As we hit the beginning of September, eager Halloween fans are already hunting for their 2011 costume. Twenty-three percent of all annual Halloween searches will happen this month. Microsoft adCenter offers tips on how to adjust your PPC strategy.
Integrating Halloween Terms
Microsoft's Peter Haubold suggests adding key generic terms to your site's PPC campaign, assuming you sell costumes. Those terms include "Halloween costume," "costumes," "Halloween costume ideas," and "kids costumes."
While not every idea will apply to each site, it's also a good idea to optimize your landing pages and core content around similar terms. Most notably, using a full phrase (such as "power rangers kids costumes" rather than just "power rangers") is preferable.
Know What's Popular
In addition to compiling a list of good keywords for this year, the Microsoft adCenter team has found the following costumes to be on the rise from early on this year:
- Harry Potter costumes.
- Captain America costumes.
- "Star Wars" costumes (likely a favorite among SEOs this year).
- Pirate costumes.
- "Sexy" costumes.
Last year's top costumes no longer seem to be in vogue, although it's too early to say for certain what this year's hottest picks will be.
Be Careful with Ad Copy
It's important that you use the proper wording when advertising, especially when it comes to name brands. Using appropriate capitalization – including use of the automatic capitalization "param2" device in the dynamic keyword insertion tool provided by Microsoft – is helpful. For those advertising on the term "sexy," it's important that you get your ad copy up as soon as possible because manual approval will be necessary for your ad.
Get Onto Your Bids Quickly
While there's no exact bid that's perfect, Microsoft indicates that 75 percent of all clicks went to the top four ad spots last year. Since the average CPC doubles from September to October, it's important to make bidding changes early if you want to be ahead of the curve.
Tweak Your Targeting
The key costume-buying demographic is a primarily female, age 25 to 49 group (with 70 percent of searchers falling into that age range). Targeting this group and adding local bids if you have a brick-and-mortar location are great ways to increase visibility.
For both advertisers and consumers, this is the time when gearing up for costumes is wise. For businesses, it's a great opportunity to help stir ideas in your customers' minds while building brand recognition and catching the early shoppers. For consumers, this is the time to get great deals and start getting excited about our annual day of ghouls and ghosts.
I know I'm pretty pumped for Halloween this year, and I've already bought some of my costume pieces. I'll give you a hint who I'm going as: I'll be wearing a bow tie. Because bow ties are cool.