Timing Your SEO Efforts to Rank During Traffic Peaks & Spikes

acquisition-timingSome keywords have seasonal trending, search volume life-cycles, and hype spikes. When you need to rank during the peak of these trends, organic ranking requires you to do most of your work before the peak.

Riding the waves of search volume hype is hard, but it can also be very rewarding. Knowing when to exactly time your search engine optimization (SEO) effort provides a huge lead over your competitors, so how is it done effectively?

Predictable Search Volume Peaks

seo-fortune-tellingSudden peaks in search volumes are more predictable than you might think. Each year has the same seasons and holidays. New products will be launched in many industries.

Sports games are bound to have winners and even certain accidents are bound to happen … again. The exact details can still be an unknown, but you can prepare your prompt reaction for when they do occur.

A great example of a predictable life-cycle occurs when a new mobile phone is introduced. A mobile phone is launched and after about 5 months it is bound to be replaced by its successor.

The search volume peak can often be found in the first month of sales, so before regular links take effect you’ve already missed the hype. There is however a strategy that provides the right ranking at the right time.

The Right Ranking at the Right Time

Before the peak you should focus on gaining as many links as possible to keep the lead during the most important part of the life-cycle. High ranking itself asserts your authority on the subject and when you’re one of the first to have good information on a new mobile phone, for example, you’ll be cited and linked by all early adopters.

During the peak you need to reap the benefits of all these links, so that is when your commercial message should be the one ranking.

After the peak and during the aftermath most other commercial websites would have done their regular link building and you’re likely to be outranked by then. Luckily you’re already focusing on the next hype to keep ahead of the masses.

Timing Your Effort

links-to-ranking-time

Certain types of links take some time to ripen and take effect. Others affect ranking almost immediately; however, the affect wears off after a short time. Effectively combining all of them requires a well though through strategy, which is best described with a mobile phone example.

  1. With the first rumors of a new mobile phone model being launched, create a page with its supposed name and some info on the rumors.
  2. When its name becomes more certain create something easily spread through social media like a desired features poll. These links will provide a short lived ranking spike that is needed for the next phase.
  3. When it is officially announced, be one of the first to have a press release and reuse the already ranking URL for that message. Update the page whenever needed so both insiders and enthusiasts will start following and linking the page that therefore keeps on ranking.
  4. Reuse the same URL for the first preview of the new phone model and you can always move the old content to a different URL when needed. Again, the high ranking asserts your authority and the preview will be intensely linked to as well.
  5. Reuse the same URL again and again for news, pre-registration and eventually having it available for sale.

Here is where our extreme link acquisition efforts can stop for now. Most of the ranking will remain for the two most important months of sales.

Once the device is no longer a priority, you can even change its URL and redirect all remaining link value to a successor with (probably) a partial keyword match. This provides a much needed head start for new hypes within existing themes.

SEO for Hypes

Always be monitoring and predicting new great hypes in your industry. Monitor social media, look for insider information to be the first to know about new terminology. Map out earlier similar hypes to see how these have spread across the internet during their entire life-cycle.

Devise linkable messages for each phase of the life-cycle and accumulate all that link value close together or on the same URL.

Reuse partial relevance for future hypes and ranking for more generic keywords.

And … always be prepared for future hypes!

About the author

Peter van der Graaf has been active in search engine marketing for over ten years. Having worked on hundreds of link building projects for clients across the world, he's able to share some great insights. He's currently active in training SEO firms and in-house SEM teams in the art of link building. For clients in heavily competed industries he can always free up some time to devise great new strategies.