What seasonality difference (% traffic and/or revenue) does your site experience?
@tannerpetroff: Nearly 3/4 of our revenue comes between now and the EoY. Very seasonal business.
@bloomreachinc: For our customers that sell popular holiday gifts, some see as much at 3-5x “normal” traffic.
@shuey03: I’ve seen some ecommerce and affiliate sites revenue double going into the holiday season.
How much lead time do you need to SEO for the holidays (or other seasonal event)?
@shuey03: We have clients coming to us right now saying I need to be ranked #1 by black friday…. hmmmmm yeah right! You may be able to get some traction on long tail before then, but head terms that drive sales, you need significant time.
@tannerpetroff: We have been working on a few main pages for a few months, but we just recently started optimizing ~80 pages. Even though we just started optimizing ~80 pages, we’re only hoping for some longtail traffic by Thanksgiving.
@bloomreachinc: Depends on company. But only safe way to do it is before code freezes. For most of our ecomm customers, that’s in Oct. We suggest to hit that Thanksgiving thru December shopping season, start seasonal SEO pages no later than early October.
@pletch: How have you handled that in the past? What kind of results have you got in a 3 month timeframe?
@shuey03: It varies depending on industry, competitiveness, resources the client can dedicate, priorities with IT, etc. Unfortunately, sometimes you might not get anywhere. Sometimes every aspect of the campaign is laser focused and you can make headway in 90 days.
@TheGonzoSEO: June is when I start, anything after that is a longshot
@pletch: I’ve had some experience optimizing for long-tail question phrases with success – like “how to deep fry a turkey?”
@bloomreachinc: How much lead time do you suggest for head terms? Long tail?
@tannerpetroff: Head terms can take a lot of lead time. 6 mo or more usually seems reasonable. Long tail can vary.
What are you planning to do differently this year compared to last year?
@tannerpetroff: This year, we’ll actually be focusing on organic traffic and tracking conversions thru organic search. Hopefully we’ll be able to use the data we gather this year to beef up our budget & creativity next year come the holiday season.
@scott_dodge: We’re planning seasonal promo campaigns for various sites. We’re taking advantage of some fantastic resources, & budgeting more SEO.
@TheGonzoSEO: this year vs. last year? Google Shopping
If you want to rank on seasonal items, such as Christmas Sweaters, what should you do?
@bloomreachinc: Focus on content. Category pages. AND make sure aligned w/ efforts on email, SEM, promos, etc.
@tannerpetroff: 1. Sell sweaters. 2. Research kws and look at data from last years sweater sales. 3. Create optimized content. Once the sweater focused content is created, build links. Lots of links.
@scott_dodge: I would personally make sure that all of my on-page ducks are in a row, build out some really novel content, and build links. I would also make sure that I have taken advantage of all link reclamation possibilities to help give things a boost.
@amjoker: I have watched serps shake up right before peak season from black hat techniques
@dan_patterson: Even if it’s just a seasonal item, you still have to optimize for it regularly.
@pletch: Even if products don’t change I like to optimize for how people’s searches change seasonally. “X gifts for dad”
How can you impact SEO of your site during code freeze?
@scott_dodge: code freeze?
@shuey03: Often times sites will not allow any changes to be made to their code during the holidays
@dan_patterson: Even during a code freeze you can still link build like crazy. Just try to have all of your on-page stuff done before the code freeze. Devs should know roughly when it’s going to happen.
@ashbuckles: Give visibility to your seasonal (and profitable) products throughout your site. Give visibility to your seasonal (and profitable) products throughout your site. Focus on things you can change through CMS controls, etc. Test content changes.
@thompsonpaul: And forget that buying cycle also compresses A LOT during holidays – need to adjust and optimize for that w/ content.
@kenjansen: How about ranking for a local annual event where the day and location might change from year to year?
@bloomreachinc: Use channels you can influence – earned and owned social for example.
How do you measure SEO impact during holidays vs natural uplift in traffic?
@tannerpetroff: Always tracking traffic from key terms, and watching entrances to landing pages we’ve optimized.
@bloomreachinc: Segment all the pages you haven’t touched vs ones you have. Measure delta between the 2. Not exact, but good measure.
@tannerpetroff: We like to watch revenue from those landing pages like a hawk, too.
@ashbuckles: Take an historical look at the same season and adjust for current growth. Many companies have goals based on historic growth (BI). Focus on your goals.
@bloomreachinc: Do you think your attribution model impacts how and what you find?
@ashbuckles: Attribution is critical to hold steady, or know about changes. It def impacts how/what you find.
What is the best way to use social media during the holidays w/ respect to SEO?
@bloomreachinc: Establish relationship w/ social team early. Ask what content you can provide to help them & educate on SEO best practices.
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