Time sensitive data is always difficult to deal with, especially if you are running a blog or site that is based around information or products that are only searched for once a year. Holiday blogs and sites are some of the first things that come to mind for time sensitive information. Ranking number one for the search term Christmas decorations doesn’t do much good in August if you fall to page two in October, November, and early December. Ticket vendors also know the trials and tribulations all too well when they have a limited number of time to sell tickets, and they’re competing with a large crowd on the SERPs.
When to Switch FocusA client of Page One Power is based out of New York and sells tickets to all kinds of events, but he wanted his landing pages for the Super Bowl and The US Open (tennis), and to rank highly. Rather than split up our man power and offer weaker results for both, we focused on building relevant, keyword heavy links for The US Open (which happens in late summer) after the Super Bowl finished. Once the US Open got under way we shifted our focus to getting links on NFL related sites pointing back to the Super Bowl landing page. Granted, this works well for us because the two events happen far apart from one another and we have enough time to get their rankings up. Not everyone has such luxury.
Don’t Wait Too LongYes, they might be lyrics found in almost every teenage angst song from the late 90s, but seriously, don’t wait too long before ranking up the link building and SEO efforts. Some people think that waiting until a few weeks are left before the event (when sales and searches are typically highest) is the best time to strike because you can jump pages with a few quality links. However, this strategy only works somewhat predictably with long tail keywords and uncompetitive niches. In a competitive niche, the keywords are much harder to rank for and if you aren’t already near the top, your last minute SEO efforts could easily be overshadowed by sites with a stronger SEO campaign. Google’s crawlers don’t scan over your site every day either, so it can take longer than you think for some of those great backlinks to start bumping you up the SERPs.
Keep Conditioning During the Off-SeasonJust because there are no NFL games from February to September doesn’t mean the players sit on the couch all day and relax. Athletes keep their bodies primed and in top condition in order to keep their edge and your site should follow the same example. Don’t shut down a Valentine’s Day url just because it is March 1st. Keep the site up and active with ways for people to request notifications, place orders, or to post a little blurb every so often. Once that special time of year gets closer, turn up the heat and bring the simmer to a boil. This helps you to keep a high ranking if you’ve earned one, or gives you the option to do some light link building throughout the year to gain an advantage.
SEO for time sensitive pages can be tricky. You don’t want to waste your efforts on ranking for keywords that no one will be searching for anyway; that’d be like trying to sell wine to a vineyard. But care needs to be taken in order to ensure that you can and will rank highly when you want to.