Seasonal Site Content That Drives Search Traffic and Rankings
Tactic — Keep an eye on trending searches in your industry: Frequently monitor breakout search trends on Google and take advantage of the add interest in relevant topics; create blog content targeting those keywords to drive free, organic traffic to your website and blog.
Tactic — Checklists work particularly well for promoting in-house products: Creating an evergreen checklist blog post allows you to hyperlink to products within the checklist. Don’t create new checklists each year--update the existing checklist to build longevity and domain reputation.
Tactic — Monitor organic backlinks or create your own backlinking opportunities: Collaborate with different publishers and have your blog posts featured and or linked within their website. This not only increases web traffic to your blog, but increase brand awareness from other brand users.
Each year as summer approaches, search interest for “camping” related topics increases dramatically, starting its ascent in late April and peaking in July.
REI capitalizes on the search interest in camping by consistently writing blog articles around camping, featuring it prominently on their blog landing page.
In particular, REI has focused on one specific trending search query, “camping checklist” by publishing their own Camping Checklist blog post.
Best Practices used:
- Linking off to existing blogs to keep readers on the site and engaging with more pages (increasing time spent on site)
- Callout to services related to blog topic; in REI’s case, they callout their outfitter sessions, which pairs customers with an expert to help guide them on how to pick the right items for their activity of choice
- Downloadable checklist in PDF format for ease of practical use
- Clear headers that separate items and explainer text when needed
- Interactive checklist function
- Checklist items are hyperlinked to a product listing page to make it easy for customers to buy items they don’t have (tip: make these pages open in a new tab)
In the past year alone, their “Camping Checklist” blog post has been visited over 200K times while the keyword “camping checklist” has generated just over 140K visits to REI.com.
Aside from the generating web traffic, the blog post also generated lots of social engagement and backlinking, especially on Facebook and Pinterest.
Those 33 backlinks, in turn, translated into 8.7K additional engagements for the original article on websites with significant global monthly web traffic.
Since then, REI has published a 6-part “Intro to Camping” blog series that help customers prepare for camping, from choosing the right sleeping bag or setting up a tent.
These 5 additional articles have also generated numerous social engagements for REI.
Lastly, REI is now a featured snippet on Google for the keyword “camping checklist”
What are Featured Snippets?
“Featured snippets are in a special box at the top of your search results with a text description above the link. If you search with the Google Assistant, featured snippets might also be read aloud. Most featured snippets only contain one listing.”
How are Featured Snippets chosen?
“Featured snippets come from web search listings. Google's automated systems determine whether a page would make a good featured snippet to highlight for a specific search requests.”
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