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How Top Retailers Coordinate SEO Around a Keyword Calendar

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SEO Keyword Calendar

Calendar-driven SEO keyword strategy - a new dimension of sales effectiveness.

SEO: What's It All About?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a process of becoming the best business in your industry, in full view of Google. The rewards are that Google sends traffic your way when users are looking for products (or services) that you sell.

In short, Google is looking for:

- A trustworthy & well-spoken about business

- A great website experience for the person searching

- A safe and secure environment to send users to

We, therefore, split SEO into three core areas that need to be optimised:

1. Technical website elements (code, features & layout) 

2. Content that a user engages with (text, images & video) 

3. Offsite links and mentions (social, news / PR, customer reviews & other mentions)

1. What Is This 'Keyword Calendar'?

Working with one of the UK’s best-known retailers, Spec has developed a whole new approach to SEO strategy - with a dramatic impact on sales effectiveness. We call this the Keyword Calendar method of boosting sales.

Traditionally, a standard keyword list would include the following information:

  • Keyword text (what you want to rank for)
  • Monthly Searches (average over the year)
  • Target URL (page to optimise for this)

So, what does the keyword calendar bring to the table?  Well, it adds a new dynamic and a new data set that can change the way that a business behaves and runs.

Our keyword calendars include monthly searches for each month over the past 12 months.

There’s a whole range of advantages:

  • Know when to push each range or specific product(s)
  • Use data to define what promotions you run and when
  • Rank for your keywords when the competition is quiet, so you’re top when key dates come around

2. Case Study Examples

  1. Valentine’s Day

In previous years, the brand in question had purchased stock for Valentine’s Day in early Jan, added it to the website ASAP and promoted 2 weeks up to the date itself.

With our calendar, the categories were created in early October with a ‘coming soon’ message and an email submission box. We have 2,000 emails added to a list in their email platform ahead of the date. The products were added in mid-October with an option to delay delivery when adding to cart. The page began to rank well on SEO for ‘Valentine’s Day gift’ keywords through December and was already number 1 right through Jan & Feb.

It was their record year online for Valentine’s Day.

  1. Prom Dresses

Traditionally, they had purchased stock and made their prom dress categories around April / May. Our keyword calendar showed that it was actually January that had more traffic than any other month, by nearly double.

A simple change was made to purchase stock in November, optimise the category in December and again, as with Valentine’s Day, another record year for prom dresses.

Another learning was that the traffic boost was simply due to ‘window’ shopping, so we added an ‘alert’ feature to hear about stock changes or new products. Data is king in retail and the customers had a solid reason to hand lots of it over to the brand.

  1. Black Friday

The normal procedure is to launch black Friday at around 0:01 on Friday evening. With a keyword calendar, you can calculate when activity picks up and work to make SEO work harder than any other channel for not just Cyber Weekend, but for 1-2 months.

One retailer in particular traditionally launch their Black Friday pages 1-2 years in advance of the day itself. They rank all year for ‘Black Friday Deals’ and have an email submission box to be the first to hear about deals. Again, data for a captive audience of keen shoppers!

3. Who Should Use It?

We’ve found that data has served a critical purpose in bridging the gaps between internal teams, driving overall business growth. An example statement that created our approach was:

“If only the buying team knew when to buy things and what content to ask for. We could exploit so many new SEO opportunities…!”

Here are just a handful of job roles we’ve provided SEO training to, and why:

  • Marketing Team – Everyone in the marketing team has a role to play in SEO
  • Finance – Understanding the ROI from SEO can help get the right budgets to make a success of it
  • Senior Management – Responsible for all top-line decisions, having a basic (yet clear) understanding of what’s required can help to get buy-in and boost performance
  • Merchandising – Knowing what to buy and when; it dramatically changes customer satisfaction
  • Web / IT – There are technical elements that can improve UX and therefore, improve SEO
  • Customer Service – Knowing what people buy & when allows them to be more prepared for enquiries through all channels
  • Content Teams – What to write about, when and who you’re speaking to should become an absolute requirement in this role

Having the entire business on board with SEO will certainly see you grow considerably and often helps improve internal communication. We’ve helped brands do everything from building out new processes, new ways of working and general education on the digital world.

Book a Call To Discuss Working With Us.


4. What's Next?

Now you've got the theory on how to make your ecommerce business more profitable, these are our recommended next steps: 

1. Get the team together and agree on the new approach 

2. Build your keyword calendar, ensuring you use the right experience and data to get this right 

3. Deliver the keyword strategy and ensure each department feeds back on how they now intend to work 

4. Start making it happen; 

   - Build your new categories in advance 

   - Stay ahead of the curve 

   - Watch your new customers arrive 

Why Not Join Our Workshop?

Our parent company Spec, is hosting a workshop on Ecom: Boosting Peak Sales in September, alongside Shopify and Trustpilot. If you would like to learn more about how to coordinate your brand SEO through the calendar months, please click the button a book a free ticket. 


Thanks For Reading!

Written by Emily Whiteway

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Spec Digital Limited
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Here at Spec, we are passionate about growing your business with PPC and SEO consultancy. We work with brands all over the world, from high street retailers, hotel chains and rail operators, to boutique stores and startups.

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