll want to have it posted at least a couple of weeks in advance.
That’s because it can take Google anywhere from four days to four weeks to index content.
So, you’ll want to give it some time to simmer.
I tend to err on the side of caution, so I would probably aim for posting my content somewhere around April 7.
This should ensure everything has time to get indexed and claim its rightful place in the search results.
However, if you were in a crunch, you could push it to the beginning of May.
But keep in mind this could reduce your content’s impact and probably wouldn’t bring nearly as much organic traffic as it would otherwise.
Planning in advance
The key to targeting seasonal keywords successfully and raking in big traffic is to stay ahead of the game.
You don’t want to do this at the last minute. That’s only going to minimize your impact.
If possible, do some initial planning a few months beforehand.
In the case of Father’s Day, which occurs in mid to late June, I would want to start planning sometime around March or April.
This would ensure I have adequate time to perform my research, select my keywords, create my content, post it and allow Google to index it.
That way, I don’t have to rush or stress myself out.
Do whatever makes the most sense to you, but try to think ahead.
Otherwise, it’s like cramming for a huge test the night before.
Seldom does it end well.
Seasonal keywords are a gold mine.
And remember: this goes way beyond just the holiday season.
Depending on your niche, there are opportunities to crush it year round with seasonal keywords.
The best part is the formula is quite simple.
It’s a matter of gauging interest, figuring out popular search trends and doing keyword research like you would for any other piece of content.
From there, you just need to be sure you publish your content with enough time for Google to index it and before people start searching on a mass scale.
Have you ever cashed in on seasonal keywords before?