By Catherine Lovering, Contributor
Search volume is a largely organic phenomenon. As interest builds and peaks around certain topics, relevant keywords surge and trend. Annual holidays like Halloween have some predictable search patterns relevant to content marketers, from fashion brands selling costumes to makers of sugary treats.
Marketers should use the power of long tail searches to target their customers’ unique interests during the Halloween season. Celebrations appeal to several key demographics, such as parents with children of trick-and-treating age and adults planning to attend costume parties.
But long tail searches are just one way to maximize your content’s SEO value. To get a leg up on the competition, research how this particular Halloween might attract different searches than in years past and focus your text accordingly. Don’t forget to use the power of the hashtag, as social media is a dominant force in content marketing.
Long tail searches are unique search terms that, taken together, make up 70 percent of internet traffic. These phrases offer browsers more relevant results than general terms. Around Halloween, you may assume that the word “candy” is frequently searched on Google. It is, but “candy” is also widely searched throughout the year. The phrase “Halloween candy,” by contrast, spikes in the days leading up to October 31.
As a general rule, longer search terms attract better internet traffic. People searching for “classic movie Halloween costumes” have something more specific in mind than “costumes,” so it’s more likely they buy exactly what they are looking for once they locate it online. Target your preferred customer with precise, detailed search terms that will make it easy for them to find you.
Back in 2009, Halloween fell on a Saturday night. In subsequent years, Halloween-related searches were on the decline, leading to the conclusion in 2012 that interest in Halloween is particularly high when the holiday falls on a weekend. Search terms closely related to Halloween party activities, such as cakes, outfits, makeup and party ideas, all do particularly well, especially if people already have the day off. If you are launching a Halloween-themed initiative, prepare for particularly high volume if October 31 is on a Friday or Saturday night.
Google reported in 2014 that makeup-related searches on YouTube were up 36 percent from the previous year. As Halloween approaches, revelers are looking for ideas and tutorials on makeup and costumes. If you post video content, grab this traffic with keyword-rich descriptions. Placing each video on a page with at least a few paragraphs of well-written, relevant text can increase its visibility on search engines.
Search habits change on social media around Halloween, as creatives look for beautiful party food, outfit ideas and faces painted to look like famous characters. In addition to your keyword research, look for trending Halloween hashtags on Instagram and other platforms. “Halloween” may be a popular word, but so are “scary” and “creepy” or “costumes.” Remember to include a link to your e-commerce site in the captions of your posts, so your new customers have somewhere to go when they find your content and decide they like what they see.
Halloween is an opportunity to build your brand. Attract attention with eye-catching social media posts, tagged for visibility. Optimize your content by incorporating keyword phrases that let those ready to buy your product find you. Enjoy what makes this holiday unique from the rest: its creativity and near-universal appeal, completely adaptable to the best of your company.