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Halloween Searches: Frightening or Predictable?

Kerin Foster

Ghouls, goblins, scary movies, and costumes are all abundant during the time of year when the leaves start to turn; Halloween, also known as All Hollows’ Eve, is a holiday looked forward to by many of varying ages and backgrounds. The weeks leading up to the most terrifying holiday of the year result in much advertising by way of costume retailers and other related businesses. The Halloween season is encompassed by costume parties, trick-or-treating, festivals, carving pumpkins, and numerous “haunted” attractions. So have you ever been curious to know precisely what the public is searching for most extensively when it comes to the beloved yearly Halloween celebration? If so, the results below may surprise you, and maybe even petrify you. Boo!

Keyword Search: Halloween

The most obvious, and logically the first, keyword to search for is Halloween, which has a relatively low competition of 0.02 although it boasts an extensive 506 million results. Therefore, this keyword is being pushed upon the public inevitably even though its competition is seemingly minimal.

We can realize by viewing the results that many of the top keywords related to Halloween are costume-specific, some of which are costume retailers and searches for getup ideas from last year. The competition and CPC for these keywords is much greater than for the generalized Halloween keyword, as well, with Halloween costumes bringing in a .83.

Keyword Search: Halloween costumes

Upon completing an inquiry for the keyword Halloween costumes, it is evident that the competition for this keyword is .83 which is considerably higher than our generalized search term in addition to the average monthly volume at 823,000 searches. We are once again presented with the relative keyword Halloween costumes 2011 which also has a much higher competition than the specific search term, Halloween. Individuals are still searching for costumes from the previous year, perhaps so that they may be able to get additional ideas or even be more economical (there is also a search for cheap Halloween costumes with a competition of .74 – might the public be trying to save money?) Also, this keyword can be capitalized upon due to its high search volume and competition as it may not have been thought to be profitable, but results show that it is still being searched.

Search Results: Halloween costumes 2011

A search for Halloween costumes 2011 yields results confirming that buycostumes.com is still bidding on the keyword and taking advantage of the fact that the public is still searching for it. There are also websites that are still advertising costumes of last year, and there is a news story by the National Retail Foundation from October 3rd that describes do-it-yourself costumes that can assist in relieving budget concerns. Within the article is a link for a 2011 survey that revealed that 7 out of 10/68.6% of Americans intended on celebrating and also that they would disburse $72.31 in funds in total for costumes, decorations, and candy. No wonder the public is searching for cheap Halloween costumes!

Search Trends: Overall Traffic

Since the keyword Spirit Halloween came up as a relative keyword originally and is one of the top Halloween costume merchants, we will take a look at them as well as their competitors to discern who is most successful with their internet marketing campaigns and overall budgeting:

In the comparison between spirithalloween.com, halloweenexpress.com, buy-costumes.com, and costumeexpress.com, search engine traffic is varied. It seems as though the search traffic for spirithalloween.com has drastically increased in September of 2011 and has jumped around ever since, this possibly due to the fact that spirithalloween.com is not only an online retailer but also has approximately 1,000 physical store locations currently. Buycostumes.com has a relatively even search traffic pattern with periodic jumps and is strictly an online retailer. Halloweenexpress.com who sells both online and in-store (300 stores) similar to spirithalloween.com, saw a significant increase in search traffic around October of 2011 and it steadily increased thereafter. Spirithalloween.com also makes it known on their website that they do a great deal of charity in conjunction with their sales, raising money for schools and children’s hospitals, possibly increasing public appeal. Finally, costumeexpress.com search traffic remains very level and rather insignificant leading us to the inference that this may not be one of the most popular Halloween retailers.

Search Trends: Number of Keywords

If we continue the first comparison but alter the focus to the number of keywords, buycostumes.com is obviously the leader, placing the most stock into their keyword PPC out of any of their competitors. There are also understandable jumps around October of each year. Spirithalloween.com, surprisingly enough, didn’t significantly increase their keywords until September of 2011 (consistent with their search traffic) and have remained steady ever since. Halloweenexpress.com completely dropped their keyword PPC in March of 2010 and it has been on a gradual increase since that time. Congruent with their search traffic, costumeexpress.com pays minimal attention to keywords.

Ads Keywords Allocation

While spirithalloween.com and halloweenexpress.com are allocating 100% of their AdWords budget to the United States, both buycostumes.com and costumeexpress.com have expanded their budgets somewhat to Canada and Australia, feasibly in an effort to expand their horizons and customer base.

Facebook Ads by Keyword: Halloween Costumes

As the screenshot illustrates, not a single one of the competitors whom were researched are bidding on the keyword Halloween Costumes on Facebook. However, we receive results for places such as Pottery Barn (whom I myself would not have believed carried Halloween costumes for children, let alone at all) and bestcostumesite.com. Upon researching further into bestcostumesite.com, they are not investing in any AdWords advertising at all but rather only Facebook ads maybe in an attempt to “think outside of the box” and advertise somewhere that not all of their competitors do.

Facebook Ads by Keyword: Halloween

Upon looking up the keyword Halloween in Facebook ads, the results for advertisers are quite assorted. It is apparent that top advertisers for the keyword are not costume distributers but rather sites such as Disney’s Spoonful, websites that are based in the Philippines advertising haunted houses, and even a Halloween-themed half marathon in Utah that takes place on October 27th of this year. Not a single one of these ads has anything to do with Halloween costumes whatsoever.

Facebook Ads: sprithalloween.com

The only competitor that we have researched previously whom is bidding on Facebook Ads is spirithalloween.com. Judging by the analysis completed above, Spirit is obviously the largest competitor of all and conceivably possesses the budget to allow for additional PPC advertising through Facebook with their online store and many physical stores as well. Maybe their competitors should consider giving to charity, as well?

The Facebook ads being run by spirithalloween.com are minimal however the two ads have two separate landing pages. One simply brings the user to their homepage, while the other directs them to a “Consignment Operator Program” section of their website, wherein they are seeking out individuals to operate their many store locations and sell their merchandise. This leads us to the conclusion that they are not only seeking out customers but collaborators as well.


Halloween brings with it different events and immense excitement for many people, and obviously many Halloween retailers and businesses attempt to get the most out of distinctive aspects of the holiday while some retailers are utilizing outdated but searched keywords and others aren’t advertising at all but may very well be relying solely on returning customers. Regardless, searches and advertisements verify that there is a great deal of interest in the holiday overall, so go out and enjoy it in whatever fashion you so desire. Trick or treat!

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Alex Tsygankov
Good one
Alex Tsygankov
Alex Tsygankov
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Max Sokolov
Alex Tsygankov
Nice way to find keyword per month, holidays are important in the moment of doing searches, seoquake rocks, nice way for find information and raking of websites and internal pages