Digital Insights

The Importance of Seasonal Marketing Patterns in Your Internet Marketing Strategy


Published: April 22, 2015

You wouldn’t think of running an ad in your local newspaper for snow shovels in July, so why would you promote seasonal products and services on your website all year round? You wouldn’t – yet that’s basically what you’re doing when you fail to consider seasonal variations in demand for your products and services when planning your digital marketing campaigns.

Whether you’re planning an SEO, PPC, or social media campaign, you need to allow for seasonal variations in overall demand as well as for search traffic volume. Depending on your niche, you may experience considerable seasonal variation in demand for your products.

Because product demand can vary from season to season or even month to month, you need to take these naturally occurring fluctuations into account when establishing performance metrics for your marketing. A sharp increase or decrease in traffic due to seasonal demand presents a distorted picture of how your business is really doing, which might cause you to make decisions based on inaccurate information that could end up costing you dearly.

Determine Your Average Traffic Baseline and Seasonal Traffic Patterns
Having historical baseline traffic figures allows you to make a quick and easy comparison of current website performance with the past. To determine your average monthly volume of traffic, simply divide your total annual traffic figure by twelve.

If your niche usually experiences seasonal fluctuations in demand, it might be helpful to also collect historical information about your website traffic volume on a monthly basis – in addition to historical sales volume numbers for your major product lines. Be sure to overlay these figures with corresponding marketing efforts that may have had an impact on traffic and sales volume.

  • It’s important to keep your monthly traffic growth numbers in perspective.
  • Seasonal demand as well as the normal search ranking “dance” that most websites experience can lead to a distorted picture.
  • A more realistic view of how your business is progressing is to look for a positive upward trend in your traffic numbers over the course of the year.
  • Monitor and record unexpected events that can impact your traffic numbers, such as search engine ranking penalties or hosting issues that might temporarily shut down your website.

How to Market a Seasonal Business
There are basically two distinct types of seasonal businesses – those companies that close down completely during the “off season” and those whose product and service lines vary according to the season.

If your niche is subject to seasonal demand factors, you need to identify the demand patterns for each of your major product lines, and allocate marketing resources to correspond to seasonal demand. Products with substantial fluctuation in demand over the year should receive marketing support that roughly matches historical demand; support for products with little month to month fluctuation should be spread out evenly throughout the year.

Timing is critical for marketing seasonal products and services. Anticipate your product inventory requirements well ahead of time and make arrangements with suppliers accordingly. Allow sufficient time for seasonal content to be prepared and marketed far enough in advance to be able to attract early shoppers. If you have an email list of current and past customers, send them a pre-season special offer to get the ball rolling. Create and test a special landing page and call-to-action offer to send your seasonal traffic to.