The changing seasons and their associated holidays bring unique sales opportunities to retailers throughout the year, be it Easter, Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Well-crafted seasonal content is a crucial tool; one that will enable you to both connect with your customers and appease the search engine Gods.
Evergreen and seasonal content is the ideal facilitator to help your customers through their decision journey. As a business, you may experience sales peaks and troughs throughout the year – but if you can perfect the art of persuasive, time-sensitive seasonal marketing campaigns, you will be best positioned to draw in both new and existing customers at key moments in the calendar year. Here’s how.
Do Your Research
As always, crafting effective content starts with some solid research. Planning content isn’t always easy – it’s normal to experience writer’s block and draw a blank when thinking up ideas. A good place to start is with seasonal keyword research.
What are seasonal keywords? They’re the keywords that are generating a disproportionately high amount of search traffic for the time of year – specifically holiday-themed keywords such as ‘Christmas’. When retailers are doing their general keyword research, there’s a tendency to overlook these powerful seasonal phrases, as they only crop up intermittently.
Take Christmas as an example; as we enter December, we’re going to see Christmas-related search volumes going through the roof – probably even earlier than that. So for businesses selling Christmas goods, they should be looking to optimize their on-page content as early as November.
Google Trends is a great way to find trending seasonal topics, as it allows you to set a specific date range. From an SEO point of view, optimizing your website to capitalize on seasonality is an obvious win. What’s more, if you focus your efforts on creating content that’s evergreen, then you’ll double your investment, as the same piece of content will draw traffic in subsequent years.
If you think it’s too early to be preparing for Christmas sales, you’re wrong. Some shoppers (the more organized among us) start their Christmas shopping as early as September. So you need to make sure that your website is Christmas-ready – and fast.
An appealing, well-designed Christmas landing page is a must to catch the fleeting attention of your Christmas-crazy market. This acts as a quick catch-all area where your customers can easily filter by products related to Christmas, and where you can highlight your best sellers and seasonal promotions. It’s a win-win.
A Christmas-themed landing page is the most appropriate place to direct customers who have been reached via a seasonal email marketing or digital advertising campaign. What’s more, Google loves new content, so this should be a real no-brainer for seasonal retailers.
Dress For The Occasion
If you hope to appeal to the holiday market, your website needs to be in good shape. We all want to make sure our Christmas gifts arrive in good time, so if there’s anything to suggest it’s not been updated in a while or that your business is no longer in operation, this could be offputting for shoppers.
Add a little ‘spice and pep’ to your homepage and product pages by updating them to embrace the season. Include lots of mentions around things like gift giving and stocking fillers. You can also take this opportunity to upsell festive promotions – why not offer free shipping for the holidays?
On the subject of shipping, when it comes to events like Christmas, be very clear about your shipping deadlines. There’s nothing more disappointing than receiving your order after Christmas Day.
Optimize the URL of your focus page so it’s short and easy to remember (good for SEO points) and be sure that it’s mobile-responsive. You shouldn’t need to be told this in 2017, but with smartphone revenue set to overtake desktop revenue, this is non-negotiable if you hope to make a lot of sales.
Page speed is another important factor to consider. Do everything you can to optimize your page loading time on desktop and mobile so you don’t keep customers waiting. Slow-loading sites lead to shopping cart abandonments and fewer conversions.
Top tip: If you’re using Shopify as your content management system, the Seasonal app will automatically apply seasonal styling to your store – and you can schedule everything ahead of time. You may also want to try the Order Deadline app to target customers’ biggest mental barriers and boost trust and conversion rates.
Don’t Fade Into The Background
At the end of the day, crafting perfect seasonal content also comes down to simply knowing your audience. Don’t just apply the same cookie-cutter approach as everybody else. You might think you’re onto a winner dropping your Christmas content bombshell on December 1st – but the big secret is that so does everybody else. It’s easy to get lost in the mix.
Seasonal keywords are highly competitive, so it’s as much about finding an interesting, funny or entertaining angle for your content as it is optimizing for the right keywords. You need an element of both. Getting noticed online can start to get expensive if your only strategy is paying through the nose for high volume search terms.
Here are some examples of great seasonal content marketing to get you feeling inspired.
Whatever the time of year, there’s always scope to generate extra sales with some targeted, seasonal content, deals and adverts. Yet so many website owners continue to miss these lucrative opportunities. Look at what your competitors are up to – signing up to their email newsletters is a useful hack that will give you some valuable insight. Take advantage of seasonality for your business this year – and see where it takes you.
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketer & Writer.
I love helping brands grow through the power of great content and great stories. I’ve been running my own ecommerce side hustle for a year now and I’m sharing what I’ve learned with the world.