Monitor and Adjust

Most websites experience seasonal changes.Your e-commerce site might have had a Christmas shopping peak in November and December followed by a gift card redemption peak in January. Other kinds of sites usually have a dip over the holidays, but many have a back to work peak in January that settles back down in February.

The screenshot at left shows a site that has just had a seasonal peak, and is now shifting down.

Now what?

  • Aim for another peak. I like this idea, myself. We rode the crest of a wave, and now we can just look out at the ocean and see if we can identify the next good wave as it forms. Catch it, and we can have another peak with another group of keywords. In order to identify the right wave to catch next, we can use data from the past, aggregate data from sources like Google Adwords Keywords Suggestion Tool, or our own observations within our target market (from forums, trends in our online stores, and the like). We can also keep an eagle eye on our analytics to see which keywords are rising to replace the ones we’ve been working with most strongly.
  • Clean up. If you’ve had a busy spell, there might be things that have been getting neglected. Have you been minding your linkbuilding? Keeping up with your social media? Looking after customer service? If you’ve let some things slip during the busy season, you might want to take advantage of a slower time to see to the things that keep your quality high and your customers satisfied. A slow time at your website is also a good time to fix and upgrade your site. When your traffic begins to increase again, you’ll be welcoming them to a site that supports your goals.
  • Shift your attention. Lawn care companies in some areas switch to fall cleanup and then to Christmas lights. Some swimming pool companies change over to hot tubs and  fire pits for the cool weather. If your business is very seasonal, you might consider adding another focus for other times of the year. A seasonal refresh for the website can make a difference, or just a secondary landing page for your secondary season.

None of these sensible actions can be taken if you don’t know how your site is doing, though. Helplessly wondering why your site isn’t bringing customers to you isn’t useful at all. Make sure you have analytics installed, and make sure that you or someone with the right knowledge is keeping an eye on it for you. For some industries, the change may not be seasonal at all — it may be a shift in the fashion or tastes that you can catch by watching the data.

Monitor your data and adjust your strategy. A nimble response can make all the difference.






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