What is Your Industry’s “Buffalo Chicken Dip?”

Written by Brick Marketing

Early in 2013, Larry Kim of WordStream wrote this brilliant post about the seasonality of industry specific keywords like “buffalo chicken dip,” explaining how the football season creates demand (i.e. search volume) for this game time snack. Every industry is bound to have its “money” keywords that everyone wants to do well organically for, but the more search volume a keyword has the more competitive the search space is for that keyword. For instance, “SEO” is a highly competitive keyword that hundreds, if not thousands of websites, are trying to rank for…but only 10 sites can be on page 1 (if that, thanks to universal search) and only one website can be ranked #1. And while you should never give up on those “money” keywords that bring value all year round, sites that also focus on seasonally valuable keywords like “buffalo chicken dip” have found ways to stand above the fray and get noticed by targeted visitors at the right time.

So what are the seasonal keywords in your industry? Some searches, like “Christmas tree farms,” are obviously closely related to the holiday season. Google Insights for Search reveals that search volume for “Christmas tree farms” skyrockets starting in November and then comes crashing down throughout December before bottoming out after Christmas. Now, if I owned a Christmas tree farm worrying about how well my site is doing organically on November 1st is too late; I’ve already missed the boat. If I want to do well in November I need to be worrying about my website NOW. Remember, SEO is incredibly long term and what you do today, tomorrow, and next week might not have much of an impact for several months.

Here’s Larry Kim’s advice for dealing with seasonal keywords:

Try writing about new things that are likely to become highly trafficked keyword searches. For example, earlier this year, I noticed that Google had released a keyword planner tool that will replace the Google Keyword Tool this month.  So, I quickly wrote up the first in-depth review of the new keyword tool, so now my blog shows up on the first page for searches on “keyword planner.” The article drives a few hundred visits per month!

For instance, I could have written a blog post last season called “How to Kill Christmas Tree Bugs” that might have gotten some initial attention, but only if it went live around the time people started caring about their Christmas trees. But with a year to sit and age that post is in a position to do even better organically this year. That kind of evergreen content builds on itself overtime and fuels your SEO program from one year to the next.

There is something to be said for the power of “newsjacking” (hopping on a hot story as it’s happening) but your content has to be extra special to standout for long, since so many other people are also talking about the same topic. But if you can identify your seasonal keywords, or up and coming keywords, you have the chance (and the time!) to write great content that just waits in the wings for when people are looking for it. For instance, as a small business owner my boss tries not to worry too much about taxes until tax season rolls around; then suddenly he is up to his elbows in small business tax info, forms, documents, laws and updates. Our accountant has a great blog and newsletter that all of the suddenly becomes very, very valuable to him because the content is “in season.” Because she keeps an eye on her seasonal keywords she knows when she needs to start really pushing her tax season information and services, and when she can focus on other aspects of accounting like billing and payroll, which are relevant all year round.

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