For everything there is a season, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to build links. I’m not 100% sure that last one is actually from Ecclesiastes, but it should be in the Book of SEO.
Link building is a perpetual pursuit for websites, but that doesn’t mean the circumstances are the same every day. And yet, there are certain constants even within continual change. One of these faithfully enduring factors is the unyielding progression of the seasons. Even if the leaves don’t change and snow doesn’t fall wherever you live, we all share the same four-season cycle. This fixed seasonal rotation provides a few things we can rely on to help us create link building strategies.
Most of modern civilization has at least some susceptibility to the academic calendar. For the early part of our lives, most of us become indoctrinated to the concept of a summer vacation. It’s a pattern that tends to manifest itself in business trends long after we leave academia. So naturally, even link building is affected by the summer break mentality.
The gold standards of links in SEO are the ones that come from highly authoritative sources. Many of those high-trust hot-zones tend to slow down a bit during the summer months. From educational institutions to local government there is a natural deceleration of certain activities. With schools in particular, teachers and students are much less available. If you are trying to target these types of links the challenge increases when school is out.
But that just means you need to turn your attention elsewhere. In warm weather people are generally more active outdoors and it can be beneficial to connect your business to that lifestyle. ywith organizations that link to sponsors of course. If you’re industry is more of an indoor cat, partnering with travel and outdoor recreation sites is a good way to get some cross-promotion.
Some people love the fall and others hate it, which I think largely depends on how they see it. The changing leaves are worth a 3 hour drive to nowhere and the night air has an exhilarated bite. But to the glass-is-half-empty types, it also means winter is on its way. For teachers, parents and link builders, it’s back to school time.
When the classes start, the game is on for educational content and getting ready for winter. While the kids are buying new book bags, the teachers are planning. Lesson plans, teaching aids, syllabuses are being developed or revised. Some of your content can get links from the online versions of those materials, if you have the right resources. Figure out what about your business is a teachable moment. Develop those concepts and mold them into pieces of content that will appeal to teachers on all grade levels. The early weeks of school can be busy ones but, if you time it right, your contribution to educational schematics could last for years.
Winter is cold in the northern hemisphere, which is where the vast majority of earth’s land mass lies. So whether you’re in San Francisco or San Tropez, it’s chilly in January. People spend more time indoors and there’s a pretty decent chance they’re killing some of their cabin fever online. In the winter both weather and social traditions are working in a link builder’s favor.
Christmas is coming, so is Hanukah, and Kawanza and a number of celebrations and shopping trips. This time of year, as most stores know, is all about the special offers, sales and discounts. Whatever product or service you sell, you can play the Holiday angle. Don’t sell yourself out just because you think your service doesn’t fit the typical Christmas theme. A carpet cleaning service can get it in on it by offering a holiday cleaning special. A lighting fixture site can offer Gift Certificates and pre-holiday “upgrade” discounts.
Just because you’re not a major retail player doesn’t mean you can’t get a few holiday links. People are looking en masse for gift ideas and holiday party planning tips. Blogs, s outlets, and websites of all kinds are compiling lists of these resources along with copious coupon codes and deals. Don’t just post your offers on your site, promote them with a full-on outreach blitz. Holiday-mania strikes everyone, and if you can’t beat em, at least get links from it.
If you watch Animal Planet you know springtime plays a major role in expansion and growth. The world undergoes a sort of re-birth during these months. And even though there’s a lot happening outside, this can be one of the harder times of the year to work marketing angles. There are a few holidays, but nothing nearly as behaviorally significant as other seasons. That makes this a great season for planning, analyzing and evaluation.
While nature is taking its course outside, it’s a good time to breathe new life into your online marketing strategy. Figure out what worked during the winter and lay the groundwork for what lies ahead. I don’t mean you should stop your link building, but it’s always calm before the storm. And link builders should be like children; if they are quiet, it should mean they’re up to something. These “quieter” months can be as good a time as any to plan your attack for the year ahead.
The twist is, in order to really stay ahead of the curve, planning for each season should happen months before it arrives. The same way department stores put out bathing suits in February and Christmas trees as early as September. Behind the scenes work should done be a few months ahead of the calendar year, so that when the season strikes, you’re ready to launch.
Link building is hard enough under the best of circumstances and any link builder will tell you that no single strategy works all the time for everyone. There’s nowhere that’s more evident than when you examine the nuances of seasonality and its effects on human behavior. Link building in many ways requires an understanding psychology. This includes grasping not only the how and why behind getting links, but the when as well. There are naturally occurring peaks and valleys throughout the year that you can use to your advantage. Sometimes you can help your site speak to search engine algorithms by simply listening to seasonal bio-rhythms. When you use the collective habits of humanity to appeal to the right needs, at the right times, then you’ll probably find that links are always in season.