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Why Seasonal Content?
Whenever I think about how to get more traffic to my website, I try and figure out what is “popular” in the moment. For example, my Etsy peeps knew that llamas were popular in 2018 so they could create products with that theme, but 2019 is the year of the sloth so they will have to keep changing to keep up with the trends.
But there are multiple rolling “popular” topics that come up every year… holidays like New Years Eve, Martin Luther King Day, Valentines Day, etc. There are also sports seasons if you are a man blogger, cooking trends like when cucumbers come into season and kids in and out of school trends for lifestyle bloggers.
I have been focusing on seasonal marketing to get targeted traffic from Google for a few years now and the results have been great!
For example, this December, which is typically a time when my traffic would drop off, I saw overall levels remaining the same because of my Christmas Quotes For Business post which brought over in over 10% of my monthly traffic!
I wrote that post over 4 years ago, but update it annually to make sure that the content is relevant and fun.
Here are a few of the 314 terms that I got traffic from for this post!
Now why would I show you my “good” keywords? Well, because I already have domain authority for business quotes and you would have a hard time overtaking me for that one little word!
Which leads ups to…
Seasonal Keywords Matching Existing Content
One way to make sure that your seasonal keywords get good rankings in Google is to pair them with something that Google already thinks you are an authority in. For example, I was going to do this post about doing research for ALL keywords, but because I already rank for “seasonal marketing” it is easier to rank for “seasonal keywords” or “seasonal seo” which is a subset of seasonal marketing!
This is the thought process I used when picking Christmas business quotes to write about…
Should You Go For High Volume or Low Competition?
One last consideration is whether you want to try and target high volume keywords that will be harder to rank for OR if you want try and rank more highly for a lower volume keyword but get into the first or second position.
This depends on a couple of things…
The strength of your blog – if you are a big time blogger and can rank for “anything”, then pick high traffic to target. If however you are an itty bitty blogger, then maybe the best course of events is to go for the lower volume keyword that you can dominate.
Your dedication to that keyword – in my quest to rank for seasonal marketing I wrote a cornerstone post, made a video and a free download. I have made about 10 supporting posts so far and will be doing at least that many more over the coming year. If it is a “one off” post, you probably want to target the lower search volume.
What Kind of Content Will You Be Surrounding Your Blog Post With?
In Google search there are so many different kinds of content shown in the SERP (search engine results page). These could include:
- Blog posts
- Recipe/How To Cards
- Social Media Posts/Boards
The more different kinds of content that you have will help your chances of getting ranked. If you are just writing a blog post, that’s fine, but if you have a number of pictures, embed a video and do a how to card or a recipe card, your visibility for that post can go way up!
Starting Your Keyword Research
If you have been blogging for a long time then you might be able to guess at some things you could easily pick off for the seasons. For example, if you are a food blogger already ranking for salads, you could probably rank pretty well for “Best Salads To Take To A 4th of July Party”.
But you can even do this as a beginner blogger! My new little site, Artsy Fartsy Life, ranks well for the tiny little term “decoupage storage box“. This means that I probably rank well for other seasonal decoupage topics like “decoupage christmas ornaments” or “back to school storage box”.
But how do you know if an SEO keyword you are thinking of has seasonal opportunties?
All of the sites are DYING to tell us what they think is popular content, we just need to ask them!
Collecting Popular Keywords
As you probably know, Google ranks us by the keywords we use in our posts. But did you know that Pinterest also ranks us based on keywords in our pin descriptions?
As we start going through the next few steps we will be “collecting” popular keywords that we can use in a post or series of posts if we find a lot of them!
I KNOW there are tons of great SEO tools out there (I will recommend my favorite later) but for this type of content brainstorming you might be better served to rattle around in Google for a while and see what they have to say!
For example, I was writing a post yesterday about January Marketing Ideas… so did an exact match search (using quotation marks around the whole phrase”) to find out some more keywords that Google would recommend I use.
Once I did the actual search I used the Chrome plugin Keywords Everywhere to find other related search terms…
This gets me some additional keywords like advertising themes, content calendar idea and COOL! They want April Marketing and June Promotions… I will be adding “month” posts to my holiday posts!
Once you are done here pop on down to the bottom of the post to see any additional keywords…
Nothing really new here, but some good backup to show that I should do each month’s post!
One last thing that some Google search has for some searches is a question box that tells you EXACTLY what people want to know about! These are gold for an FAQ section or even for H2 tags in your content.
One keyword research tool that you might not be using as much as you should is Pinterest!
