Seasonal and holiday pages are those pages you need every year, but you don't want them on your site with outdated information. So, you put them up in time for the event and pull them down shortly after. But is that the best way to handle those pages? Not really!

Why? How Does It Work?

As everyone knows, search engines love content. They especially love when content doesn't move around on your site. If you use the page content but move it to a different navigation item on your menu, you've essentially removed the old page and created a new one (for example, /things-to-do/summer/ to /events/summer/). It's the same if you decide to change the URL even if you haven't changed the menu structure, such as from /events/summer/ to /events/summer-events/. Think carefully about where you want to place your page and what you want the URL to look like. This will help avoid needing to the move the page around so a search engine doesn't have to update its index.

Okay, but you don't want the Valentine's Day page to be available year-round because you're concerned users will see the old information. So, you delete the page and figure you'll just wait until next February to put it back up and everything is perfect. Unfortunately, you've just forced search engines to remove your page from their indexes and are now reintroducing the page. Any links or authority that page received in year 1 is gone and you have to start over.

Instead of deleting that page, leave it up year-round with a clear message it's for the previous year. You will now be giving users relevant content so they know what general things happen on that date, you have given them a place to return to and, more importantly, you allow that page to accrue authority with search engines. This pays off with increased organic traffic (also called natural traffic).

Case Studies

Next are some examples of websites that left their seasonal pages live, perhaps hidden them from view on the navigation, but still active so they can be viewed. The content managers simply updated the content to match the events happening in the current year.

Website A: Fourth of July page

graph comparing web traffic

Comparing Year 2 (blue) to Year 1 (orange) of the Fourth of July page - a 1853% increase of organic entry traffic. 

graph comparing website traffic

 Comparing Year 3 to Year 2 of the Fourth of July page - a 251% increase of organic entry traffic.

graph comparing web traffic

The most dramatic change was from Year 1 to Year 2, but even the third year that the page remained available throughout the year without changing location or URL name saw huge increases. Even now that the page is well established, there was still year-over-year growth from Year 3 to Year 4. This page is one of the website's top performing pages during the entire year.

Website B: Fourth of July page

graph comparing year over year web traffic

This page is only in its second year, but has already seen tremendous growth. From Year 1 to Year 2, this page saw a 3329% increase in organic traffic entering the site on this page. Previously, the website relied on multiple blog posts to cover all events happening on July 4th.

Website C: Valentine's Day page

graph comparing YOY web traffic

This image shows Year 2 compared to Year 1, which experienced at 193% growth. You can also see that because this page was left up year-round, it captured users seeking Valentine's Day information in January, well in advance of the actual event date.

Two of these websites hide the seasonal pages from their navigation while leaving them live and accessible to users and search engines through search. This allows the website to accrue authority and links to their pages while also keeping their navigation menu from looking overcrowded.

Now You Know..

I've also recommended the strategy of leaving seasonal pages live for major annual events. This strategy is not only to allow for accruing authority with search engines, but also to allow users to plan their travel around events of interest. A traveler interested in unique food experiences may adjust their plans around your restaurant week, while another may shift their travel by a week to make sure they hit a particular festival happening during their vacation.

There are many reasons to leave time-sensitive pages live year-round, but whatever the reason you choose, you will see growth as the page grows in authority with search engines!