When we talk about Seasonal Search Engine Optimization or SEO, we are specifically talking about adjusting how you present your offerings to Google who shows it to their customers. Don’t forget with SEO, you are serving Google’s customers first and the better you can serve them, the higher rank your pages will have. You can notice brands like Old Navy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nike and others changing their commercials as well as their websites and social media seasonally from spring to fall and football to baseball.

The number one thing you should do is develop a plan before you jump into any changes.

Your plan needs to include your

  • PPC
  • Onsite SEO
  • Social Media messaging
  • Google My Business posts

Inside ERS it can also include Moving or Resorting Categories, changing banner images, changing images on home page, changing your suggested add-ons or frequently purchased items. If you are using add-ons, it is time to change your Popups or FOMO images to reflect the current season.

Do you close?

Some rental companies close down for the winter. It’s not too easy to have a bounce house in 5 feet of snow, but more importantly, many — if not most clients — don’t want inflatable items in those conditions.

Some companies also don’t bring in enough revenue to support winter operations and I’ve known quite few who take the time off to be with their families (starting off with their annual trip to IAAPA in Orlando)

In ERS, you may change your calendar to show a note saying “Call to Reserve” or “Closed” or even add a popup that shows that your rental items are limited to indoor events during a certain time period or simply change your homepage to show that you are still currently taking reservations for Spring.

How do you know when to adjust your SEO?

As talked about above, developing a plan is the key. The first step in that is gathering data.

As an ERS user, you should pull your reports and look at your historical data. We recommend looking at 2019 and 2018 for general trends. We don’t recommend focusing on the report from 2020 as it was just a weird year for everyone. While the data from 2020 is relevant, you may find it skewed a bit one way or another based on the restrictions your local government had in place or changes you made in your business to reflect the pandemic.

Yes, this will take a bit of work, but if you export it all into a CSV and use Excel or Google Sheets, you can simply add to the file each year to see if your trends are changing. You may be surprised by the results or you may be spot on. Keep in mind that ERS does not store your data forever.

Go back as far as you can and you should see the rentals for your categories follow a general trend. Each part of the country is a bit different. Water slides are generally popular in the warmer summer months, however, your summer may last only 3 months in the north while beating the Texas heat may show water slide rental trends are high for 5 months.

You can see trends in category rentals that will give you some direction to use for adjusting your Seasonal SEO.

In this example, we have pulled the 2019 Category Sales Report by month for one of our customers. The first thing we are going to look at — because everyone wants to see it first — is revenue.

Inflatable Categories by revenue

As you can see, there is definitely a trend going on specifically with the Water Slides and Dunk Tank Category. January through March there isn’t much. There is a significant rise from April to May. June dips a bit, but July peaks the year and then it begins to fall off from August to October. This customer is in the Southeastern US and it starts getting hot and humid from April until Mid September with October still being a bit warm.

Other trends that pop up are Bounce Houses with slides from March through June and again September to November. Obstacle Courses jump up in May and then drop until October. The same holds true with Interactive Games and Inflatable Slides.

This graph, pulled from the same reports in ERS shows the number of rentals. There are some pretty notable trends here as well, but these are a bit different. After looking at the last graph, you’d think these would be water slides, however, they are for tables and chairs. Keep in mind that you should look at the number of rentals as trends as well as the revenue.

 

# of items renteed

With these tents, tables and chairs, we see a spike in May and October. These are lower revenue items, however, they should still be something you look at. Notice that November and December still have a number of rentals and that equated to an additional $4,000 of revenue in cold months in the Southeast.

We can also see a spike for generator rentals in March (happened to have some bad storms that year and this customer decided to rent their generators out to people who needed them).

We can see a large spike in concession supplies which while not something you may want to directly focus on from an SEO perspective does give you some insights on when you should have the items in hand for your customers and have them presented under the respective category

Here is the number of water slide rentals that we saw previously on the revenue trend graph.

Bounce Houses have an uptick in March then go down a bit through September into an October peak. 

While neither the revenue nor the numbers of rentals go to zero, you can see that everything drops off going into November and through the end of the year. 

While you could add to the end of the year, some of the data in the graphs do get shrunken down so it is a bit harder to spot the individual category trends, but you can do it to see year after year cycles.

If you don’t want to take the time to graph this out yourself, you should at a minimum be looking at the Category Sales report and watching the revenue and rentals month over month. You can see the trends by looking at the data.

