For obvious reasons, the holidays are one of the busiest seasons for Internet browsing. People are searching for the perfect gifts, researching and booking holiday travel, and spending their timeoff surfing the web. That can translate into a lot of potential new traffic for your site, not to mention a huge increase in revenue from affiliate content, especially from gift guides. Holiday content can increase your traffic by quite a lot if you put some effort into it.
A 2017 Deloitte holiday survey found that “online channels will capture a majority (51 percent) of Americans’ holiday budgets” in 2017, up around 20% from 2016. What are you doing to capture your part of the ever-increasing online marketplace? Have you written holiday posts on your blog? Have you compiled great gift-giving guides that lead to affiliate products?
If you don’t want to miss out on the influx of holiday traffic, now is the time to start thinking about your strategy.
5 Ways to Benefit from Holiday Traffic
1. Create Holiday Content
If you haven’t already written holiday content, take a minute to consider what your audience might benefit from. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” content. You need to create content that your audience can identify with, and that fulfills a need they may have.
Doing some Google Analytics research on your existing content may help you identify what content you’ve published that they already like. Maybe your audience likes listicles with practical information for traveling, so you might write 10 ways to deal with holiday travel delays. Maybe they like in-depth guides on specific destinations, so you could write a guide on how to spend Christmas in Venice.
If you are an Amazon affiliate, you may also want to consider writing a Christmas gift list, with curated gifts that you know your audience will love. A word of caution, though – there are hundreds of these lists being created every year. Yours needs to be different and personalized for your particular audience. It is very unlikely you can rank for a gift list, so instead focus on sending the list to your followers via social media and your email list.
Keyword research is another great way to find holiday post ideas. Start with a seed keyword and keep searching for high-volume, rankable keywords that you can write holiday content on.
2. Update Existing Holiday Content
If you already have holiday-related content or gift guides, make sure you spend time updating and optimizing them now. The best time to update your holiday posts each year is in October, just before the holiday traffic begins to pick up. This will give enough time for Google to crawl and index your update, and even begin to rank it higher if you’ve updated it well enough.
Here are three ways you can update existing holiday content to rank higher:
- Add our 8-step on-page SEO strategy.
- Replace outdated content. You can even consider adding a year to the post to show its current relevance. 10 ways to deal with holiday travel delays in 2017 will attract more visitors than a post without a date.
- Add new photos and multimedia.
- If it’s a gift post, you probably want to change out the gifts for newer models, hot products on the market, or add any new items you find exciting.
These posts don’t have to be republished to gain new traffic, they just need to be updated in a significant way. Just changing a few words is obviously not significant, and unlikely to gain any higher ranking from Google.
3. Utilize the Power of Pinterest
If you’re not already on Pinterest, I have just two words for you. JOIN NOW. You’ve got some work to do. Check out our Pinterest guide to get started.
Pinterest is very much like any other search engine. In fact, it’s so popular among regular users because of its ability to show your search. What I mean is, you search for “Christmas gifts for men” and a never-ending list of gift images are displayed, enticing me to scroll for hours. You have the ability to harness the power of Pinterest search, if you have some really good-looking pins, and make sure they’re tagged correctly for search.
For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume you’re already set up on Pinterest and know what you’re doing. The first step then is to create new Pinterest pins for your holiday posts.
While organic traffic increases, so does social media traffic, especially from Pinterest. Make sure your pins are seen and shared by adding them to relevant group boards. And make sure you use the relevant keywords a user would type into the search box to find your pin. Pinterest supports hashtags now too, so add in a few appropriate ones to each description.
4. Participate in Facebook Networking Groups
If you’re not already participating in networking groups on Facebook, the holidays are a great time to start. There are many groups that will help boost your traffic. We’ve put together a huge list of groups you can join. Many of them have sharing threads that will increase your reach beyond your own audience.
Share your holiday content as much as possible in sharing threads, especially in November so that content is circulating during the holidays. I personally love Pinterest repin groups, as well as Facebook commenting and Twitter retweets. Add in Flipboard, StumbleUpon and Google+, if you have time. Those will bring in the most traffic.
5. Don’t Stop There! Keep Updating
Once you’re on a roll, you shouldn’t stop there! Updating old content is a great way to drive more traffic to your blog all year around, especially when you don’t have time to add new content. Once you’ve updated your holiday content, why not choose another 20-30 old posts to update as well? You will be surprised at how much new traffic you can generate by doing this.
Our ebook, the Complete SEO Strategy for Bloggers, will show you exactly how to update your old (and new) content with a proven SEO strategy. It even comes with a free workbook that shows you how to do each step. You can start growing your blog right now. So why aren’t you?
Let us show you how to find keywords, where to put them, how to tell Google they are there and make your old posts bring more traffic. It’s all covered here in our Complete SEO Strategy guidebook.