How to research Black Friday and Christmas keywords for SEO and PPC

Christmas and Black Friday are key times for many retailers and feed into their buying cycle – it’s obviously important to have seasonal digital marketing strategies in line in advance. This article will focus on how to conduct seasonal SEO and PPC keyword research for Black Friday and Christmas campaigns.

Keyword research tools

Below is a list of tools that can be used for Christmas and other seasonal keyword research. Use whichever you have access to or are comfortable using.

What type of keywords should you use for Black Friday or Christmas SEO and PPC campaigns?

By using Google trends (as well as Google Keyword Planner and your own PPC reports) you can input various broad keywords into the search function, change the data range to show several years’ worth of data, and change the country as relevant. You want to find words that peak in November (Black Friday) or December.

Some keywords that peak in November around Black Friday in the UK include:

  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Deals
  • Discount
  • Offers
  • Games Consoles
  • Smartphones
  • TVs

Some terms that peak in December in the UK include:

  • Gifts
  • Christmas
  • Presents
  • Santa
  • Xmas
  • Toys
  • Stockings
  • Sales
  • Turkey
  • iTunes (people get new iPhones for Christmas a lot)
  • Opening Hours
  • Festive
  • Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you”

If any of these are relevant to your business, you can expand these further by asking

  • Clicking Related Queries on Google Trends
  • Putting these terms into Google Suggest
  • Putting these terms into Answer the Public

PROTIP: Answer the Public have an ‘Export to CSV’ option that allows you to put your data into Excel with your other keywords.

Finding Black Friday and Christmas keywords for your niche

Once you have a list of generic keywords that are seasonal, you can combine them with your niche to generate seasonal keywords relevant to your industry.

If you already have PPC Data or SEO data from a tool like SEMRush or past reports, look for keywords that are high search volume in December as well has high variance for the rest of the year. You can use these as a basis for your seasonal keyword set. You can replicate this with your competitors using exports from SEO competitor research tools.

If you’ve never ranked for or bid on seasonal keywords, we’d suggest using Excel or Mergewords to create a quick concatenate that puts together your regular keywords with Christmas or Black Friday keywords.

Throw them into Google Keyword planner to get their search volumes and get rid of any with zero search volume.

Christmas or Xmas?

When targeting keywords, should you use ‘Christmas’ or ‘Xmas’? Christmas is “proper” and has more interest.

By doing a search for ‘cheap xmas gifts’ you can see that Google understands ‘cheap Christmas gifts’ as being the intent here.

If you have a branding reason to use ‘xmas’ or if you’re struggling with a character limit, use ‘xmas’, but otherwise use ‘Christmas’.

Seasonal keyword research takeaways

Writing your search campaign keyword list for Christmas or Black Friday can be undertaken at any time of year. Our top takeaways are:

  • Use whatever data you already have
  • Look at trends to understand what is seasonal and how you can utilise it
  • Concatenate your regular keywords with Christmas or Black Friday terms to create quick keyword lists

If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch to help us create a seasonal (or year-wide) search strategy for you.

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