The Value Of Seasonal PPC Keywords All Year Round

by The Guy January 17th, 2008 

Building on last week's post Viagra At Work, we've had the opportunity to partner with a client in running a test campaign. And while things didn't necessarily pan out as planned, there were some valuable and salient learnings (and surprises to be found along the way). To protect the client and future iterations, we're limited as to what we can share, but this week, I get to look at a personal favourite in the PPC (and frankly, SEO) arsenal…

Seasonality in keywords.

This is going to be a little tricky but bear with me and together, we'll muddle through.

Let's start with an example:

Cottage season is typically May – September, on that I'm sure we can all agree. Cottage decor, however, is year round.

There are certain keywords that while seasonally specific, also function throughout the year. "Thanksgiving day sale" for example actually performs after Thanksgiving day. (Maybe that's why "Target" still has a PPC ad up with an appropriate destination page.)

The table above details four seasonally relevant, closely related terms. (The same term stated four different ways.) I can't share the specific terms but let's give them the equivalency of:

Women's Clothes – Phrase 1
Evening Wear – Phrase 2
Prom Gown – Phrase 3
Prom Dress – Phrase 4

Phrase 1 returned the most impressions but over the four week period, the click cost increased by 11% while the position declined significantly.

Phrase 2 held it's cost, but lost its position.

Phrase 3 and Phrase 4 however, were surprising. The "warmer" colloquial messaging garnered the highest clickthrough rates at almost 4x that of the broad rate. They cost less comparatively, and the cost didn't increase as significantly.

Morever, Phrase 1 – Week 2 and Phrase 3 – Week 2 actually returned similar click amounts with a Phrase 3 click cost 10% less.

The other good news? While seasonally relevant, all four phrases can be employed year round.

Have a good one.

~The (SEP) Guy

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