search engine optimisationWhether your business attracts customers online or offline, there is often a seasonal drop. Because of this marketers have to manage their advertising budget so spend is not wasted during low season.

Businesses that are new to online marketing may not be fully aware of seasonal drops. Obviously, if you have performance data from previous years, you may be able to determine if this is something your business suffers – but then again, the lull may have been down to other factors.

Perhaps you were not visible enough in search engines for a while and only sporadically attracted customers through social media. You will need to look at what SEO and social strategies you were running at the time. It is likely that some tactics worked better than others.

So now you are analysing stats and scratching your head. Rather than count traffic numbers, determine the month on month increase in traffic. If your company typically uses quarterly reports, break these down to months as this is easier to determine the amount of marginal growth for the same period each year.

Key points to remember about traffic

You then need to determine whether an increase was due to a targeted marketing campaign that attracted traffic. Did this have any effect on season, or was it purposely designed for a specific time of year when your industry is mostly in demand?

When working offline, most businesses do not need analysis reports to know when they are about to hit a high season. But do you know whether you are suffering the same fall of traffic in low season.

Traffic will not faithfully increase over reflective periods year-on-year. That is the nature of the SEO beast and there could be any number of reasons why. What you need to determine is the cause of rise and falls.

It could be that there was a technical issue with your computer servers and the downtime resulted in a drop in traffic and conversions. Maybe Google pulled your website offline until you cleared up suspicious inbound links. Finding the root which impacts your flow of traffic is vital to your decision making.

Record keeping

The overriding message here is that without detailed records of SEO strategies, results, and reasons for those results, it is impossible, or at least very difficult, to determine if your online business suffers seasonal lows other than obvious times of year like Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day.

You also need to keep details of social media campaigns such as contests, offers and landing pages targeting a specific audience. If these strategies were engaged during a period which you would typically call a low season, but received engagement it is worth doing again.

But without this past data to hand, you can’t be sure that you are experiencing seasonality online. It is therefore important that you track marketing strategies and all elements that affect performance to make sure you do not throw money into an SEO campaign you are not likely to recover simply because it is not the right time of year.