Are you tuned in to the seasonal trends that impact your website traffic? If not, check out columnist Laura Scott's tips for determining which ones may present opportunities for your brand.
Often when we think about the holidays, we envision panicked crowds on Black Friday, Cyber Monday desk shoppers and last-minute gifters filling their cart on Christmas Eve. We think about the winter Holiday season. That’s no surprise, since last year, the winter holidays accounted for over $658 billion in sales, according to NRF. They’re an important time for retailers; but they’re not the only time that Search behavior and sales spike.
Other holidays like Mother’s Day, Halloween and the Back-to-School “holiday” all compel shoppers to search for different needs, whether it’s costumes, table settings, flowers or dorm room supplies. And what about the seasons? As soon as we see the first buds of spring, we’re buying brightly colored clothes and finding any excuse to spend time outside. In additional to literal seasons, there are times of the year when certain activities become more frequent, like hiking season or wedding season. Fashion trends can also suddenly and dramatically affect specific groups of shoppers.
All of these holidays, seasons and trends can impact your customers’ behavior. Doing a little detective work will help you identify which holidays and seasons may offer new opportunities for your brand.
Identifying holiday and seasonal behavior changes
One tool for identifying behavioral changes is Google Trends. Google Trends shows search interest over time for any term you choose. Here, I’m comparing common foods and spices. As you can see, even a very necessary, seemingly stable product type like food has seasonality when we take a closer look at search interest. Watermelon is very popular in the summer, pumpkin spice is popular in the fall, no one wants to eat quinoa during the holidays, and cayenne stays pretty stable.
With Google Trends, we can see how people have searched for these terms over time. We can narrow our search to locations we’re interested in as specifically as the city level. We can even filter by intent. For retailers hoping to target searchers with purchase intent, we’re able to identify search interest in the types of queries that signify intent to buy.
Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is another way to identify high-level trends. When you enter a few search terms, Keyword Planner suggests related terms to consider, shows the amount of search interest in those terms, increase or decrease in search interest, and a very general measurement of competition. This tool helps identify larger general trends and will give you an idea of where you want to be digging deeper.
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