Year Round Content for Seasonal BrandsSeasonal search traffic is centered around things like weather, traffic and season that brands can’t control, but landmarks, cities, events, and activities get good search all year even though the specifics may change by the season. Having the best source of content is the best path to web traffic. Regional Events & Attractions: Even if you’re just a ski resort without a robust lineup of summer time activities and services, there’s always something going on in nearby resort towns. From concerts and shows to races and sporting events, being a year round resource for fun things to do in the area keeps your brand at top-of-mind and builds your SEO for general regional search terms. This also gives you the chance to remind summer travelers that there’s a reason to come back in the winter. Season Countdown: A decent strategy would be do deny the existence of summer altogether and start a season countdown as soon as the bull-wheels stop turning. Give your customers their fix through the off season with articles, videos and imagery from ski season all through the summer. Just because there’s no snow on the ground doesn’t mean that we’re not still thinking about snow. Ger them fired up early: As soon as the first cool evening hits at the end of summer we all start thinking about ski season. Stoke the pre season fire by compiling photos and video footage into a best-of reel and release it as new content. Stay Social: Keep up with a consistent social media campaign even in the off season. Update customers on news, and website content, happenings at the resort and other updates that can be a resource for the community.
Good SEO for seasonal websitesThis section contributed by Greg Slama, Manager, Contextual Marketing Based on the two ways to promote seasonal content on a homepage, the ideal method is clear: use a modular homepage, much like what is used in the retail industry.
SEO benefits of a modular pageAuthority: Since search engines view a websites top-down hierarchy as the a way to identify the most important hubs of content (keyword categories), it is important to consistently represent these within the nagivation of the website Content Prioritization: Allows for the prioritization of seasonal content in the most prominent areas of the webpage without dropping key content themes from the homepage (e.g. if you drop the navigational link ‘ski resorts’ from your homepage it is likely that ranking for the given term (or term set) may dissipate and/or create ranking difficulties as the ‘money’ season comes into play Link Popularity: It is natural for most websites to have a high percentage of links pointing at the homepage versus internal pages, switching the homepage path can eliminate the link popularity built up for your most link heavy page. Even if done correctly, through a 301 redirect, the link ‘juice’ can be diluted creating variability of your website strength versus those you are competing for rank against. Although 301 redirects are the best way to transfer traffic and link popularity to a website when a URL must change, it is usually best to keep URL paths unless there is a significant benefit anticipated from changing (e.g. shorter URLs, keyword inclusion, pushing priority topics closer to the root) If it is a must to switch landing pages – some practices to consider are:
- Keep navigational links constant
- 301 redirects!
- Keep all homepage iterations in the root – dropping them into a deeper level makes them less ‘important’
- Expedite crawling upon switches by using social media assets and Twitter to announce your ‘summer’ or ‘winter’ content has arrived (think real-time search)