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How to Prepare for Seasonal Changes in Search Volume

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The process of adapting pay-per-click advertising campaigns for seasonal changes is one of the most important things that you should understand for digital advertising.

While it is important to prepare for the more obvious recurring seasonal changes such as holidays, advertisers must understand that winter, spring, summer and fall are not the only seasons they should to prepare for. Changes can also occur on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis.

To put things into perspective- let’s say you sell snowboards.  The busy season for you is going to be in the late fall and early winter.  This is when people are shopping for equipment for the upcoming snow season.  However, there is a huge event every 4 years that involved snowboarding that you might not have thought of.  This event causes search volume to spike in February- it’s the Olympics.

In this blog we will go over how you can prepare for changes such as these and use them to your advantage.

 

Keyword Strategies

Figuring out when consumers are in different stages of the buying cycle is extremely beneficial when you are planning what keywords are going to get the most engagement from your audience during a specific season.

Usually, the further along a consumer is in the buying cycle, the larger your keyword list should be. But on the other hand, the further out a consumer is from making a purchasing decision, the broader your keyword list should be.

For example, if a marina is running an ad campaign in the winter, their campaigns should focus on all of the services they offer. Their keyword lists could include “boat sales”, “boat repairs”, “boat slips”, “winterization”, etc.

As boating season approaches, the keywords should gradually be tailored to be more specific in order to reach consumers who are deeper within the buying cycle. Here, the campaigns should reflect the specific makes and models of boats that are for sale, common repair issues, and a heavier focus on boat slips until all the docks have been filled.

 

Bidding & Budgets

For smaller seasonal changes such as weekly, daily or hourly, merely adjusting bids and budgets can move you in a positive direction.

For days that typically receive more search volume than others adding bid adjustments to increase bids by 5-10% can help maximize the ad’s visibility. This strategy can also be used for days that typically receive less volume as it can help boost CTR on days that your ads receive fewer impressions.

Bid adjustments are most effective when applied on a weekly, daily, or hourly basis.

 

Landing Pages

Onsite performance metrics are the most important metrics to look at when utilizing pay-per-click campaigns.

With that said, making changes to a landing page can have the biggest impact on the conversion rate of a campaign. Optimizing your landing page to reflect seasonal changes can improve user experience.  Plus, it will generate more conversions.

When optimizing your landing page for a seasonal change, consider altering the copy and design if you can, to highlight any specific seasonal offers. If you have already made changes in your ad copy to reflect the seasonal changes, this will ensure that the message is consistent between your ad and landing page.

Not only could creating a more relevant landing page help improve the user experience, but it can also improve your quality score, therefore improving your position and lower CPC.

 

Seasonal changes in search volume are inevitable, but thankfully they are also pretty easy to understand and predict. 

Understanding when and why these seasonal changes happen is the first step you should make to then be able to develop a strategy of how you can benefit from the changes that are going to occur.

It is important to be proactive and plan ahead rather than being reactive and play catch up while your competitors reap the benefits.

Tags: PPC