How to Capture Holiday Search Traffic for Your Business

We all know people’s searches change with the season – and when they want to buy now, those searches are local.  In the summer they are looking for for beach chairs and swimwear; then around the holidays they are looking for gifts and decorations. Even though their interests and behaviors adapt to the weather, search remains the tool of choice.

Usually, customers making local searches often don’t have a specific store in mind and are instead looking for categories of businesses in the results.  37% of apparel buyers search for categories rather than specific terms, brands, or retailers.

Consumers make the bulk of their annual purchases around the holidays, so we we used ComScore to see what exactly customers are searching for:

  • “Holiday” and “Holidays” queries peak in December, with almost 580,000 searches, dropping to just 92,000 in January.
  • “Holiday Gifts” only receives a surge in search traffic starting in October and drops off in January annually. “Gifts” queries double from November to December.
  • “Deal” spikes in December as consumers look for gifts for family and friends. Search volume remains high into January after the holidays when customers are purchasing gifts for themselves.
  • “Gift Card” or “Gift Cards” are searched 3x as much in December as in September. The combined search volume is significantly higher than “Gifts” and “Holiday Gifts”.
  • “Holiday Decorations” is only searched from September to January.
  • The average person searches for “Shipping” 3.22 times in January, compared to 1.34 times in December. Is your business prepared for gift returns?

The best way for your customers to find your business in local search is to use categories with your listings to capture the search traffic. Only 43% of business owners associate their listings with a range of related categories, so it’s a competitive advantage for your business.

Based on the search volume from ComScore, more specific terms are more effective. So be sure to choose targeted categories or groups for your listings. For example, try “Hanukkah Decorations” instead of “Decorations”. To capture the larger audience, instead select more than one specific category.

As search terms change throughout the year, so should your listing categories. So update your listing categories for the holidays to capture the most local search traffic and generate sales before the season ends.


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