October has begun, marking the first full month of autumn and a new season of searches. Marketers planning their SEO campaigns for the upcoming weeks may benefit from examining September's hottest trends and finding patterns that may help them optimize their content for October queries.
Last month started off with a frenzy of searches for Labor Day fun. The September 10 edition of Google Beat shows spikes in searches for recipes and barbecues during the holiday weekend. Another popular search topic was football. In the first week of the month, NFL fans searched for information about their favorite teams, with the sport accounting for 17 out of the top 20 spots during the weekend of September 4.
Football was a constant hot topic last month, with different teams taking the lead in searches. For instance, Minnesota Vikings queries jumped 200 percent during the week of September 17 over the previous week.
MTV Video Music Award-related searches were another big trend during the third week of September when the much anticipated event aired. The search phrase VMA 2010 saw 2,600 percent increases over the previous week in the days leading into the show, according the September 17 Google Beat. Then, during the week of September 24, Google Beat reports Yom Kippur reached the top of the search list.
These trends should remind marketers that annual holiday, sports and entertainment events occurring throughout the month are prime topics to generate traffic to web pages. For October, businesses should be on the lookout for Halloween-related search activity. Notably, Halloween was toward the top of the search list in mid-September, so businesses may want to run holiday promotions or write about Halloween to boost SEO in the days leading up to October 31.
Another topic that may be big throughout the month of October is breast cancer. National breast cancer awareness month is upon us, and, at press time, the query "breast cancer awareness month" was No. 1 on the Google Hot Search list.
In addition to annual events, marketers must always be on the lookout for breaking news related to their industries this month to help inform SEO strategies. In September, Google Beat reports that the launch of Google Instant – which Brafton reported may change search marketing – caught online consumers' attention, rising to the top of searches in the days surrounding its release. Similarly, searches related to Sony's new video game peripheral, PlayStation Move, spiked 160 percent when it hit stores. For businesses in the marketing, technology, entertainment and myriad other industries, creating content around these news events likely caught major clicks.
In addition to catching clicks, offering consumers insight on the latest industry news will help establish a brand as a thought leader and drive repeat traffic to sites. The Annenberg Digital Future study, which Brafton reported on in July, indicates that consumers are more trusting of sites they visit regularly, and this may help convert web visitors into customers.