With the turn of the new year, it seems like a good time to address how seasonality affects the online lead generation landscape for home improvement. Much like you see in the offline world, we see differences in how the online world reacts to the changing seasons – even though we’re all accessing home improvement choices from a computer, tablet or phone.
Being January, let’s start here. It should be no surprise that January and February signal the low season when it comes to exterior renovations, particularly in the Northern states. We see lower search volume for windows, siding, gutters and anything that has to be done outside of the home. In Southern states and warmer areas, demand still dips…just not as much as it does in the north where leads and search volume can often drop by 90%. It’s an incredible drop.
Conversely, January and February are terrific for interior renovations, particularly in the bathroom space. Something in the homeowner’s head gets triggered after the holidays that says “My bathroom needs some serious help!” Search volume and leads both go through the roof across the country. Kitchens and floors see a similar increase in volume. And the online market for those leads holds strong right through the middle of March.
The thaw in exterior online leads begins at the end of March, as sporadically good weather sends people outside to check out roofs, windows and siding. By mid-April, the exterior online lead environment is ready to hit full peak. May and June are traditionally the biggest exterior lead generation months. Good weather or poor weather in the northern half of the country can also mean the season starts earlier…or starts later if there’s a late snow.
As the exterior market picks up, we do see a slight retreat in bathrooms and kitchens. But it’s only slight. Nothing like the pull back we see in exterior renovations come January.
July and August are the vacation months – still popular for many renovations, but 10-20% less robust than May and June. The 4th of July is about sparklers and vacations more than it is about awning installation. August can be a bit of a wildcard depending on weather. With tropical storms and heavy rainfalls, August can sometimes surpass September and October as a lead generation month.
Aside from May and June, September and October are the biggest months in online lead generation. All exterior renovations are in play, particularly in preparation for weather in the winter. New windows, roofing, gutters and gutter protection are all incredibly popular at this time of year, as homeowners try to head off the oncoming winter months. Interior renovations also stay hot, as homeowners prep their homes for the holidays, and try to finish up refurbishing before family and company invade.
But from the middle of November through the end of December, we see online lead generation slow to a crawl. Shopping, holiday gatherings, high school football and a dozen other seasonal phenomena conspire to slow lead gen to a drip. It’s not unusual for exterior products to drop 90% of their lead volume in December.
It’s also a good time of year to follow up on old leads you didn’t seal the deal with. You and your sales reps will have more free time, and you don’t have to pay for leads that were already generated. In fact, the slow period is a perfect time to catch up on any work that may have been pushed to the side in the busier, warmer months.
So while the holiday season is a slow time for leads, take a few moments to enjoy yourself and enjoy solving next year’s lead generation puzzle.