The first thing you want to do is a normal search and Pinterest will give you some keyword ideas…
Ideas is certainly important to Pinterest… funny story, years ago a coach told me noone wants ideas, they want strategies… oh how the worm has turned!
Once you do the actual search you will see buttons below the search bar that you can collect and then click on to drill deeper down into keyword research…
Social media has cropped up as has “tips” and “new years”. I have found that often Pinterest is the best at finding relevant related search terms rather than just extensions of my original term.
- Google > january marketing, january marketing ideas, january marketing strategy
- Pinterest > january marketing, january marketing ideas, new years (NEW!)
I think it is because humans are guiding the search algorithm in Pinterest by clicking on related things and we are just better at understanding relationships between diverse concepts (sorry computers!)
Last but not least we want to look at the pictures that Pinterest is showing us so we can see what kinds of graphics they like!
A few things jump out…
- There is not a cohesive “look” to the January marketing pins
- That one pin is shown 3 times
This tells us that there is no strong contender for winning that search term AND that there is not a wide range of content to show for that search term… YAY! A great picture and strong description using my “Pinterest words” should help me get some Pinterest love!
I love to use Google Trends to figure out seasonal keywords popularity. For example, around New Years people make resolutions so you could pair your topic with resolutions to get some super quick seasonal traffic.
Simply put in your keyword, pick the timeline of the past 5 years and see what dates the term you are considering will peak. Resolutions basically has a shelf life of December 28th to January 7th.
But you can always think of related keywords that have a longer “popular” timeline. For example, a popular resolution is to “lose weight”which peaks about the same time in January, but has a much less precipitous fall off and could bring in more traffic!
This doesn’t just work for holidays, it works for other seasonal items like cucumber recipes that peak in the summer when cucumbers are in “season”.
But wait, there’s more! Google also recommended other things that we could write about that it thinks are related to that same keyword! I get the cucumber recipes, but how cool is that zucchini bread recipe that must trend about the same time as cucumbers. Looks like you could have a summer vegetable recipes traffic boost in August!
Last but not least you want to check and see if your search term is trending up or down!
For example, if you were a food blogger and trying to decide between Atkins and Keto diet topics, it is super easy to see graphically which way you should go!
If you were to just look at Atkins, you would see a decline, but maybe not realize how much less traffic it has without comparing the two!
Oftentimes changing the focus of our post is just tweaking the title and some words, so why not pick the one with the most traffic available right from the start!
For example, years ago I was writing a post about “email headlines”. I had gotten the whole post done and was ready to hit publish when I decided to check and see if what I thought they were called was the term everyone actually used… ACK! Come to find out everyone else called them “email subject lines” so I just went through and did a find and replace to use the right term! Subject lines gets 600 TIMES more traffic than headlines.
Paid SEO Research Tool – Serpstat
All of the research we have done up this point is FREE, whoo whoo. For sure you could do enough research to find some super solid keyword ideas to use in your content. But sometimes you want to be lazy (save gobs of time too!)
If you are getting serious about your content and keyword research there are a bunch of really good keyword tools out there… I like Serpstat. It has lots of key features, but not so many that I can’t figure out which goes with what!
This is the SEO Research > Related Keywords report where they do the sifting for you! It shows keyword ideas that you can sort by search volume and then the connection strength to your current website (meaning how easy it will be to rank because Google already credits your site with authority in that keyword!)
I find this report to be SUPER helpful in finding keywords to use in my H2 and H3 category tags of my posts!
What This Looks Like In “Real Life”
As I go through the research I simply note keywords that are important to Google and Pinterest in my WordPress editor (you might write in Word or Notepad, put yours there!)
Because I tend to do a lot of drafts and have them sitting there, I can batch the research and just have a list of keywords to target when I start writing in earnest.
You might be the kind of person who uses spreadsheets for this, but I find that the more steps I have to take, the less likely I am to do a deep dive into the research. PLUS I have sometimes lost research and found it later after the post was done, doubling up on my work!
Additional Seasonal SEO Keyword Resources
- Seasonal Marketing Holidays…. Dates, Hashtags and Keywords (Case Study Included)
- Adventures in SEO Course … Maybe the best course EVER for learning how Google and Pinterest SEO can work together!
- Serpstat… my favorite SEO Research Tool
Choose a topic to research Start a list of “popular” keywords you are going to use in your post Google Trends Serpstat (https://marketingartfully.com/serpstat) Source: Marketing Artfully
Choose a topic to research
Start a list of “popular” keywords you are going to use in your post
Source: Marketing Artfully