The seasonality principle: What is it and how does it affect your business SEO campaign?

Christmas decorations aren’t popular in June, while sun scream and barbeques are not popular in December. This is what people understand by seasonality – something is much popular around a certain time of year than the remainder of the year.

The above are very niche and specific examples. Imagine your company is a hotel. People go on holiday all year round, but everyone can agree there is a certain peak period/s. Like many other companies who start using SEO services people want projections about how campaigns are likely to progress and whether they can become successful. If the business is seasonal in any way this needs to be factored into projections and advice and it is important for both the client and the agency to recognise the importance.

Below is some guidance we have provided for how seasonality can be interpreted in an SEO campaign.

1) Across the years.

If your business is liable to seasonality then it may be more helpful to find and compare year on year figures (e.g. January 2000 to January 2001) rather than comparing the current and previous months. This is likely to give a better indication of how traffic has shaped in a fairer and more comparative way. This involves giving campaigns time, because like for like comparing isn’t possible until after at least 2 years using this idea. Still, by that time, it should be easier to spot what is happening.

2) If you don’t share, your mean – don’t forget the average!

Taking figures as an average rather than individual months irons out any peak and tough times that have been encountered. This can give you an overall report on what has happened for a year and this can then again be compared to something else. There can be a caveat to doing this though, and this is seen below.

3) Businesses like quarterly data, but be careful of this.

We all know what a financial year is and quarter 1, quarter 2 etc. Businesses often base figures and results around these parameters. Whilst this is fine, just a little word of caution. If most of your business happens in a certain quarter (i.e. 3 months of the year) then it is to be expected that the next quarterly update will show a drop in figures. This may look a bad thing, when it can actually be perfectly normal and expected.

4) Remember that falls or variations in traffic can occur for a variety of reasons not just seasonality or a poor SEO strategy performance. Whilst this might sound like a get out clause it certainly needs to be kept in mind in the whole ‘give and take’ of the process. For example the site might have experienced hacking issues, or a penalty was applied to the site. When looking at the figures, keep open minded about them.

5) Make sure the analytics analyses!

Although we have left this point to last it is fundamental for making sure any data tracks at all in the first place. Make sure the codes are working properly and these are tested to ensure that any figures you obtain in the future will be accurate.

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