In many industries, including Financial Services, seasonality will affect your search data.
A client recently noticed that his keyword ranking has been improving and that his link profile was growing, but he was not seeing the expected increase in search traffic volume.
However, as we looked into the data, we found that the search volume had increased when compared with the year over year data for the summer months, rather than comparing the summer months to the seasonally higher volume of the winter season.
The following graphs represent the Search Volume Trends for some of the broad categories associated with Financial Planning. The data is from Google Adwords.
For general financial planning terms (i.e. financial advisor, financial planner, financial adviser), search starts building in October, peaks in the new year and is strong throughout the winter and into the spring. It falls off in May, and is lowest during August and September.
Investment management, although about half the total volume of “Financial Planning”, follows a similar seasonal pattern.
Searches around Retirement Planning peak in January than decrease through the year, until starting to build again in September.
Insurance search volume, although more stable, does reflect a higher volume in spring, and fewer searches in November and December.
The search trends around tax planning are more narrowly focused. While somewhat flat May through December, Search volume jumps in January, and peaks in February – obviously inline with the coming tax deadline.
Estate Planning search volume peaks in the September, drops at the end of the year, then is pretty solid throughout the winter and spring.
1. Take into account seasonality when evaluating the results of your marketing initiatives.
2. Depending on your areas of focus, you may want to plan your editorial calendar around the few differences that do occur in the seasonal pattern (i.e. Estate Planning in the early fall). Remember that it will take the search engines some time to find and index each article (or piece of content) so plan ahead.
3. As search traffic volume is higher in the winter months when you’re most busy, you may want to stockpile content for those months so that you can continue to publish during that time.
4. The periods leading into the peak search volume months may be a good time to consider adding a Pay Per Click advertising strategy. This will help insure that you’re appearing at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages for your important keywords.
5. There is strong search volume around all of these broad-terms. Make sure that optimized for all of your important keywords. Search Engine Optimization can help you be found for multiple services and in multiple geographic locations.
Do these results reflect your experiences? Do they match up to your busy and slow times of the year? As always, questions and comments are welcomed and appreciated.
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