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Voices of Search Holiday Triage No. 3: Evergreen Holiday Assets

Episode Overview

Triage No. 3: Repurposing Evergreen Holiday Assets

It’s surprising how often last year’s holiday assets can be refreshed to meet the demands of the new holiday seasons with some minor creative changes (don’t forget to change the year folks) and some clever SEO hacks. In the third episode, we talk about how to optimize the right holiday content without sacrificing future (non-holiday) performance. Take some time with Ben and Tyson to better understand where to focus your repurposing efforts.

Episode Overview

Ben:                 Welcome back to Holiday Triage Week on the Voices of Search Podcast. I’m your host Benjamin Shapiro, and this week we’re going to publish an episode every day covering the topic of the season, Getting Ready for the Holidays. Before we get into the weeks of today’s podcast, to help you implement what you’ve learned from Position Zero month, I’d like to invite you to Searchmetrics upcoming Webinar which we’re calling Zero or Bust? The Do’s and Don’ts in Pursuit of Position Zero. Joined Searchmetrics inc. CEO, Jordan Koene and Eli Schwartz, the Director of SEO and Growth at SurveyMonkey as they discuss the fundamentals of Position Zero and why it’s great for your brand. The impact of Position Zero on your visibility and winning content strategies for featured snippets.

Ben:                 This Webinar’s going to be held on Thursday, November eighth at 11:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time, 2:00 PM Eastern standard time. To sign up, click on the link in our show notes or head over to the news and events section of the website. Again, that Zero or Bust? Do’s and Don’ts in Pursuit of Position Zero Webinar on November eighth, but you can sign up for it by clicking on the link in our show notes or by heading over to the news and events section of the Searchmetrics website.

Ben:                 Okay. Joining us for Holiday Triage Week is Tyson Stockton, who is the Director of Searchmetrics Enterprise Service Team. Outside of shepherding Searchmetrics’ largest and most strategic SEO clients, Tyson enjoys running barefoot on the beaches of Mexico. Today we’re going to continue our conversation about SEO Triage for the Holidays by talking to you about how you can repurpose your evergreen assets for the holidays. Here’s the third installment of Holiday Triage Week with Tyson Stockton, Searchmetrics Director of Enterprise Services.

Ben:                 Tyson. Welcome back to the Voices of Search Podcast.

Tyson:              Thanks Ben. I wish I was … Wish I was still on that beach in Mexico.

Ben:                 I’m commenting on a photo, that’s your Facebook profile and honestly the photo looks like you holding up a flag on one end and then you holding the flag on the other end. Do you have a twin brother?

Tyson:              No, I don’t have a twin brother but actually no Photoshop was used in that. Just a little bit of fun with the panel setting on the iPhone.

Ben:                 Interesting. It is actually you twice in the photo?

Tyson:              Yes, just running quickly behind the front to the other side.

Ben:                 You run very quickly barefoot on the beaches in Mexico and I’m sure over the holidays that’s something that you’ll wish you were doing, but let’s get into talking about the SEO nature of the holidays and talk about how you can repurpose Evergreen Assets.

Tyson:              Perfect.

Ben:                 Talk to me about how you take your existing assets that have been around and how do you make them relevant for the holidays?

Tyson:              I think as far as the Evergreen Assets like similar to some other topics, I’m immediately going to switch these, put these into buckets is I’m going to be doing my inventory and then I’m going to be looking at things and I’m going to categorize them as far as like, “Hey, these are leftover assets from last year”. Maybe it’s just a number change from a year, maybe it’s like a little bit of minor refresh or something like that if you can get away with it. Then other ones would be more like general company stuff like I’ve seen in websites where they’ll take a lot of their existing brandings. It’s a logo and it’s … They have some lights around it and may be a little Christmas tree or whatever holiday you have coming up. I’ve seen companies do that where they take very stagnant, consistent assets and then make minor creative changes to it to give the page a new feel.

Tyson:              One thing that I’m from the SEO perspective that I always like to recommend that, I have no problems making those changes from a creative standpoint as far as like, “Hey, I need this banner, have a little more holiday impact to it”. It’s good in the sense that you can save a lot of time, maybe money recreating something from scratch that you can repurpose to something else but to not forget about making also content refreshes. Besides the opportunity of just having them more improved or more optimized content, you also going to have the opportunity to send that signal that is fresh content as longer content. Then the search engines are also noting that “Hey, this person is actually working on this page, this page is changing”. When you look at it again and it’s going to become more relevant.

Ben:                 I understand the creative refresh process and making sure that you’re prioritizing what assets you’re changing for the holidays. Tell me about some of the different types of pages that people are changing that are evergreen for the holidays.

Tyson:              Yeah. This is going to vary a little bit depending on what website structure someone has. If we’re talking in the Ecommerce space, a lot of people are going to have their sale pages or clearance pages or liquidation pages. Sometimes you’ll want to repurpose and use those also captured, capitalize on holiday traffic. This, I think there is opportunity there, but you have to be … You have to be realistic with yourself and if you’re wanting to rank for Black Friday Sales and it’s a page that has zero signals are zero signs that that’s the intent of the page. Then you might want to rethink that because your likelihood of success may not be as high. If it’s like, “Yeah, I have a high enough thing, I can actually rebrand all this minutes”. Also what’s your opportunity costs? Are you going to sacrifice some of those rankings that will have that were still viable terms and you don’t want to lose. Then all of a sudden you switched everything to Black Fridays and then you fell out in some of the other keywords that you are already ranking.

Tyson:              I think that you have to look at not only one opportunity or citations do we have on the page and what areas of the page can we change. Then also don’t forget to look at that opportunity cost because also depending on the extent of the change is going to give you more clarity as far as what the actual chances of success are. If it’s changing every single element on a page to get to rank for those terms while you might be better off to just create a new one and then that way you’re not having to erase everything that was already there.

