Christmas Search Insights for 2022

Holidays are the busiest time of year for search engines, and this Christmas is no exception. 

We know you’ve been busy getting your Christmas shopping done, but we thought we’d take a second to check in and take a look back at trending search queries this time last year. Who knows, we might see familiar terms worth pushing for this year’s holiday campaigns.

Source: Similarweb

Using the Similarweb Platform, data shows that in December 2021, the top five best performing industries were Tourist Attractions, Beverages, Gifts and Flowers, Transportation, and Health. These are based on the month-on-month change in total visits.

Vacationing during the holidays

Christmas is a time for family, friends, and fun. From the data above, the majority of clicks went towards websites that related to holiday getaways, with families and friends celebrating the season at popular spots across the country. The increase for total visits and unique visitors were at 40.17% and 27.83% respectively.

Traffic for these websites came mostly from organic search, followed by direct visits and paid search. Display ads and e-mail were the least effective at bringing visitors:

Source: Similarweb

With website traffic data, we can dive deeper and look at specific keywords. What did people type on their search bars and click through on? What was the intent behind each user session online? 

In 2021, terms relating to opera received a huge amount of traffic, with a month-over-month increase in volume of at least 560%. Some of the  keywords were:

  • Phantom of the opera (570.37% increase)
  • Opera house tour (567.48% increase)

Aside from musical stages, there was also a big interest in more adventurous attractions, such as theme parks. Below were the trending keywords with significant increases in traffic:

  • 3 park super pass (779.97% increase)
  • Themepark tickets (527.66%)

What else were people using search engines for? Gifts for all types of friends too. Along with Christmas get-togethers, we saw a spike in gifting-related searches.

The season of gifting

Put your Santa hats on and take a look at last year’s trends in gifting. In 2021, Direct visits led in traffic share, followed by organic search and paid search. The other channels trail behind, with display ads being the least effective.

Source: Similarweb

When it comes to market distribution, notable performing sites are redballoon.com.au, a gifting e-commerce platform, and pixieset.com, which offers client photography services. 

What else did we learn about gifting in December? The leading search terms when ranked according to month-over-month traffic increase are gift cards.

  • Gift card (1,061.92% increase)
  • Christmas card (870.05% increase)

Clicks to gift card websites were on the rise, but that didn’t mean people were giving up on other kinds of gifts, like Christmas baskets. Indeed, these are the perfect surprise for co-workers, or an ideal gift when visiting a friend’s home for the holidays. The terms “christmas hamper” and “send hamper” stood out with at least 1,600% increase in month-over-month traffic.

People were definitely planning for the year ahead too. Diving deeper, we noticed an increase in clicks (at least 1,000% for the keywords below) for planners as part of the gifting options, either to self or to loved ones. The keywords below had a traffic increase of at least 1,000%.

  • Midori notebook
  • Dotted journal
  • 2022 planners australia

Besides sending cards, buying gifts, and spending time together, there’s another way to celebrate the season: by sending flowers for Christmas. “Same day flowers” was a popular search term in December 2021, with a traffic volume increase of 3,211%. 

Early December 2022 Shopping

Taking us back to present time, we’re also seeing interesting terms start to trend as early as the first week of December. These searches on the top e-commerce websites— davidjones.com, theiconic.com.au, myer.com.au, and amazon.com—give us a glimpse of what people are looking for in preparation for Christmas this year.

Hobby-related gifts are sure to delight anyone on your shopping list, and many others think so too. Recreational keywords are part of the popular searches for non-branded terms, such as:

1. Kindle

2. Treadmill

3. Prime video

More specific seasonal keywords are also part of the list, with terms like “advent calendar” and “christmas tree” receiving significant traffic. 

For branded keywords, the most noticeable would be haircare products from Dyson, with these keywords trending across the four websites:

1. Dyson airwrap

2. Dyson hair dryer

In between these keywords are various terms for clothing items, such as “bomber jacket”, “crocs”, and “sunglasses.” Some users are also keen to find gifting ideas for men, with clicks going to search results on the phrase “gifts for men.”

Takeaways

What can we derive from the data? Although these numbers were from Christmas in 2021, we can predict this year’s trends based on what drove consumer behaviour then. 

These assumptions will help us create effective and timely content, paid advertising efforts, and other digital initiatives:

  1. Travel is the top-of-mind activity for consumers during holidays, both international and local, whether it’s to fly out for a week or spend a day at the nearest attraction.
  2. Organic search holds the most traffic share, which may mean that users are open to discovering new products, gift ideas, and holiday locations. Use this time to strengthen SEO and inbound content.
  3. E-mail is the least effective for bringing in traffic. Brands have the opportunity to explore other platforms to reach out to repeat customers.
  4. Gifting isn’t complete without gift cards and hampers. E-commerce brands can use this time to launch e-gift cards and market as holiday gifts.
  5. Buyers are planning for the year ahead by getting their hands on planners and journals.

The holidays are a time for celebration and reflection, but they’re also a time to make sure that your brand is on the right track. As you plan your next campaign, take a look at these trends from last year and see if they can help your company get where it needs to go.

Need a hand? Work with a digital performance partner to find out your biggest opportunities and plan for your 2023 marketing campaigns. Book a consultation call with us!

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