Seasonal Search

Aug 17th, 2022

When Vanda, the Agency Development Manager at Google, came to Click HQ in early August to talk to our paid media team about seasonality, we weren’t quite expecting to hear the ‘C’ word… Christmas of course!

Seasonality is best described as a predictable movement during a certain time period. With Christmas a mere 4 months away it’s time to don your Santa hat and get in the festive mood.

In order to get a clear view into this year’s Christmas season, we have looked back on trends from 2021. From November to December 2021, holiday online sales reached $1.14T globally, which was a 5% increase from the previous year.

What may be surprising is that the rise of search terms around Christmas increased from the previous year too. The graph below shows that the beginning of the 2021 seasonal incline was recorded as early as September (yellow), compared to rise in search terms for the year 2020 starting in October(red).

Salesforce 2021 Holiday Shopping Season Report, Jan 12, 2022 Source: Google Internal Data, eMarketer. Google-IPSOS COVID Pulse Tracker. 2022

2021 saw barriers within consumer behaviour, with one example being supply chain issues and the apparent inability to keep up with demand. With the cost of living crisis, we predict that we will see a similar trend to last year, due to many people needing to be more stringent with their spending habits because of inflation and rising energy bills. The timeline below shows what people were saying about shopping in 2021, 28% had started their shopping in August and we expect to see a timeline along the same lines as the one below this year.

Source: Google IPSOS – Holiday Shopping Survey 2021, n=300 Salesforce 2021 Holiday Shopping Season Repor, Jan 12, 2022 Data from Ipsos Essentials COVID-19 study. Fieldwork from Jan 6-9, 2022

An important statistic to consider is that 70% of ‘peak’ searches during the 2021 holiday season were generics.

Our resource PPC Uncovered will tell you a lot about what you need to know about different keywords. In a nutshell, generic keywords are terms that broadly describe your products or services.

It’s a good part of your search practice to include generic terms especially in peak seasons, it’s critical to keep relevant as only 12% of gifting queries in Q4 2021 were new and never seen. The graph below depicts ‘inspiration’ search stats from April ‘21 to March ‘22.

Keeping in mind that generic searches are more popular at the last quarter of the year, it might be a surprise to know that shoppers are more likely to be experimental with who they buy off – both brands and retailers.

What isn’t so surprising is that consumers chose the gifts based off of potential deals, sales and promotions. We fully expect to see this trend in Q4 2022, with more pressure on retailers due to expectations and challenges around value perception.

These expectations are highlighted below:



It’s time to start thinking about your search efforts for the Christmas period

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