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Optimizing Search Traffic for the Holidays

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category GuestBox

guest post by Collin Elder

Even as you aim to have your content be evergreen, you'll want to start jazzing things up during the holiday season to capitalize on seasonal search.  It's not just brick and mortar retailers who have gangbuster seasons between Thanksgiving and New Year's.  Online retailers and businesses benefit from the heavier traffic and consumers who can double or triple their online time during the holiday season.

Capturing seasonal search traffic and getting your share of the holiday keywords isn't complex, but it does take research and strategy.  You can't just wander through and drop "Christmas" in five times and call it done.  Making the most of your search terms throughout the holidays means you need to check your records, do good research, and test, test, test the results.

Check Last Year's Top Organic Keywords

One of the best places to find the seasonal keywords that are going to work for you this year is to look at what brought in traffic last year.  Even basic analytics programs can provide valuable historical references that can guide you to redoing your landing page copy, focusing your content campaigns, and tweaking your PPC ads.

Admittedly, you'll be at a disadvantage if this is your first time through the holidays.  However, take it as a lesson for the future.  Good recordkeeping from the start makes later successes possible.

Research Top Keywords for Your Niche

The next stage is to focus on the top keywords for your niche for the season in question.  In some cases, it will be easy to find them - if you sell greeting cards, "Merry Christmas Cards" is going to be one of the obvious ones.  However, spending time researching second tier and long tail keywords for your campaign can also pay off big time in seasonal search.

Unlike purely informational searches, holiday searchers are often more willing to browse to find something that goes beyond "good enough" and into "exactly right."  As a result, you can use Google Trends, Zeitgeist, and Twitter trend reports to help you find the top trending topics, and then work to capture as much of that traffic as possible with first line and long tail search terms tied to your campaigns.  Fight for the second, more thoughtful click where you can to get better conversion rates.

Test, test, test...

None of the holiday tweaking would be worth it if you didn't measure exactly what was working and what was flopping.  With a short time window to get juice from these keyword shifts, you have to maximize your impact.  'Tis the season to test, test, test.

Split testing is particularly useful for optimizing to holiday search.  You can test seasonal vs. non-seasonal, and test different holiday combinations for each kind of paid campaign.  You'll end up with solid statistics that you can use this year and in the years ahead to launch strong and make the most of the season.  Having the numbers on your side can help you ensure that your content is evergreen in the other sense of the word - no matter the season, you will have content that works to pull in eyeballs and convert!

About the Author
Collin Elder blogs about gadgets, technology, and HTC mobile phones for a UK phone site that features cheap contract phones, user guides, market news, and the latest developments in the phone market.

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