Here is a graph of the total number of Google searches for categories many rental companies use. It is important to understand that these are total USA searches and not limited to any region. These are general seasonality trends and should be adjusted for your area and your business. 

chart of bounce house national trends

Now that you have the data, what should you do?

There are some key things to do, especially if you are doing this for the first time.

  1. Keywords and Key Phrases
  2. Optimize your category pages for the key words people will use to find your page.
  3. Category pages do show up in Google Search Engine Results Pages. Seasonal optimization should include seasonal keywords and phrases.

 

  • “Fall Festivals”
  • “Spring Fling”
  • “Halloween Party”
  • “Polar Express”
  • “Santa Train Rides”
  • “Beat the Heat”
  • “Get out of the scorching sun”

If you were working on your inflatable slides category, use spring or summer phrases to encourage summer rentals. Not everyone wants a water slide for a warm-season party and while the trends we saw earlier show a bit of a dip in rentals in the warmer months, there were still rentals. If you are changing your dry slide category page for the cooler months, use appropriate key phrases. The same holds true for your bounce houses, combos, carnival games and even your water slides.

Images

Be sure to change out your images on your home page. Also update the images on your category pages to reflect the season. Showing kids in long-sleeves and jeans in the summer doesn’t reflect the season, but they do for the fall and winter. A kid splashing down a waterslide probably needs to be changed before November or earlier depending on the area.

While many people hate change, Google loves seeing pages being updated. It tells them something is new. Changes in file names and text on the screen all show up when Google crawls your pages.

Add-ons

Suggested Add-Ons to rental items should be adjusted to reflect things people should rent specific to an item or category, but they should also change based on the season. If you have Snow Cones as a suggested add on in colder months, change it out to a popcorn machine or cotton candy. It’s pretty easy to do in ERS and if you need help, we suggest you search the ERS Users Group on Facebook where you can search for the topic or you can reach out to the ERS Support Team.

Moving or Rearranging Categories in your Navigation and Category Store

This is a bit tricky, but people want menus to be easy to use and they don’t like to scroll a lot on their phones. You can rearrange the navigation on your menu inside of ERS to push relevant categories up towards the top. Depending on the setup of your website, this may be done inside the Sorting list by going into Admin clicking the Products button and clicking Sorting or it may require a bit of coding. If in doubt, reach out to the ERS Support Team or your website designer for help.

Rearrange your items

Did you know that you can rearrange items inside your categories? You can have your seasonal items toward the top of the list or feature your newest rental item at the top of a category. If you have Christmas, Halloween, Easter or other holiday-themed inflatables, you can have them display at the top of the category list. For example, if you have a Christmas banner you put on a moonwalk or combo, you can move it to the top of the list in November and December and then move it to the bottom of the list for the rest of the year. Did you jump in and buy that new Stars and Stripes inflatable this year? What better time to promote it than during the 4th of July or an election in November or if your town has a Founder’s Day.

You can easily do this by going into Admin, clicking the Products button and clicking Sorting. Find and click the category you want to sort and then you can drag and drop items in. Once you’re done moving items, you can jump back to the front-end of your website and navigate to the category to see the changes. If you want to change more, go back through the process until you’re done. As you makes these changes, keep in mind that it may take 15 minutes or so for the changes to reflect on the front-end. 

Coupons or special offers

You can also take the opportunity to change your coupon codes each season. The “beat the heat” code is great in the summer, but in the winter something more like “warmup” may resonate better.

Now that you have seen how to pull the data to see your trends, here are some things you need to do with that information.

  • Change Pictures and Banner Images
  • Change Order of Categories
  • Change Order of items within categories
  • Change Suggested Add Ons
  • Think about changing Coupon Codes to be more reflective of seasons

You should have a plan on when to do this and build time in your schedule to make the changes so you can show that your company and website is relational to the season you are in.

Next month, we will be focusing more on Pay Per Click advertising and some things that you need to look at for seasonal changes there.

Between now and then, examine your data and start to develop a plan. Keep in mind that while the changes can reflect immediately on your pages, some On Page SEO takes some time to reflect in the Google Search Results. We recommend planning on 30 to 60 days for this to kick in. Google may reflect them sooner, but it could also take as long as 90 days to reflect as well. It simply depends on how frequently your page is crawled by Google.

That’s it for now, if you’d like a copy of the National Search Trends, drop us a note and we can send that your way. E-mail us at squad@bestlyfegroup.com or tag us on Facebook for your copy.

Published On: August 23rd, 2021 / Categories: Design, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, seo, Trending, Uncategorized /

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