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Treat or Treat? How to Win Search This Halloween

October 23, 2017
Jorge Castrejon
Written By
Jorge Castrejon

According to NRF’s annual Halloween survey, more than 179 million Americans are planning to take part in Halloween festivities – up from 171 million last year. Spending is expected to reach a record high of $9.1 billion, with online search the number one starting point for consumers looking for Halloween ideas and inspiration.

Among Halloween online shoppers, a Bizrate Insights survey reveals that more than half (58.6%) are looking to start their Halloween searches on Amazon – which is also where the majority of online shoppers are most likely to buy Halloween products (71.2%), followed by (42.9%).

Candy: The Sweetest Category this Halloween Season

Halloween is traditionally a key holiday sales event for confectionery brands, second only to Easter according to Nielsen. Being top of mind (i.e. where your products rank on retailers’ search pages such as Amazon) is essential for confectionery brands as shoppers look for Halloween-related products.

Page placement needs to be your primary search performance metric to look at – particularly for Halloween-specific keywords – as it’s a critical driver of traffic, conversion, and ultimately sales. We know that products that move from page two to page one in search results can double their eCommerce sales.

Halloween-related keywords are used by online shoppers to ‘spearfish’ products, with ‘Halloween Candy’ and ‘Halloween Chocolate’ examples of keywords which brands are optimizing to in order to appear on page one of search results on Amazon.

During the first half of October, our analysis shows that confectionery brands Mars and Hershey dominate page one results on both seasonal keywords ahead of Halloween:

Source: Profitero, October 1-October 18 2017

Optimize Product Content with Seasonal Keywords

It’s equally important to remember that brands which optimize their product titles and descriptions are more likely to appear organically on page one for seasonal keywords.

In the run-up to Halloween 2016, 81% of the new arrivals in the Candy and Chocolate category on were bags of assorted candies, dominated by confectionery brand Hershey’s which used the keyword “Halloween” in its product titles.

This year, Profitero analysis reveals that 71% of products appearing on page one for the keyword ‘Halloween Candy’ include the word ‘Halloween’ in their product title – not necessarily because it is a Halloween exclusive product, but because the product title has been optimized for the season.

Key Takeaways

To ensure your Halloween online sales are scarily good this year, here are our top tips that can help improve your product search ranking:

  • Categorize your products as correctly and specifically as possible in retailers’ internal systems;
  • Input the right terms into retailer keyword fields, where available;
  • Optimize product titles first: make sure they contain the basic elements like product type, brand and pack size;
  • Strategically include keywords like ‘Halloween’ in product descriptions, bullets & features, and enhanced manufacturer content sections.

For more guidance on how to improve your search performance, download our eBook: Maximizing Discoverability through On-Site Search and Category Placement

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