Depending on what you sell, seasonality may very well play a very significant role in your online retail business, simply due to the demand (of lack of it) at certain times of the year for your products and with trend-led shopping behaviours in general. Of course, it isn’t just the four seasons that can have a big role to play in revenue peaks for your business, there are also annual events, holidays and other periods that happen every year which can be very important revenue drivers.
In this article, we take a look at seasonal landing pages and the SEO value they can bring to your website and wider marketing strategy as a whole.
What is seasonality in SEO?
Seasonality in SEO is essentially the impact that things such as the season (including the weather) and annual events can have on audience search behaviour in relation to your business. For example, people are unlikely to be searching to buy Christmas gifts in March or April, but by October and November, they most certainly are.
The impact that seasonality can have on your ecommerce business will depend very much on what you sell, but if your products can be given as gifts or are designed to be used mainly at certain times of the year, you can definitely take advantage of adding seasonal aspects to your SEO strategy to make the most of this.
Common seasonal events or periods that can really matter to some ecommerce brands, depending on what they sell, include:
- January sales
- Valentine’s Day
- Mother’s & Father’s Day
- Summer holidays (both for vacationing away and warmer weather products for home/garden etc)
- Back to school
- Black Friday sales
Why do seasonal SEO?
Seasonal SEO simply takes advantage of search behaviour from your target audience that already exists at that time of year, every year, so it makes sense to use this as part of your wider SEO efforts to drive as much revenue as possible during these peak periods.
While much of the SEO focus for many brands is on evergreen organic search behaviour, to help generate sales regardless of the time of year (which is, of course, very important), seasonal SEO can add an extra dimension that doesn’t need to be started again every year – the SEO benefits can be built on over time to make seasonal elements a really powerful part of your website from a search engine results point of view. This is where seasonal landing pages come in.
What are seasonal landing pages for SEO and why are they beneficial?
Seasonal landing pages are simply a dedicated page on your website related to a specific seasonal event that is designed to draw in organic traffic (although can also be used for paid search, of course) at the peak time when people are using relevant keywords to search for whatever it is that you sell.
The pages should be created several months in advance of the event so that the page has some time to start ranking, stay live all year round and the content, along with the relevant product feed, can be updated every year to ensure it’s hyper-relevant to the upcoming/current event or season.
Here are four reasons why seasonal landing pages can deliver significant SEO benefit year after year:
1. Seasonal landing pages provide potential customers with useful targeted content and an easy way to shop
A seasonal landing page should include optimised content that is focused around relevant keywords and search phrases that will drive the right people to your website when they are ready to make a purchase decision. No one searches for ‘valentine’s day jewellery’ unless they want to buy some jewellery for someone special to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Long-tail keywords are often your friend when it comes to seasonal landing page optimisation. There is lower volume, but those who are searching are more likely to turn into customers. Take a look at commonly asked question too, as this can show the kind of information that people are looking for and give you some ideas to include in your seasonal page content. For example, a quick Google search for “valentine’s day gifts for under £100” brings up the ‘People Also Ask’ (PAA) questions:
Images, especially if you have your own exclusive product and seasonal visuals, can also be optimised for SEO purposes, which can be an additional source of organic traffic to the page.
It can contain a product feed, meaning that all of the relevant products to the event are right there on the landing page, so the user has a simple way to find what they are looking for and completing a purchase without having to navigate around the wider site first.
Argos are a great example of this in action. Their Black Friday page includes information about Black Friday in general, useful tips for shoppers and also has a product feed to provide shoppers with an easy way to buy. This feed contains trending products when out of season for Black Friday so still has some revenue-driving potential whatever the time of year someone visit it.
2. Seasonal landing pages build authority over time
The whole point of seasonal landing pages is to drive traffic and sales over a short period of time, but the SEO approach needs to take longevity into account too.
By creating seasonal landing pages that stay live on your site permanently, they can build authority year-on-year. Any backlinks gained from previous years, for example through your digital PR activity, will keep on bringing SEO benefit to the whole site as well as the individual page, which would all be lost if you took the page down between events.
It’s important that your URL doesn’t include a specific year e.g. /black-Friday-2020/ because this means you would need to change the URL and redirect the old one each year. By instead just making it /black-Friday/ and changing the content each year (usually changing it after the event is finished to act as a holding page for months when there is low search volume, then again to upcoming event content a few months prior to peak search time), you can keep any authority earned and only need to use minimal resource to update each time.
3. Seasonal landing pages give you useful and actionable consumer behaviour data for your business
It can sometimes be surprising to ecommerce brands exactly when people start searching for seasonal products and gifts. There are always going to be the highly organised people who shop for next year’s Christmas presents during the January sales, but even if you sell products specific to summer events that you wouldn’t expect people to buy until late Spring, a warm spell at the start of March can get people searching and buying earlier than they might do if it were a cold snap.
Taking note of triggers all year round for traffic and sales through a seasonal page can provide really useful insights for how you can improve things even more for next year. For example, have heatwave content (for the website, social media and even digital PR) and products ready to go earlier in the year to take advantage of potential extra demand. This kind of proactive approach can help you get to the starting gate earlier than your competitors, giving you an advantage in capturing those who are early (or late) to the expected seasonal party.
Yes, you can use data from tools like Google Trends to help you build your seasonal strategy initially, but your own real-life website data is generally much more accurate and can also help show which specific keywords have been the biggest drivers for you, especially if you combine Google Analytics and Google Search Console data.
It can also be useful to look at your seasonal landing pages from a conversion point of view and see what insights can be taken from this and applied to other parts of the website. Is your conversion rate better through a specific seasonal landing page? How does the user path differ here to on other pages? Is there anything that can be learned from this?
4. SEO Seasonal landing pages can also benefit your wider marketing strategy
Seasonal landing pages aren’t just good for driving organic traffic. As mentioned earlier, you can also incorporate them into your PPC strategy, and ensure that you remarket to those who engaged with your page and products on it but didn’t complete a purchase. This can help you to get the maximum number of transactions over the line during the peak period itself.
Seasonality is also perfect for social media content, and your user-friendly landing page provides a great place to link your social audience to for any special promotions or other incentives.
You can also use seasonal landing pages as a way to generate email subscriptions – by promising subscribers a secret sale or exclusive access period to a new seasonal range, a promotion, bundle or a product that you expect there to be high demand for. This way, even if they land on the page out of season, you can still collect their opted-in data for your future email marketing purposes to drive more revenue.
Not On The High Street are very hot on seasonality on their website, unsurprisingly for a very gift-focused ecommerce brand, and include email sign ups CTAs on all of their seasonal landing pages.
As part of a wider SEO strategy, seasonal landing pages can add tangible value to your business in terms of generating maximum revenue for the peak period, gathering data to inform future activity and by earning links to benefit the whole website’s authority with search engines.
To find out more about how to incorporate seasonality into your SEO and wider marketing strategy, get in touch with our team.