SEO strategy for events, seasonal sales and pop-up stores

Recurring events and seasonal deals can provide fantastic opportunities to increase commercial performance and create meaningful engagement with a broader core audience.

From smaller localized exhibitions and pop-up stores to massive music festivals and industry-leading shows, the opportunity to dive into these organic seasonal marketing campaigns shouldn’t be overlooked.

There have been some great articles written about optimizing the Google event pack and search carousel with schema, so I won’t revisit those points here.

And if you’re looking for a seasonal marketing calendar for fresh inspiration, here’s a useful 2022 marketing calendar.

This post will help you develop your SEO strategy to maximize recurring seasonal events like Black Friday, Christmas, and Cyber ​​Monday applicable to online businesses and offline pop-up stores.

This will also help event-focused brands of all sizes effectively optimize for recurring industry expos, festivals, and other forms of presence-based SEO campaigns, no matter how localized they may be.

Thoroughly serve consumer intentions

Basically, you need to be visible in the major search engines for each dominant intent area around your event in the conversation.

There are many ways to gather data on current information that people associate with your event.

You should also examine data on larger and more established competitors who may be better known than your event but closely resemble your own niche positioning.

The simplest data point is right in Google search results and predictive search.

The example below shows Google’s prevailing predictions based on a variety of historical search data.

This saves tons of initial data work and steers you in the direction of the most important sub-topics that you need to comprehensively cover through valuable content curation.

Screenshot of the search for [glastonbury 2023]October 2022

Think of the above as your initial keyword themes or topics that you can expand into content descriptions with the goal of developing a set of content-rich landing goals to increase your SEO success.

Targeting organic in-SERP visibility

The biggest chance to introduce your brand, seasonal event or pop-up store to new and existing audiences is to drive rich pre-click search results in Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

Sticking with this Glastonbury Festival example, you can identify and prioritize which rich and mixed results you are targeting through your SEO strategy.

First, four core areas stand out.

First, the “People Ask Too” segment. In this scenario, it appears directly below the first result in the SERPs.

Often this is an opportunity for multiple opportunities for a brand to appear on page one or for some coverage you may have on highly relevant external websites.

Example 1 for in-SERP rich resultsScreenshot of the search for [glastonbury 2023]October 2022

You’ll often see industry-specific media sites occupying this spot alongside deeper forms of content like guides and white papers.

The bottom line is that these are non-competitive websites that give you a real reason to put content directly on their websites and be present in more than one of the top positions in Google.

Next comes the video section, which is often present for event-related and recurring seasonal search query types.

To help rank video content, traditional video optimization tactics apply.

Example 2 for in-SERP rich resultsScreenshot of the search for [glastonbury 2023]October 2022

The other leading in-SERP results to target in this case are the images:

Example 3 for in-SERP rich resultsScreenshot of the search for [glastonbury 2023]October 2022

And the “Related Searches” results that appear at the bottom of the page:

In SERP Rich result example 4Screenshot of the search for [glastonbury 2023]October 2022

Completeness of single page coverage is the underlying factor for presence in these rich results, in addition to required content type and technical optimization through schema.

As a tip, always look at who is currently filling those in-SERP spaces and consider where the thematic gaps are in the external content and what signals you can improve (social media, backlink value, authorship, trust, credibility , quality of different content types, etc.)

mastery of the local landscape

Local SEO runs like a red thread through all recurring events and SEO strategies of seasonal or pop-up stores.

Location is the trigger by which all mobile searches are filtered.

Local intent has also grown much faster over the last two to three years.

In fact, search trends related to location intent, including “shop near me,” have seen significant growth since 2017:

Think with Google – Consumer InsightsScreenshot of Think With Google, October 2022

There are many handy tactics to optimize your website for local SEO and some of the most effective are:

  • Active engagement in local forums and business events.
  • Promoting content, PR and other branding signals through local media sites.
  • Uncover experts to promote your authority locally and broader.
  • Creating local landing pages with rich content.
  • Build relevant business, corporate and industry backlinks.
  • Proactive management of social media channels, including local social listening.
  • Maximizing Google Business Profile(s) and Bing Places.

Always-on approach to seasonal marketing

Just because you’re targeting an event around Christmas or a trade show in September doesn’t mean you should be looking into SEO the month before.

According to Google’s latest consumer insights:

“…40% of holiday shoppers in the US say their holiday shopping experience prompted them to shop much earlier this year to meet other milestones.”

Google goes even further in the same article and says:

“As of June 2021, 31% of US shoppers had already started their holiday shopping, and 37% of shoppers who shopped last holiday season wished they had started earlier.”

So what does this mean for your SEO strategy for recurring seasonal marketing and pop-up stores?

The direct impact of this change in behavior is that you need to have a constantly active element for your seasonal SEO.

This provides an opportunity to gain authority on the subject year after year.

This means you can remain actively visible for core themes that cannot be changed (“music festival”, “local pop-up shop”, “holiday baskets”, etc.) to make the most of an early purchase intent.

You can also delineate the events of years past by having annual landing pages that maintain the site’s value and support next year’s profits. An example would be Glastonbury 2022.

This also provides a means of targeting future intentions.

Sticking to the same example as above, we can look to Glastonbury 2023 (and beyond).

You may be surprised that people plan more than 2 years in advance with major seasonal events. The following is an existing rich search result that can be optimized in Google:

Sample In-SERP Rich Results 5Screenshot of the search for [glastonbury 2023]October 2022

Being the first to identify and act on this type of future user intent opens up the opportunity to come first and be the company that dominates these key visibility elements.

Last quick tips for seasonal marketing

So many important strategic elements fall into the realm of seasonal and event-based marketing for SEO.

Here are a few more tips for your own marketing efforts:

  • Make the most of urgency. As events draw near, people must act quickly. Make this process as quick and easy as possible; Give people everything they need in one place. This will vary from ecommerce store to brochure site, but the goal remains the same.
  • Be the most convenient option. If you’re a local pop-up store, immerse yourself in the local community and serve people’s pain points. Think about what you can offer that a larger or non-local company cannot. For example, free local delivery or same-day pop-in service.
  • Make things easy. If you’re only open two days a week or certain seasonal days, offer pre-reservation, 24/7 online support, and dedicated customer care. This will help fill in bookings and orders ahead of time and maintain a positive mood for future repeat business.

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