Ben:                 Yeah. I think the moral of the story is you can’t just slap the word holiday on a deals page and expect it to start performing for holiday deals and you might end up hurting your overall site value because you’re changing what was a successful page. The other thing that I heard you say was, it might just be better for you to create a new holiday deals page and do some internal linking from deals to holiday deals if you don’t already have that page created.

Tyson:              Absolutely. Yeah. I mean there’s going to be a trade-off and that’s fine. It’s going to be a case by case example and I know a lot of people in relation to search in particular get kind of frustrated by those types of a situational type of thing. I think honestly it’s like, if you want a real and a true answer, that’s what you have to look at. We can highlight things, different tradeoffs and different triggers. I could shift you one way or another, but it’s not going to be that black and white have always create a new page. It’s, well if you had something that you can repurpose it, you can get the internal links. Okay, great. That’s a viable solution. Then I guess to reiterate too on a point earlier, it also depends on what the actual holiday or inventive and what’s the intent of that. If it’s something that like, let’s say a good example, it could be kind of a really strong Ecommerce say that a lot of people might look past is right after Christmas and right after New Year’s. Those are days that people might be typically still-

Ben:                 Returned-

Tyson:              Yeah, return. I mean doing the actual returns but then also with Ecommerce in particular. You have a ton of people that are just shopping for stuff that either they didn’t get or they’re using the gift cards they got that they now want to use. It’s like those are excellent days that people are still searching sale discount clearance type items because they know there’s going to be this and they’ve been conditioned that there’s going to be this like a leftover merchandise from the holiday. It’s not necessarily something that you have to change the entire intent where it was a sales page and I’m trying to change it into a Black Friday page or is that your sales page and your discount page already has that intent. Making the little tweak to be like in the season sale or something like that can have a nice, “Hey, back” but is not a completely different intense.

Tyson:              You’re not telling search engines “Uh, yesterday this page was about this thing. Now it’s about this and tomorrow’s going to be about something else”. You can get away with that sometimes, but that’s a lot harder sell and there’s more risk to that because then you have to be very … You have to make sure that bond, that search engine, whatever, is understanding how that’s changing and it’s not changing at a faster rate than crawling or indexing or calibrating. If it’s a more of a shift and intense, you get a little bit more wiggle room and flexibility. If it’s a really substantial one, that’s where you want to make sure you have a unique experience for it and then you’re driving the right signals to those pages.

Ben:                 Yeah, I think at the end of the day, this is one of those scenarios where like we talked in the beginning of Holiday Triage Week, you need to start planning for the holidays, months in advance. Trying to shoe horn changes to your existing site sometimes can do more damage than they can create value and really the right way to do this is start early and plan in advance and get those pages built. Build your holiday pages so they’re working throughout the year, right. Build a holiday section for your site that covers Valentine’s Day and back to school. I don’t know if back to school as a holiday, but all of the holidays that go throughout the year and then have those established. When it comes to the end of the year holidays, those pages are well understood. That’s really the right way to handle this. You do have the option to repurpose some of the existing assets you have, but there is risk to doing that.

Tyson:              Absolutely. I mean it’s … He can’t go back in time and be like, “Oh yeah, we should have started at this date”. You’re thinking more for the upcoming year. Yeah, sure. You’re not going to have everything done by then, but one thing that I would kind of like start calling the calendar. I think it’s healthy to at least start thinking about or having those conversations that kind of a low time in the US fourth of July compared to other holidays is usually pretty low conversion rate period for most markets. That’s usually a good time to start those conversations of what we need on the roadmap for the second half. What do we need on our product plan page too.

Ben:                 Yeah. Maybe one of the ways to look at it is your doing your holiday triage this year and part of what you’re doing is creating your checklists for the beginning of next year to consider the holidays so you don’t get stuck in a point where you’re just doing triage. You’re really planning for the holidays and you’re looking saying “We need to deal page and we have one, but it’s not a holiday deal page”. Just put that on your checklist for now and you can make some modifications to your existing content, but you got to know that there’s some risk that could be long lasting.

Tyson:              Yeah.

Ben:                 Okay, and that wraps up this episode of the Voices of Search Podcast. Thanks for listening to my conversation with Tyson Stockton, who’s Searchmetrics Director of Enterprise Services. We’d love to continue this conversation with you, so if you’re interested in contacting Tyson, click on the link in our show notes to his bio or contact him on twitter where his handle is Tyson_Stockton. If you have general marketing questions or if you want to talk about this Podcast, you can find the link to my bio on our show notes, or you can tweet me at Benjshafp B.E.N.J.S.H.A.F.P. Don’t forget Searchmetrics is hosting the Zero or Bust? Do’s and Don’ts in Pursuit of Position Zero Webinar on November eighth at 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, so click on the link in our show notes or head over to the news and events section of the Searchmetrics website to reserve your seat.

Ben:                 If you like this Podcast and you want a regular stream of SEO and content marketing insights in your podcast feed, hit the subscribe button in your podcast app and we’ll be back in your feet tomorrow to discuss how you can use your top historical performing pages to cross promote your holiday pages.

Ben:                 Lastly, if you’ve enjoyed this podcast and you’re feeling generous, it’s the holidays, we’d love for you to leave us a review in the apple iTunes store. Okay, that’s it for today, but until next time, remember, the answers are always in the data.

Jordan Koene

Jordan Koene

Jordan Koene is the CEO of Searchmetrics Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Searchmetrics. Previously, Jordan was the Head of SEO and Content Development at eBay. During his time at eBay, Jordan focused on utilizing eBay content to improve user experience and natural search traffic.

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