Every fall, searches on holiday keywords surge as Black Friday approaches. According to Search Engine News, Yahoo reported that searches for “Black Friday 2013” spiked 1,013 percent in November 2013, while “Cyber Monday 2013” jumped 735 percent. These keyword spikes translated into revenue acceleration for businesses, with sales increasing 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion in November and December.
This is just one example of how holidays and other events drive keyword searches. Harnessing these seasonal search cycles and other trending events is a great way to drive surging keyword traffic to your blog.
Seasonal Marketing Strategy
Create an annual marketing plan to organize your seasonal promotional strategy. Every month of the year includes at least one seasonal event that lends itself to blogging. From New Year’s, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can find holiday topics to write about year-round.
In addition to holidays, you can also organize marketing around other periodic events. For instance, Dish uses NFL events such as the start of football season, Black Monday and the Super Bowl to generate traffic for its blog.
Trending news events also create keyword surges and marketing opportunities. Pope Francis’ visit to Washington, D.C., caused a surge in the number of postings for local home and apartment rentals, with vacation rental site HomeAway.com seeing a 43 percent increase in rentals leading to 94 percent booking of available homes. Blogs can can attract traffic by tapping into these types of major events.
Trending Topic and Keyword Tools
Automated tools can help you identify suitable events and keywords to go with them. Tech.Co senior editor Ronald Barba lists some of the most essential tools for identifying trending topics, which include BuzzFeed, Facebook Trending, Google+ What’s Hot and Google Trends.
To identify keywords associated with holidays and events, try using Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush. Each of these tools can be used on a simple or advanced level. One advanced strategy is to compare year-over-year trends to identify consumer behavior patterns, such as the length of time before a holiday that traffic on a given keyword surges.
After identifying which events and keywords you want to target, the next step is to create relevant content for your blog. You should choose topics that bridge the gap between your audience’s interests and the theme of your blog. If you’re running any holiday-related or event-related sales, you can tie this into your content.
For instance, if you’re promoting a health club blog and developing content for a New Year’s promotion, a Google search on “New Year’s weight loss” yields more than 10 million results. You might create a post about New Year’s resolutions to lose weight by getting to the gym.
Scheduling Seasonal Promotional Pushes
When it comes to publishing your content, timing is key. BlueGlass Interactive marketing coordinator Shannon Byrne says it’s important to plan seasonal promotions well in advance so that you’re leading the online discussion and not jumping on a topic too late to make an impact.
At the same time, publishing content too early can also misfire by covering a topic before your audience is ready. On average, it’s best to schedule your content about two weeks in advance of your topic’s event.