Bing Reveals a Frighteningly Delicious Recipe for PPC Success

“Eye of newt and toe of frog. Wool of bat and tongue of dog.”
Macbeth (IV.i.14-15).

It might not be fall quite yet, but data shows one in three shoppers will begin their Halloween shopping before October. Since consumers are starting to plan their costumes and parties and starting to search now, the savvy marketer would be wise to begin dressing up their PPC campaigns as soon as possible.

According to the National Retail Federation, last year’s total Halloween spending was $7.4 billion, with the average shopper spending $78 on spooky stuff. Whether you sell candy, costumes, decorations, or just want to join in on the howl-iday fun, search engines are a major source of inspiration for shoppers – perfect for PPC marketers. On Bing, costumes were the most searched item during the season, followed by:



While the witches of Macbeth had their recipe for a charm of powerful trouble, there’s an equally potent recipe for PPC success this Halloween. Here are five fiendish tips to get your cauldrons bubbling from now through fright night. These wicked optimizations will give your competitors a fright.

1. Make Your Halloween Items Easier to Find and Buy

Location and sitelink extensions will help draw attention to your ads. Product ads are another really great way to stand out in the SERPs.

2. Use Words and Phrases That Are Proven to Work

The folks at Bing Ads have dug into their vast trove of data. Here are key insights on trends that have delivered strong ad performance.

  • Apparel and accessory sellers can boost ad copy relevance by adding “Halloween” or using dynamic keyword insertion in ad titles. Keywords such as “costumes,” “womens,” and “kids” with trending descriptions like “Frozen” or “Captain” were popular in 2014. Additionally, advertisers can increase relevant clicks by adding information about sizes such as “plus size” or “2Y-8Y” in the ad description.
  • Candy, gifts, and greetings retailers enjoyed success after adding attention-grabbing promotions like keywords that offer a certain percentage off or a special deal.
  • Other retailers found that ad titles highlighting party or supply-related terms, such as “party decorations” or “party supplies,” in conjunction with descriptions also mentioning Halloween increased click potential.

Here’s a breakdown from Bing Ads on top performing ad title and ad description combinations.


3. Monstrous Mobile Growth Means You Must Maximize Traffic

This fall, any PPC strategy needs to be truly omni-device to get the most treats. As Halloween-related searches increase, hordes of shoppers are turning to their mobile devices. In fact Microsoft’s internal data reveals that Halloween searches on mobile grew 1,052 percent on Bing Ads in 2014. 

Given the dramatic growth in mobile searches seen in 2014, advertisers need to make sure their ads and landing pages are mobile-friendly. Mobile visitors spend half the time on a site as those visiting via PC. Therefore optimizing your mobile landing pages to increase engagement or skipping landing pages in favor of click-to-call are both compelling options to test.

You can enhance your ads through location and call extensions and by adding in rating annotations. Certain types of copy was shown to perform better on smartphones:


Here are things specific to smartphone searches:

  • Highlighting costume related terms like “outfits” or “shirts” helped apparel and accessory retailers to gain an advantage.
  • Candy, gifts, and greetings retailers found ads that indicating quality with phrases like “premium,” “custom,” or “guaranteed,” along with orders in the description also enticed searchers to click.
  • Other retailers found that compelling calls to action helped to trigger clicks.

4. Protect Your Budget and Your Time

A tip that’s almost diabolically simple is to set up automated rules. Through automated rules you could pause ads, should click-through rate be high or conversions low. This also allow you to increase budgets when ads are performing well. Automated rules can automate campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords. Additionally, they are incredibly easy to manage, to make edits, and to track.

5. Expand Your Keywords and Create Cross-Channel Synergies

Interesting differences between the Bing and Google audiences can be used to influence a Halloween campaign. According to comScore data, when compared to Google, the Bing Ads audience is more likely to show interest in food recipes, party planning, and home decorating.  

Keeping this in mind, you can work closely with your content marketing and PR teams internally to run some PPC campaigns that promote Halloween party planning and home decoration on Bing Ads. This will increase brand and content campaign exposure. 

The benefit for PPC marketers lies in the fact that this tactic allows you to target an even broader, tangentially relevant set of terms that could be less competitive, ultimately letting you expand your reach. By offering special promotions, advertisers can still earn the sale. Win-Win.

Double, double toil and very-little-trouble indeed. For more haunting Halloween insights click here.

Do you have any ghoulish tips up your sleeve? Please do share in the comments below.

Related reading

A picture of Caroline Reynolds, VP of Paid Search at iProspect, giving her presentation at the CMA Digital Breakfast.
Closeup on colorful umbrella. See-through sky and sun. Abstract Color.
Simple Share Buttons