Seasonal pages are pages that are in most use during a particular season. Like a page on Christmas would be used mostly in and around Christmas; but it doesn’t mean that people don’t visit these pages on other days, but the traffic may be limited. The pages however cannot be closed just because they are not in use. There are different strategies you can follow to ensure a steady traffic and good search results for these pages. Different websites would have different strategies; understanding what SEO is and how it would help the business is important.
SEO or search engine optimization is a science. Let us understand this before going any further into our discussion. This is a technique, which enables the site to naturally increase its ranking on search. The more a site appears on search results the more visitors it will have. These are simple techniques that can be used in the verbiages on the page itself which would make the website more feasible to be searched effectively. This is basically how marketing strategy would work. The companies that provide SEO services consider how the search engines work and help reach the targeted audience.
Earlier, webmasters used to manipulate search engines to obtain better ranking. They used to perform this by adding unnecessary keywords in the website. Sometimes the keywords were used quite unnaturally and inappropriately. This is when the need for having a standardized tool became obvious and led to the inception of SEO. Now every search engine has its own guidelines that webmasters can use to develop a better SEO-driven website.
Search terms specific to seasons like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day etc. such as "Valentine’s Day gifts", "Christmas decorations" and so on are used profusely during the period and may not be used much otherwise. Ideally, there should be a dedicated page for seasonal terms which needn’t be changed much; there should be no other pages competing for the term as well. Analysis of websites that adopted this strategy has proved that the traffic to pages optimized for seasonal terms remained somewhat constant over a long period. On the other hand, websites that didn’t have this strategy for seasonal terms and on the other hand have a number of pages for such terms, competing against each other for those terms did not rank steadily through the year.
Here are some tips that can be used to get the best out of a seasonal page.
- Publish content in advance: Websites make the mistake of publishing the content around the season. The web pages would not be tested; they may eventually break when the season arrives. This is the reason why websites like Amazon publish content almost 12 months in advance. This is where the actual science comes into play. Even after publishing the content 12 months in advance the Amazon pages are still ranked no.1. The biggest reason for this success is that the webmasters would have ensured almost an 11 month test run to ensure the website is among the first rated. So it is essential that the contents are published in advance, this gives the advantage of having more time to work out any quirks.
- Do not unpublish the pages: Knowing that websites take up space on the service, some webmasters may remove content that is not in immediate use. An example would be removing content on Christmas during January. After that when Christmas season starts again, it is republished. This is where a lot of webmasters do not realize that it is close to suicide. The web pages once removed will not get recognized and when they are published again they will have to get re-spidered. This would involve the same level of effort every time. Therefore it is always advisable that the pages are not removed when not in use.
- Always set one main page: This is what is called a ranking page. Webmasters may want to rank all the pages to ensure that the search results are optimal; however this is where the mistake is made. If all the web pages rank high and someone runs a search, all the web pages would compete with each other to get the attention and so cause more and more conflicts. Here is an alternate scenario. There is one high ranking page. This page is associated with all the pages on the website. When a search is performed, this ranking page is the one that comes up. When the visitors search only this page is found. As this page is available from all the pages, the access is easier, there are no conflicts and this in turn increases the ranking further.
- Never cloud the website with content: Webmasters / SEO professionals who are new to the field may advise the website owners that it is best to add a lot of content; however, this is not very good. Adding more content doesn’t get the traffic or ranking. More and more content would just start competing with each other for ranking and further pull down the rankings of the site. It may be seen by Google admin as a false strategy to pull the rankings and the website may end up being un-published from the rankings on Google.
Now that all of SEO is discussed on what needs to be done on the seasonal pages, there needs to be some quality checks that must be done to ensure the website is compliant with the quality code even when it is off season.
- People tend to remove the links that are not in use. The biggest mistake here is there will be a loss in the goodness of the older link. What is the solution? It is simple. Do not remove a link just because it is off season. The access of the link may be made limited. However, the link should be allowed to exist. This saves the time and effort of having to build a new link and getting the same hits. A good CMS will create a link which will be event specific and not time specific, ideally the URL will tell for which seasonal event it is but should not specify which year it is. Keep it simple.
- Ranking on time is important for a seasonal page. If the ranking is not done on time for a seasonal page then the chances of getting a ranking for that season may be lost. This is why a good SEO provider will start the rank building in advance to the event to ensure that there are no last minute rushes.