Today is Patriot Day in the United States--the day America thinks back to, and in some ways relives, the infamous events on September 11, 2001. Twelve years have passed.
Being only 15 miles from Ground Zero and living through the unfolding events of that day and months after was... well... I now assume it was akin to how many Americans felt after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I'm not a historian by any account, but I have to imagine that the attack on Pearl Harbor lived on in the memories of millions of Americans for many years. All of us born after 1941 can't feel the emotion related to Pearl Harbor, but we still feel strongly about September 11th.
Hundreds, maybe even thousands of website have been dedicated to the events of 9-11 including news sites, family survival sites, political discussions, and sites that just helped people cope with the situation. I actually created my own website back then to document what it was like shortly afterwards. My website is still active at AmericaStandsTall.org. (Please don't judge that website design... It was 2001.)
I usually don't like to pull incredibly heated topics into my Daily Golden Nuggets, but there is a simple lesson about SEO and website visibility that's hidden deep inside today's date... "September 11"
According to Google's search trends every year on the few days before and after today's date there is a huge surge in web searches for the phrase "September 11." Take a look for yourself, go here:
and search for "September 11" to see the spikes that Google tracked since 2004.
Similar search patterns can be seen for all types of seasonal events. While you're exploring Google's trends, take a look at the spikes for "graduation gifts," "mother's day," "father's day," and "yule."
Every year as these specific searches appear Google returns well written and well ranked websites as well as the latest websites or pages that were created. I have very little visitor traffic to my AmericaStandsTall website, but it does spike up a little in September.
The lesson that's hidden is that you can plan website content many months in advance if your intent is to target a specific day, date, or event.
Halloween, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, and Christmas are all days that follow the same spiking trend pattern as September 11. Blog posts are a good way to capture year after year visitor traffic for one of these days, but you can also create specific purpose website landing pages that exist on your website all year long but you only promote during the few days before the event.
For example, you could build a page that promotes everything you do on Black Friday. Do you open early? Will you server breakfast? Give away gifts? Whatever your Black Friday promotion will be you should write it all out, get your photos or other artwork organized, and create a dedicated page for it soon. Don't include the page in your normal website navigation yet, but you do need to include it on your Sitemap page and on your sitemap.xml file for Google Webmaster Tools.
Google will find and index it because of your sitemap page. If you do this soon then you should test the effectiveness of your page by searching for "black friday jewelry" or something similar. Does your landing page appear in the results? If you don't appear in the results you should consult an SEO expert for help. Keep working on this until you do see yourself appear.
Sometime in November you should add a link to this Black Friday page to your normal navigation. I assume you're going to announce your Black Friday promotion through some traditional media, so make sure you add the link to your website before that promotion drops. The link will neatly tie your offline promotion to your online one.
For an extra added boost you could create an AdWords campaign that targets your Black Friday phrases. Those ads would direct people to that dedicated landing page.
Black Friday this year is on November 29th so come December 3rd you should remove that link from your website but leave the page. You'll reuse it again in 2014 during the next Black Friday search spike.