There are two main types of features and content on the web, at least when it comes to relevance: seasonal and evergreen. Evergreen content, as the name suggests, is content that’s available and relevant no matter what time of year it is or what’s going on. Seasonal content, on the other hand, is only relevant for a limited time—usually, it’s a part of a cycle that comes back around, so it may only be available during certain months of the year.
On the surface, it appears that evergreen content is a strictly more effective strategy than seasonal content; if it takes you three hours to build a page of your site, one page is active and effective for 12 months out of the year, while the other page is active for 3 months out of the year, the 12-month evergreen page would bring you a higher overall ROI. However, there are some advantages to seasonal features that make it worth considering for your brand.
Types of Seasonal Content
To give you a better idea of what you can get from seasonal content, here are some main examples:
Holiday-based content and exploits. First, there’s content based on or around holidays. As a simple example, most online storefronts, like Overstock, have specific sections of their site dedicated to Christmas and holiday shopping in November and December. You could also develop or promote content for lesser-known holidays; for example, a plant-a-tree campaign like that of Kitchen Cabinet Kings, could be published or boosted for Earth Day.
Literally seasonal content. Of course, there’s also seasonal content that’s quite literally relevant only during one season. For example, redplum has several articles on driving in winter, including how to get your car unstuck from snow. These articles aren’t relevant in July.
Pages for the busy season. You could also develop a portion of your website for a particularly busy season for your industry, such as events in summer, or developments surrounding an exposition. This is totally variable and depends on your type of business.
Rotating designs or layouts. You might also intentionally redesign or change the layout of your entire site based on what time of the year it is. This is especially popular for online storefronts that showcase different products based on the time of year.
How could these types of content and features help your site?
Subjective relevance. Seasonal content may not be relevant for the entire year, but when it is relevant, it will be highly relevant. For example, evergreen content may be relevant to 500 readers for the full duration of the year, but seasonal content may be relevant to 3,000 people during 3 months of the year, making it even better for your audience. Of course, this will vary highly based on your specific audience’s needs and how you use seasonal
Competition benefits. Chances are, your competitors won’t be focusing on seasonal content as much as evergreen content. This gives you a key competitive advantage; if you’re the only business in your industry offering strong seasonal content, you’ll get a temporary boost in visibility when that season comes around. Of course, this also varies on your individual position; it may not be worth the extra competitive benefits if your audience isn’t that interested in seasonal content to begin with.
Effort and timing. Generally, seasonal content requires more effort; rather than posting it and letting it exist indefinitely, you’ll need to work to get it in and out of rotation, especially with your homepage and content syndication efforts. Be aware of the extra requirements here, and make sure you factor them in when calculating whether or not a seasonal strategy would be worth it.
The Bottom Line
Seasonal content isn’t useful for every business, so don’t rule it out, but don’t immediately develop it either. Consider your audience, your competition, and your willingness to spend the extra effort developing it, then put your efforts to the test. It’s worth experimenting with, even if you don’t use it as a recurring strategy, so do some research and if it makes sense, give it a try.