It may seem that seasonality isn’t an issue for your online business. But are you completely sure of that? In this article, you will find out how to sell seasonal products online.
Many people still believe that the online environment and the non-digital one are two completely different things. As it turns out, they can’t be more wrong. In any business, there are periods when potential customers are more likely to search for at least some of the offered products.
There are many factors that determine how much the season affects sales volume, and the type of industry is the most important of them. So, as you can guess, if you want the SEO process of your online store to be fully effective, you need to pay special attention to product seasonality and the periods when users would be more interested in buying your products. However, this requires adopting tailored-made marketing strategies.
E-commerce SEO and 2 Types of Seasons
Depending on the number of product searches, two major types of seasons can be identified, these are peak season and off-season. They vary in terms of duration and periodicity. These facts are related to an important issue that shouldn’t be ignored. You need to keep in mind that the number of visits generated by particular keywords is not necessarily the same throughout the year. That’s why when you observe a drop in web traffic, there is no need to panic and take rash actions.
The peak season refers to repetitive periods during which product sales are high. The common examples of peak seasons can be seasons of the year, summer vacation months, and the Christmas season. It is also worth paying attention to major sports events, such as Olympic Games or World Cup, that become popular in a particular period.
Off-season brings less revenue and this is an absolutely normal process. After all, we usually don’t buy skis in the middle of summer or a bike in December. For stores that sell seasonal products, you can take advantage of holidays and special events where the date is well-known in advance. These are, for example, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve – just to name a few! From an e-commerce perspective, Black Friday counterpart Cyber Monday is one of the most anticipated moments of the year as they generate potentially high sales.
External factors, like the weather, competitors’ activities, and cultural events, can also contribute to increased sales. Unfortunately, it’s practically impossible to predict these trends in advance, so in such situations, the most important thing is to react quickly and take full advantage of such a sudden situation.
The example of an online store that sells toys and games shows perfectly how Christmas can boost web traffic and increase sales. In the chart below, you can see that site traffic increased significantly in November and December:
Why Analytics Is Important for Seasonal SEO?
Well, you can’t deny that doing the SEO process for an online store requires some expertise, know-how, and experience. Fortunately, there are many great tools that make analytics so much easier. They provide various reports that show which products are most searched and bought in a given period. Industry expertise, experience, and intuition are also a big plus when planning marketing campaigns.
Tools that will be helpful in this process are, obviously, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Top Activities to Boost Your Seasonal SEO Traffic
Once you know when to expect more interest from potential customers, you can get down to creating an effective strategic plan. Don’t prepare for every potential peak season – it’s much better to pick a few and concentrate on them.
You can devote up to 2 weeks to an in-depth planning process. This is when you select periods and events with the greatest potential to boost web traffic and increased sales, and conduct keyword research. After one month or so, you should have a dedicated page optimized for the selected keywords. A factor that has a direct impact on increasing conversion rate is showing customers a sneak peek of your offer.
The next month is the time when you should distribute your seasonal content. There are many channels you can use, such as a company blog or newsletter. If you have an extra budget, you can consider sponsored articles on various industry-related blogs. Comments on online forums and posts on various social media platforms will also play an important role.
What Is the Right Time to Start Your Seasonal SEO Campaign?
Remember that SEO doesn’t bring instant results, so you should start your seasonal SEO campaign several months before the peak season. What’s important, once the peak season is over, you can’t discontinue the SEO process, otherwise, the web visibility in search engines will begin to drop.
When cooperating with an external SEO company, you should pay attention to keywords’ ranking in the search results and the number of keywords that bring users to your site, not to web traffic growth. It’s perfectly normal to experience a much lower site traffic drop after the peak season as fewer users search for particular products then. Remember, the off-season is a great time to prepare your online store and product range for the peak season.
Here’s an example of an online store that sells personalized Christmas baubles and decorations. As you can see, despite increased visibility, site traffic drops when the peak season is over:
Is Contextual Advertising a Good Solution?
Another option worth considering is to launch a Google Ads campaign. This solution is recommended especially to new online stores that want to achieve quick results. However, keep in mind that during the peak season, the number of competitors can increase dramatically. Consequently, the cost per click will also increase.
In our opinion, you can support your seasonal SEO process with additional contextual advertising. Google advertising can also be helpful at the end of the peak season when you want to “get rid” of your products and sell them out as quickly as possible.
How to Increase Your Conversion with On-Page Optimization?
If you want to increase your sales, remember that it is not enough to bring users to your site and boost web traffic. Even the well-planned SEO process won’t do much good if the online store doesn’t attract customers. What does it mean in practice? Once you have launched your seasonal SEO campaign, you should also make sure that your online store is as user-friendly as possible – this is where UX/UI expertise comes into play. Google values secured sites, so you need to remember to implement an SSL certificate.
Selling seasonal products may seem a bit challenging for several reasons: user interest is not consistent and, what’s more, it’s hard to predict whether the next season will be successful. That’s why you should plan your marketing strategies well in advance and make well-considered data-driven decisions. It is a huge mistake to “wake up” just before the peak season and to choose quick and short-term solutions. Building visibility and brand awareness should be an ongoing process – remember, however, to enhance your activities especially before and during the peak season. When the peak season is over, it is a good idea to analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns and already start planning the next ones.