Seo strategy

Seasonal Pages and SEO Strategy: What Works Best?

The following table, provided by PI Datametrics, shows how different brands rank for “Christmas decorations” over the past 12 months.

While three of the retailers here consistently rank on the first page of Google, the other two (Selfridges and Wilko) are all over the place.

So what is the difference?

(Click on image for larger version)

For obvious reasons, this is a seasonal term, with big spikes around Christmas and little to no interest in between, as this Google Trends chart shows.

John Lewis has a page dedicated to Christmas decorations that doesn’t change too much. It also has no other pages competing for the term.

NotOnTheHighStreet.com has a similar strategy, which produces the same results.

In contrast, Selfridges does not appear to have a strategy for this particular term and has published a number of pages that compete for the term.

As I mentioned in a previous article, more content doesn’t always help, and in this case, competing pages are hurting the overall ranking for the term.

We see similar patterns in searches for “Christmas Toys”. Amazon barely touched this page, and therefore ranks consistently throughout the year.

Argos, since just before last Christmas, has been ranking steadily, but seems to have clouded the issue by adding more pages lately.

We see it in the rankings of the last few months:

John Lewis had the right strategy for decorations, but is cannibalizing his own search rankings on this term with five competing pages.

Toys R Us has no stability, with 11 pages ranking for this term at different times of the year.

This means that when the Christmas traffic spike arrives, he has no control over which page will rank for the term and where it appears on Google.

So what is the best strategy for seasonal pages?

There are a number of factors:

  • Publish well before the target event. Longevity is a factor here, and brands, like Amazon, that published the pages more than 12 months ago still rank highly.
  • Don’t mess with the pages. In January, these pages may no longer be relevant or attract more traffic, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be published. Leave them alone.
  • Decide which page you want to rank. Set a landing page for your target term and make sure all other pages in the topic link to it.

    This sends a clear signal to Google about which page matters most and can prevent unnecessary competition between pages on the same site.

  • More content isn’t always the answer. Simply posting more pages on the topic won’t help you rank unless the underlying strategy is there.