For those with a seasonal business, it seems like it would be logical to optimize their site for terms related to an upcoming peak seasonal opportunity. As an example, for a firm that provides landscaping in the spring and snow plowing in the winter, changing the focus of their marketing efforts based on the season makes sense. However, they should be very cautious about changing the home page title tag and content to reflect the opportunities in an upcoming season.
If the service's home page ranks well for landscaping, they should probably not replace the term "landscaping" in their home page title tag with the term "snow plowing". Making this type of change change may decrease the service's ranking for landscaping and not be reversible once the seasons change.
Please take this advice with a grain of salt, as it is based on a single test. However, in the case of prom dress designer Mac Duggal, the results have been quite negative. For special occasion dress designers such as Mac Duggal, there are two types of events that produce significant sales boosts, prom in the spring and homecoming in the fall. Thus, it seemed like an interesting test to make a change in July to the site's home page SEO by moving from a focus on "prom" to "homecoming".
The results of the test were a moderate boost in rankings for the term "homecoming dresses" (but not enough to move up to the first page), and a precipitous drop in rankings for the term "prom dresses". Now that homecoming season is over, the site's home page, including the title tag, has been reverted back to a focus on "prom dresses". However, as of today, the site's previous ranking for 'prom dresses" has not been recovered.
There are two caveats to the finding that it may be a mistake to change title tags and home page content to reflect the seasonality of a business:
- this finding is based on a single test. The results may vary if repeated by other sites; and
- the SEO focus of the site, including the home page title tag and content, were only reverted back to its original state six weeks ago. Time will tell whether over time the site will recover its previous ranking for the term "prom dresses".
In the case of a landscaping company that offers snow plowing during winter, the best SEO strategy in regard to on-site content is probably to create a separate web page focused specifically on snow plowing, and link to this page prominently on the home page, via site wide navigational links, and other links on the site (as an example from blog posts). A search for "Glenview Il snow plowing" (my hometown) provides evidence that this may be an effective strategy, as Tru Cut Landscaping and Acorn Lawns both rank fairly well using this method. Another alternative to consider would be to build a second site exclusively focused on snow plowing, as most of the top ranked sites have a narrow focus on snow plowing.
Seasonal businesses that rank well for a desirable term should be cautious about changing the title tag and content on their home page to chase after a higher ranking for an "off-season" focused term. While this finding is only based on a single test, the downside risk of repeating this experiment is likely to be greater than the value of learning gained by attempts to validate the hypothesis. On the other hand, a seasonal business that does not rank well for their primary term(s) might judge it to be worthwhile to repeat this experiment. However, I suspect that follow-on tests will deliver equally dismal results.
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