March 02, 2017
It's Rakshabandhan tomorrow, a festival of brothers and sisters which is celebrated with great excitement across India.
Rakhi and its related phrases are trending on Internet for quite a few days now because sisters across the country are looking to send rakhi to their brothers while brothers are searching for rakhi return gifts for sisters.
Festival season in any country is the time of the year when brands bid high on marketing. There are budgets for Google Ads, Social Media Campaigns, ATL, BTL etc.
SEO, an organic marketing channel also has a very important role to play. But you can reap its benefits only when you sow the efforts early. Right now, if you search for phrases like rakhi, srakhi or rakhi gifts etc. on search engines, you will see e-gifting and e-commerce companies ranking on top of Google organically.
These rankings aren't overnight. A successful seasonal SEO requires careful planning and time to ensure that the content gets indexed and gradually move up the search engines.
What is Seasonal SEO?
Planning and optimizing the site for additional traffic and sales during festivals and important yearly events is known as Seasonal SEO.
What is the best time to start seasonal SEO for an event?
There is no best time but it depends on how competitive the festival is. For example, preparing your site for Rakhi SEO was much easier three years back, even if you start late. But today there is a huge competition as all big and small players have a fancy for the extra traffic spikes. Hence you need to plan months before.
How to decide on the events where your business needs seasonal SEO?
As marketers and business owners, it is very essential to identify right opportunities. You can start by compiling a rough list of events and festivals throughout the year and then jot down how those events can relate to your brand or products.
Sell Women's Dresses? Your top events might be:
• Valentine's Day
• New Year
• Summer Collection
Sell Flowers? Your top events might be:
• Valentine's Day
• Mother's Day
• Friendship Day
How to plan a seasonal SEO Campaign
Once you decide on the related events, here are first few steps to plan a successful seasonal SEO campaign.
1. Look at your site's analytics data year-over-year (if available)
If you have last few years' data available around the event, it will help you understand the seasonality and the time period when the traffic on your site tends to spike.
This data will give you a picture of which business keywords are searched most during this period, the top landing pages and top selling products.
2. Keywords Research
This is tricky because keyword research tools like Keywords Planner, Google Insights etc will provide you only past month data. And if you are targeting 'Rakhi', no one searches for it in the month of April or May.
So how you do it?
• You would need to create a first list of keywords by thinking how would you search the products for special events.
• Use other tools like Google Trends to get some more ideas.
• You can also use paid tool like Keyword Discovery that takes out complete 12 months data.
3. Content Planning
After creating a list of target keywords, start planning the content. You might need target URLs specific to event keywords. Get the new pages ready and optimize title, meta description, heading tags etc. using the event or festival specific keywords. Also interlink these pages with other top pages of the site for quick and easy indexing.
Plan blog posts to increase awareness if you have official blog.
SEO is an organic channel but some budgets are definitely needed for content and link acquisition. Do ensure you get some budget for your activities from the overall marketing budgets. And exhaust it wisely.
• Create informative content around the event
• Engage with online influencers to get social signals and links
Once the festival is over, what to do with the new pages?
These pages need not to be deleted. Just keep them for next year. You might need to change the overall content, look and feel of the page. But the URL will remain same which will already be in Google index. So it will keep on gaining authority year after year.
These pages can be reused every year but needs maintenance throughout the year.
Just after the event, make basic changes in the content for next year, example change the dates on the page according to next year.
Remember SEO takes time to nurture and grow. So brands tend to ignore it and focus on quicker marketing channels. But as SEOs, we understand that it is a long term strategy.
Besides SEO is one marketing channel that mostly enjoys higher conversion rate and higher order value, so as Marketers don't ignore it and jut focus on growing your keywords base to increase traffic hence sales.
Stories by Neha Agarwal