4 Tips for Success with Seasonal, Local SEO

If you head to Google and search for “kids backpacks, in addition to search results you are also going to see a Nearby Stores link just underneath the image/shopping results, the most notable section of the SERP.

If your business sells kids backpacks, you will most likely want to rank highly for searches year-round. That said, back-to-school time is definitely when you really need searches to be picking you up. For this scenario, you would do well to make sure that your entire inventory is readily available in Google Shopping to allow for your business to be displayed in the Nearby Stores SERP.

While contemplating your SEO strategy, you would do well to consider the seasonality of your business, as well as how it can affect local customers finding you.

The following tips are designed to help you locally focus your SEO campaign:

1) Plan Ahead

If you wish to rank highly for a season keyword in your city, you will want to try to rank for the query well ahead of time. That is, you need to get your content indexed and linked far ahead of time.

During the actual time you wish to be ranking highly, a good idea is to also add additional content that goes after slight variations of the keyword and links back to the original page you are attempting to rank. This can bolster the original page, and also provide an extra URL that can rank.

2) Be Aware of the Time Window

If you were to throw a New Year Eve party, you would probably start planning it around December 1st. So if your business is a restaurant, you would do well to rank highly for New Year™s Eve menu well before the big day rolls around.

3) Know the SERPs for Your Keyword

Although Google and Bing update their SERP displays with regularity, your business would do well to have a solid grasp on the various SERP inventory available for your target keywords.

For example, if Google displays a lot of images, then you need to work on image optimization. As well, if there are Shopping results (like in thekids backpacks example), then you need to get your inventory on Google Shopping.

Google will often show News links for event-based keywords, i.e. “Black Friday Shopping,” above the organic results when appropriate. To get into the News results, think about writing an article on such a topic for your local newspaper or a website that focuses on local shopping.

SERPs with News results will often also include blog results. Therefore, you would do well to add some content pertaining to the event to your blog. Also, if it’s a hot term, consider regularly updating your blog throughout the day; Google will often update these links with the most up-to-date content.

4) Assemble an Editorial Calendar

One of the great challenges the Internet presents is that it almost makes business begin to think the way publishers do. That said, businesses should of course already know when their “hot seasons” are.

Businesses would also do well to know what types of products customers will be looking for, as well as what types of questions will be queried into search engines. A good strategy is to map out the seasons that affect you the most in an “editorial calendar” spreadsheet, and start to figure out where your pockets of SEO opportunity are going to be located over the next year.

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