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What IPL can Teach you About Trend Based SEO

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Using SEO to Boost Your Campaigns – Lessons from IPL in Timely Marketing

SEO is always an ongoing process. It takes patience and typically at least 3 to 4 months before results are seen.

One proven white-hat technique for quicker results, is to use regional trends (or global trends), to your advantage. The idea is to build content around a keyword that is already popular within your target audience to create more awareness and visibility for your brand.

When demonetization was announced in India, Paytm and other payment apps took full advantage and rode the wave with witty real-time marketing. Similarly, today, with the IPL trend going strong, we see food delivery apps like Swiggy making the best of it.

For sports sites, IPL is naturally a great opportunity. For instance, Sportycious.com simply predicts the winners of each match based on the teams’ previous performance. There’s no doubt they receive great traffic from eager fans of the clashing teams everyday. 

So what are the advantages of piggybacking on trends and basing your campaigns on current events?

Less effort to create a buzz: Since majority of your audience are actively talking about the trend, you don’t have to waste your time creating a buzz. All you have to do is simply direct their attention to your brand by having your own unique take on the trend.

Quicker results: A popular keyword means more hits, more visitors, and ultimately a quick visibility boost on Google. The same visibility that will take you weeks of link building and optimization can happen a lot faster when you take a keyword with great search volume and add your own context.

So how do you pick the right trend to target?

Spotting the right trend that benefits your brand to the maximum and helps your SEO along the way is important for a successful campaign. Here are a few characteristics that may signify a trend you cannot pass up:

1.) High search volume

trend based SEO

Organic Search Volume Comparison

If something is super-popular among your target audience, you can be sure that it is reflected in their online behavior and Google has picked up on it. The IPL is no exception. With 1.8M searches for the keyword “IPL”, it is by far the most popular frenzy to hit India (bigger even than Holi and Diwali).

Even if you choose another trend that isn’t this huge, it should have a decent search volume with audience interest peaking at the moment.

2.) Less CPC – if you are lucky

trend based SEO

Ads History IPL

Rising interest denotes an increase in the Cost Per Click as well. Surprisingly, for IPL, we see that it is not so. From a CPC of $0.14 last year, we witnessed a drop in CPC to $0.04. This, despite the fact that keyword volume has risen to 1.8 M in April 2018 (vs. 823K in April 2017).

You can still opt for a keyword with high CPC, but remember to do your keyword research thoroughly to ensure you are not missing out on easier opportunities. You can use tools like SEMrush Keyword Magic to help you there.

Less keyword difficulty – if the SEO gods are favoring you

Sometimes, the trick is to find keywords that are high in volume, but with relatively lesser competition – meaning that not all brands are focusing on it. The usual benchmark for keyword difficulty, while choosing a keyword for routine campaigns is less than 60%. A difficulty level of more than 80% signifies a long, uphill task.

trend based SEO

Today IPL Match-Keyword Volume

However, with the keyword “IPL”, we are looking at a high volume, low CPC keyword. In such a scenario, to be honest,  a 64.05% difficulty level with high traffic (550K) translates to jackpot.

This means that your campaigns have to be extremely creative and grab attention, while using long-tail keywords with high keyword volume.

Considering the above factors, “IPL” is a trend that you can definitely take advantage of. Before you go full steam ahead and execute these insights for your IPL based campaigns, there is of course the SEO nitty gritty to consider:

SEO considerations for trend-based campaigns

  • Social Media

trend based SEO

IPL Organic Search Results

Social media traffic and engagement definitely impacts your SEO (albeit, indirectly) and thus the results you see on the search engine page. Here is an example:

This Google SERP from last year shows Twitter results first for the keyword rather than the official T20 website. Clearly, more engagement happened on social media (read, Twitter) around IPL and Google considered that more important than the official site. Similarly, Facebook (no.7), ranks above Cricbuzz.com, although cricbuzz is an authority site on the topic of cricket.

Lesson: do not ignore social media while you’re off creating your IPL campaigns. Generate enough engagement and interest on social channels, use the right hashtags, so that your campaigns get the essential additional SEO boost.

  • Direct Traffic

trend based SEO

Organic Search Results IPL

So, the SERP results you saw in the last section were from last year. This year, the results changed. IPLt20.com bagged the first place.

With aggressive branding and serious campaigning, IPLt20 site increased the direct traffic to their website, which correlates with increased brand authority and better rankings.

Structure your campaigns in a similar manner – and drive more traffic to your website (or the page you want to rank). If the content is interesting, your audience will stick around to read (and maybe even convert). Nonetheless, it is a clear sign to Google that your site is interesting and it will raise its SERP ranking.

  • Topical Relevance

Relevant content has always been the star of any white hat SEO campaign. It is no different with trend-based SEO. That means you can’t just stuff totally irrelevant trending keywords in your content and expect it to rank.

  • Consistency with your Brand Messaging

No matter how global or popular a trend, sometimes it will just not make sense for your business. For instance, IPL has been great for food delivery, e-commerce and a lot of B2C businesses. But if you can’t, you may risk coming off as tacky.

Over to You

What methods are you using to capitalize on the ongoing IPL wave? Let us know in the comments!

If you are looking for more SEO tips to nail your marketing campaign, check out this complete SEO tutorial.

Rohan Ayyar is Regional Marketing Manager at SEMrush, overseeing their branding strategy for India. He is an experienced digital marketer who has worked both agency and in-house, developing data-driven strategies for SEO, PPC, social media and content marketing. Rohan is also an avid business and tech blogger – his insights are frequently published on publications like Entrepreneur Mag, Fast Company, Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today.

  • seo


  • There is 1 comment


    • 3 months ago

      Jeff Thomson   /   Reply

      Hey Rohan, ,what is name of the tool you have used for Keyword Research on the 1st Point?

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