It’s Christmas time (according to the supermarkets, at least), and there’s no need to be afraid of seasonal content. It might seem intimidating, with so many blog posts out there and the need to get things written quickly or risk missing out, but you just need to shift your perspective. Instead of thinking of it as a chore, start having fun with it.
After all, it’s not something to take too seriously. It’s a time of frivolity and light-hearted merriment, and you’re not going to be attacked for including an inaccuracy in your “Best Christmas Songs of the ‘80s” list. Once you get writing, everything should start to flow, resulting in great content.
The only significant challenge lies in ideation, because that’s what will determine the fate of your content. Popular concepts will always perform well, even if the content is only average, while great work can go unnoticed with an unappealing title. This is where Google Trends becomes essential as a creative driver. Here’s how to use it to your advantage:
Use central terms to find related queries
When you start out, you might just have a handful of relevant terms to steer your investigative journey. For instance, if you wanted to come up with Easter content, you might think of “bunny”, “chocolate eggs”, and “egg hunt”. Using Google Trends, these seed keywords can produce numerous other terms. The process is simple: search for one of the seed terms, then look at the results for the “Related Queries” list. You can sort that list in various ways, and it constitutes a fantastic resource for coming up with more terms to shape your content.
Prepare for queries that get popular at certain times
Search queries will go up and down in popularity throughout the year. Sometimes this is due to unpredictable events or changing circumstances, but it’s often due to regular (and thus predictable) seasonal shifts. For instance, “gift ideas” might not be such a big deal in late February, but it will get a lot of interest in the weeks leading up to Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
When you look at trends while planning your seasonal content ahead of time, then, you need to be careful that you don’t go by current trends. Instead, anticipate the trends that will be getting the most attention when you’ll actually be releasing your content. You can even double-dip by creating a pre-launch page for a cornerstone piece of content and filling it with terms that people search for in advance of the season (such as “preparing early for christmas”), before swapping it out for the planned content when it goes live.
You can also create seasonal campaigns that are linked to a topical cause or issue — why not plan something around an awareness day? This blog has a good campaign example of a beauty brand who regularly donate to worthy local causes. Creating a whole content piece around the good you do can help you tap into increased interest and awareness.
Look for opportunities to write local content
If you have cause to write it, local content can be extremely powerful in the search rankings. Suppose for a second that you’re trying to write content for a London-based business — you could look for terms such as “london christmas” or “christmas london” or “christmas in london” to see what local content people look for around the festive season.
If you then wrote a piece such as “Christmas Events in London 2019”, all the mentions of London on your website would give it a great chance of ranking well. Be mindful, though, that searching for “christmas + london” would return results containing one or the other, and not necessarily both. You could try using a search tool such as AnswerThePublic to find the most common query containing both, then use that in Trends to look for related queries.
Compare terms to find optimal phrasing
Part of SEO is choosing the right words for content, and the differences can be subtle. For one example, there’s a gulf between the popularity of “maths” and “math” in the UK, with the former being far more common (as opposed to the US-standard “math”). If you were to write a piece about mathematics, then, you’d want to put “maths” instead of “math” in the title.
In the same way, there may be subtle differences between similar seasonal terms, and one word order may be a better option than another (“christmas turkey” versus “turkey for christmas”, for example). Since you can easily compare two terms in Trends, you should use that functionality to great effect.