Following on from January’s HoA series instalment and with the ten day countdown now upon us, Google’s Laura Linehan and Joseph McEntee cover Valentine’s Day: seasonal strategies to make the most out of search trends.

An overview of the trends from Valentine’s Day over the last few years

It came as a surprise to hear that people were searching for Valentine’s gifts up to six weeks in advance of V day and by my calendar that was around about the NYE mark. So a great reason to maintain Christmas momentum and roll on into the new year and a new campaign. Although if you’re really put off by that idea, there’s still time to start influencing sales now in the run up, just after you’ve read this blog post perhaps?

As far as audience insights are concerned, the top gifts for this Valentine’s also don’t come as much of a surprise; cards, flowers, chocolates, romantic meals, fragrances etc etc you get the general idea. With women spending the most items researching for the perfect gift but men who spend the most money with 42% of them planning to spend more than £20 on gifts and 29% of women like for like. Lineham pulled out some interesting data one this:

“‘for every advertiser, regardless of who they are, for people who are looking for Valentine’s searches almost half of their male audience essentially are going to be looking for their search terms”

How to identify trends and audiences that are relevant to your business

Search Marketing - Valentine’s Day - Browser Media

As always Google holds some decent tools in its kit, in this case Google trends, to identify whether or not your product is likely to see a spike at this time of year and this is for seasonal or specific terms.

Search Marketing - Valentine’s Day Gifts - Browser Media

McEntee goes on to take a look at some rising trends where most of the generic search terms are the most popular in terms of query value. So how would we turn this kind of information into your KPI’s (driving sales, driving traffic etc)? Well, quite simply, as the search terms are so generic, you can quite literally answer them. Without stating too much of the obvious ‘things to do for valentine’s day’ would warrant some great blog content related to your product or service.

Search Marketing - Valentine’s Day Analytics - Browser Media

Google Analytics is a helpful way to use the past to help identify trends you might expect to see in the future. Breaking down as far as acquisition and channels can help us to see the top referring terms for not only paid search but organic search too.

Recommendations for adapting your strategy to seasonal changes in search queries

Top tip: try to avoid flooding your blog, Twitter feed (or whatever channel you use) with Valentine’s Day related content. Keep your content as targeted as possible for maximum engagement – between the hours of six o’clock and 10 o’clock in the evening is where we see the most searches.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, so Laura recommended making a note in your diary for the preceding Friday to make sure you schedule your social media activity and have plenty of budget to spend on those terms over the weekend.

With the above in mind, I would strongly recommend identifying your trends and audiences as soon as possible and adapt your strategy for the next ten days. A last minute campaign probably won’t give you the return in numbers you’d ideally like to see so acting upon the data you have to hand now means you’ll have a successful Valentine’s Day!