Every Keyword Has A Season

    January 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Some keyword prices are seasonal, showing a sharp increase around the holidays. Zoom in on that holiday timeline and we find some seasonal keywords are more seasonal than others. Some category prices increase before Christmas, some after, and others hold strong the entire season.

Bid prices for “gift card” terms held up well over the hap, hap, happiest time of the year for marketers, according to search engine marketing analytics company SEMphonic. But their statistics indicate that the “Arts and Entertainment” category was the strongest, showing a 22 percent increase from $0.89 to $1.14 in the high volume words, the majority of the increase occurring after December 23rd.

SEMphonic attributes the increase to a spike in the price for “music download,” which rose from $1.52 to $2.51. The analytics company says this illustrates the staying power of “instant-access” products as well as how complementary products to top Christmas items have their own unique timeline.

“Every category has a unique seasonal pattern – with dramatic differences in how pricing and volume run-up to and through the holidays,” states Gary Angel, President and CTO, SEMphonic.

“The classic patterns experienced by traditional retailers don’t always translate directly into the online world and search marketers have to be constantly on watch. The cost of doing business can change dramatically for these guys in just a few days time.”

For example, between Thanksgiving and the third week of December, traditional gift categories like “Toys and Games,” “Electronics,” and “Clothing” all experienced double digit growth in keyword price. These categories jumped 31, 16, and 19 percent respectively.

The telling aspect, however, is that these same categories promptly plummeted after the third week of December. “Toys and Games” dropped by 14 percent to Thanksgiving level and “Clothing” dropped seven percent.

After the third week, perishables jumped in price. The “Kitchen, Food and Wine” category posted an 11 percent increase overall from December 12th to December 26th, concentrated in the high volume keywords of “Chocolate,” “Wine Gift,” and “Food Gift.”

SEMphonic says that not only is time a factor in perishable items, but also that gifts like chocolate are a classic fallback of the desperate procrastinator.